Electric vehicles are getting more popular in the UK by the day and with heavy focus currently on emissions and more and more question marks over diesel engines, popularity of electric vehicles is only going to continue to increase. Leasewell provides an in-depth guide to electric vans and helps you understand whether you should consider buying one!
Currently electric represents a small segment of UK new van sales and some van drivers remain sceptical about their capabilities. Many of the benefits are obvious, however how many of us have ever driven an electric van? And how many have really contemplated purchasing one?
You’ll find everything you need to know about electric vans in our guide, with comparisons to diesel models and what are the best electric vans for sale at the moment.
What are the benefits of choosing an electric van?
1. They offer cheap running costs
Now we know that using electricity to charge your vehicle doesn’t come free of charge and if you are charging from your house then you’ll have to pay for what you use, however if you compare this to what you’ll spend on diesel and petrol and you’ll find electric vans are significantly cheaper to run. Charging your vehicle at some public charge points is free, whilst others can cost around £1.50 per hour, this is no comparison to petrol and diesel costs.
2. They are environmentally friendly
Diesel and petrol vans release harmful emissions including CO2 and NOx, however this is not the case for electric vans.
3. They come with government backing
As they are more environmentally friendly than their petrol and diesel counterparts, electric vans have been endorsed by the government as they look to reduce the UK’s emissions in major cities and as such they are exempt from London’s congestion charge.
4. They come with incentives
When purchasing an electric van you are eligible for the Plug-in van grant which provides a discount of up to 20 percent (or a maximum of £8000) on the cost of your new electric van. There’s also the cost saving of no road tax cost for electric vehicles.
5. They are cheaper to maintain
Electric vans are not only cheaper to drive per mile and cheaper to charge, they’re also cheaper to maintain. Electric drivetrains are also less prone to wear and tear.
6. They are quiet
Electric vehicles are quiet on the road, particularly in comparison to their counterparts on a cold December morning.
As well as the benefits above, if you own a business and you purchase a fully electric van, you can also claim capital allowance benefits.
What are the drawbacks of choosing an electric van?
The advantages list appears very attractive, however the fact that there hasn’t been widespread uptake of these vehicles is that there are still some drawbacks to owning an electric van. Here are some of the most common ones:
One of the most common anxieties towards electric vans is range. Whilst the best seller on the market the Nissan e-NV200 offers a range up to 187 miles, a lot of options offer significantly lower than that and even the range of 187 miles is nowhere near as much as a full tank of diesel will get you.
Despite being cheaper to run than diesel and petrol vans, electric vans tend to be more expensive to purchase, even with the plug-in van grant and when it comes to purchasing a new van, cost is right up the list in terms of important factors.
3. Range variance
This can be an issue with electric vans, just like with MPG with diesel and petrol vans, electric vans have an official range, the reality with what they can achieve on a full charge is likely to be a lot lower, particularly if you have the heater on.
4. Charge time
Filling your tank with fuel can take only a matter of a couple of minutes, however fully charging an electric van can take hours. There are rapid chargers available, however these still take around 40 minutes to get your van’s battery up to 80 percent charge.
5. Weight and efficiency
Electric vans and the technology they come with tend to be heavy, meaning they can sometimes struggle to reach the same payloads as their diesel counterparts, particularly when looking at large vans.
Charging points are more accessible than ever before, however these are generally run by energy firms and usually require registration just to use them, which in itself is more hassle than turning up to a fuel pump and filling up your tank straight away.
Should I buy an electric van?
If you’re weighing up whether or not to purchase an electric van, it’s important to think about usage and whether these pros or cons would impact you significantly. Range is obviously an important consideration, however if you’re only operating in the city centre and don’t do a huge amount of mileage then range may not hinder you.