Best electric vans 2023
More and more businesses looking to carry out deliveries in low emissions zones are looking for electric vans. Here are 10 of the best you can buy right now.
Businesses across the United Kingdom are cleaning up their act and focusing more and more on green deliveries, making electric vans hot property.
Previously compromised by limited range, a lack of infrastructure and high purchase costs, the evolution of electric vehicles means that many of these concerns aren’t the worry they once were, with a wide selection of electric vans now capable of completing a 100-mile+ delivery route without worry.
A zero-emissions, cheap-to-run electric van now makes more sense than ever, particularly with punitive low-emissions zones on the rise. Here are 10 of the best electric vans that you can buy today.
Best electric vans
Loadspace 15,100 litres
The Ford E-Transit was quite late to the party, but the electric version of the UK’s best seller is one of the most serious contenders around, and is offered as a panel van, double cab and chassis cab, meaning it has more flexibility than many rivals.
It uses a 400-volt battery with 68kWh of usable power, delivering a range of up to 166-196 miles based on WLTP test results.
Available in two heights and three length variations, the Ford E-Transit offers up to 15.1 cubic metres of cargo space and there are 25 different combinations of wheelbase, body type and configuration.
Like all Ford Transits ever produced, it’s a dedicated and committed workhorse that does exactly what it says on the tin.
Loadspace 3500 litres
It’s neither the most practical nor the most flexible van in its class, with less load capacity and payload than rivals such as the Renault Kangoo ZE and Citroen e-Berlingo, but the Volkswagen ID.Buzz Cargo more than makes up for that in terms of desirability.
It isn’t cheap, and the load bay is smaller and less practical than the monobox looks would suggest, but if you want your business to get noticed it’s a phenomenal piece of kit.
It has an electric range of 256 miles and 207PS on tap, making it extremely lively and car-like to drive, visibility is better than most rivals thanks to its cab forward design and the handling is superb.
Loadspace 3000 to 4000 litres
Renault markets the Renault Kangoo E-Tech as a feasible purchase for 85% of diesel Renault Kangoo customers, as they mostly cover a shorter distance than the range of the Renault Kangoo E-Tech in a day.
The Renault Kangoo E-Tech is powered by a 45kWh battery which is smaller than the one found in the Renault Zoe (and Renault Zoe Van) but still gives the electric Renault Kangoo a 186-mile range on WLTP measurements, with a realistic day-to-day range of about 150 miles.
That makes it ideal for urban work, especially if you’re able to charge it overnight.
Loadspace 8000 to 17,000 litres
Payload 1000 to 1750kg
Based on the full-size Renault Master panel van, the Renault Master E-Tech electric has a battery pack that essentially sits where the gearbox is on the regular Renault Master. This means it’s just as big and as easy to use as a regular Renault Master for day-to-day tasks, as floor space isn’t compromised.
There are two roof heights, three wheelbases and it comes with a five-year/60,000 mile battery warranty and a three-year/100,000 mile vehicle warranty.
In the real world, the Renault Master E-Tech will cover anywhere from 36 to 114 miles on a single charge. This variance is down to how you use it, while the smaller models will also fare slightly better. If you go for a new model from 2022 onwards, its 52kWh battery (taken straight out of the Renault Zoe) should be able to do 126 miles.
Loadspace Up to 4300 litres
Payload 542 to 703kg
The Nissan e-NV200 received a larger, more powerful battery in 2018, which boosted the official range from 106 miles to 174 miles. That makes a huge difference for the van driver in an urban environment, scurrying around built-up areas in near silence.
One of the most popular electric vans on the market, the e-NV200 uses mostly the same running gear as the tried and tested Nissan Leaf, offering 125 miles per charge in varied use and up to 188 miles if used only for city driving.
It’s also available as seven-seater called the Combi, aimed at those who need to transport people rather than boxes.
Loadspace 3300 litres
However it’s powered, the Berlingo is an adaptable van that’s rugged and doesn’t mind grafting. Inside it’s basic and hard-wearing, and it’s good value too. Overall, an all-round solid effort.
Where the e-Berlingo really scores is that it comes with rapid charging as standard, unlike the Renault Kangoo ZE and Nissan e-NV200.
This means it can achieve an 80 per cent charge in 30 minutes with an appropriate rapid charger. Its range isn’t quite as good as the Renault or Nissan, but for day-to-day use for most people the fats charging would make more of a difference than overall range.
Loadspace 3700 to 4100 litres
Payload 552 to 636kg
Sharing much of its structure and running gear with the Citroen e-Berlingo, the Peugeot Partner is available in two lengths – L1 and L2. Loading is easy, with asymmetric rear doors opening up to 180 degrees, and a nearside sliding side door as standard. It also has a load volume from 3,300 litres upwards, and load lengths of 1.8m (L1) and 2.05m(L2), with a payload up to 636kg.
Up front, there are three seats and lots of different cubbyholes. The left-hand side passenger seat can be folded away entirely, and the middle seat can be folded flat and used as a desk as it has an in-built writing panel. It will cover the same range as the Berlingo and can also be fast-charged.
Loadspace 6000 to 6600 litres
Payload 890 to 905kg
If you want your business to project a professional and upmarket image, then the eVito is a good way of doing so with zero exhaust emissions.
If prestige alone doesn’t make it one of the best electric vans on the market, then how about more load space than the majority of its rivals and a sophisticated cabin?
It's available in two forms, a shorter L2 and a longer L3 – with a modest range of up to 92 miles per charge, which is going to be strongly dependent on how much weight you're hauling but does mean it’s only really ideal for urban operators.
There’s plenty of quality and tech with a digital radio featuring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, while there's also a reversing camera if you ever need to park in hard-to-reach places.
Loadspace 11,000 litres
Payload 975 to 1720kg
Compared with newer rivals such as the Ford E-Transit, the eCrafter has a limited range and more out-of-date running gear, using battery tech from the previous-generation e-Golf, rather than more up-to-date parts from the company’s ID range. That means a small 35.8kWh battery pack that’s good for around 100 miles, and a 136hp electric motor that's been slightly tweaked to deal with the van’s added weight.
Top speed is limited to 56mph, which makes it better suited to town and city environments where it will be more efficient, anyway. The good news is that availability is greater than most rivals on the used market.
Loadspace 11,000 litres
Regarded as one of the best vans in the world, and not just one of the best electric vans, the Mercedes Sprinter has long been a favourite among delivery drivers and companies thanks to the huge versatility provided by its variety of lengths, body styles and heights.
In fact, online shopping superstore Amazon placed an order for almost 2,000 eSprinters in 2020 and since then, a whole lot more have joined the roads.
It uses a medium-sized 55kWh battery which, in a car, would be good for more than 200 miles of range. Mercedes claims up to 95 miles of range in this van, which should be enough for most drivers assuming they can charge up overnight. The eSprinter also supports rapid charging, which should help on occasional longer trips.