Everything you need to know about electric vans

With an increasing focus on reducing air pollution, especially in urban areas, there’s also a rising interest in electric vehicles. In fact, with some cities bringing in ultra-low emissions zones, there’s a chance that cars and vans will need to be electric to go on the road in the near future.

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Who makes e-vans?

Nissan and Renault are the most established e-van manufacturers and have built a solid reputation over recent years. New, larger, e-vans will soon be available in the UK from well-known brands such as Mercedes and Volkswagen.

What are e-vans like to drive?

E-vans are incredibly quiet, not to mention quick and responsive when driving around city streets. However, they aren’t as fast as petrol or diesel vans on the open road.

There are lots of benefits when it comes to driving an e-van, and there are also some disadvantages to consider.

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Advantages

– They’re environmentally friendly, producing no CO2 or NOx emissions.
– They’re cheaper to run with lower fuel (electricity) costs, fewer parts needing replacement, and reduced maintenance costs.
– There are excellent buying incentives, with government grants currently offering 20% off the list price.
– They look like and can be used like regular vans; you can install van plylining such as that offered by http://www.vehicle-accessories.net/Interior/Van-Linings/Plylining just as easily.

Disadvantages

– Their range is not as high as conventional vans.
– It takes a lot longer (at least 40 minutes) to charge an e-van than to fill up with petrol.
– The upfront cost is much higher than a conventional van.
– They are heavier than standard vans, although the government has increased the gross vehicle weight for electric vehicles to 4.25 tonnes to compensate for this.
– Like all batteries, those on e-vans show reduced performance over time.
– Because e-vans are in their infancy, they currently have a low resale value.

Is an e-van right for you?

Given their range restrictions, e-vans are probably better for companies that generally drive in towns or cities or within a set area of no more than 100 miles, although you could still use them if you have longer drives but access to charging stations. The best way to decide is to visit a dealer, take a test drive, and ask to see comparisons against equivalent conventional vans.