Best hybrid vans 2024

Want to slash your van fuel costs with a mild hybrid or plug-in hybrid? Check out the best petrol-electric and mild hybrid diesel vans here

By BuyaCar team

If you run a van as part of your business, chances are that every pound you spend on fuel is a pound that comes off your profit. So, why not consider getting a hybrid van that offers electric assistance to help reduce your petrol or diesel bills - especially around town?

Yes, there isn’t a huge choice of hybrid vans just yet, however if you understand how these vehicles work and pick a suitable model for the type of driving you do, going hybrid could save you hundreds, if not thousands on fuel.

The first thing to consider is which type of hybrid van works best for you. If you spend much of your time stuck in traffic and driving around town, you could benefit from having a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model - provided you plug it in regularly, so you can cover as many miles as possible using comparatively cheap electric power rather than burning pricey diesel.

Meanwhile, if you’re unlikely to charge the van regularly or do lots of high-speed driving and don’t spend much time around town, you’re probably better off overall by getting a cheaper mild hybrid model, as plug-in hybrids are comparatively inefficient at higher speeds and when driven with a flat battery.

PHEVs offer a typical real-world range of around 20 miles from a full battery, so if you do lots of short hops around town and can charge overnight, one of these could be perfect for you. You also have the backup of a petrol or diesel engine for longer trips, though the higher proportion of driving you do without a charged battery, the less suitable a PHEV will be.

Mild hybrids, meanwhile, feature a petrol or diesel engine, plus a small electric motor, which helps to reduce the strain on the engine, helping to improve economy and offering more efficient acceleration. Yes, mild hybrids can’t match the headline economy figures of PHEVs, but they’re cheaper and simpler, so may still be the better tool for the job.

1. Ford Fiesta Van

Our pick Ford Fiesta Van 1.0 EcoBoost MHEV
Used deals Limited stock

The Fiesta Van makes for a great entry point to van ownership, and is ideal for young tradespeople or those who don't need thousands of litres of cargo space. There's 960 litres' worth of space, which is enough for small jobs, as well as a 497kg payload.

The 1.0-litre petrol engine is a strong performer in the normal Fiesta, and even heavier cars like the Focus, but the mild hybrid technology helps Ford squeeze out a strong claimed 56.5mpg fuel economy figure. The same 125hp engine without any electrical assistance claims 51.4mpg.

2. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Our pick Mitsubishi Outlander Commercial PHEV
Used deals Limited stock

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is one of the longest-serving plug-in hybrid cars you can get, and it's just as good as a commercial option too. You'll get the same 28 miles of electric range (that will reduce if you’re carrying a heavy load), and the same four-wheel-drive system for impressive performance on rough terrain.

The Mitsubishi is best if you’re going to take full advantage of its electric range on short journeys and regularly recharge it to minimise fuel use. You’ll find that the fuel costs will mount up the more you rely on petrol power during longer trips.

And without the fuel savings, the Outlander is a less appealing choice. Without rear seats, it has a load area of around 1.6 cubic metres in volume, which is larger than a Ford Fiesta van or Vauxhall Combo but not quite as spacious as the load area of a Ford Transit Courier.

Standard equipment includes niceties such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for easier control of phone apps and dictation of messages through the dashboard touchscreen, as well as a reversing camera.

Access to goods is through the standard side doors and rear boot, which can make loading bulky items tough, and suitable lashing points are scarce.

3. Ford Transit Custom

Our pick Ford Transit Custom 1.0 EcoBoost PHEV
Used deals Limited stock

Capable of covering up to 35 miles per charge (again, this can be limited by weight among other things) under electric power according to Ford, the Transit Custom PHEV could be more than just an alternative to diesel-powered rivals. 

The Transit is capable of carrying much more than the Outlander in its 6.8-cubic metre load area, with enough room for storing objects up to three metres in length.

A 1.0-litre petrol engine that works together with the hybrid system is economical on its own, but it will suffer reduced efficiency thanks to the added weight of the batteries. The Transit Custom PHEV works best when it's under electric propulsion. Run it efficiently and you can expect up to 90mpg, but fail to keep the batteries topped up and this could drop to below 30mpg.

4. Ford Transit Custom

Our pick Ford Transit Custom 2.0 EcoBlue MHEV
Used deals Limited stock

If you find yourself regularly travelling long distances, a diesel-powered van might make more sense, by being comparatively affordable to finance or buy and still pretty economical on faster roads. While you can't have a plug-in diesel hybrid Transit Custom, you can have a mild hybrid version. This means that you can’t cover any distance on electric power alone, but you can get a decent 40mpg from the 130hp 2.0-litre unit.

5. Ford Transit

Our pick Ford Transit 2.0 EcoBlue MHEV
Used deals Limited stock

Alongside the plug-in hybrid Transit Custom, Ford is also now producing a mild hybrid version of the standard Ford Transit. This makes use of a 2.0-litre diesel engine supported by a small electric motor that aids with acceleration and helps to reduce fuel consumption. It's the same setup as the Transit Custom MHEV above, but in this larger van, Ford lets you decide between front- and rear-wheel drive.

This type of hybrid system is a little less intrusive than a full-on plug-in hybrid setup, and while electric-only driving is out of the question, you may consider this a more suitable approach, especially if you don't have charging facilities available or mainly drive out of town. There's no plug-in option, but an electric version is due to arrive in 2022.


The London Electric Vehicle Company, or LEVC for short, has already had a crack at electrifying the black cab, but this is the vehicle for people looking to move cargo, not people. It uses a 31kWh battery to achieve a range of up to 75 miles per charge, and as such, is an electric vehicle. Where the petrol engine comes into play is not to power the wheels, but to act as an onboard generator to keep the batteries topped up, which means around 300 miles on a full charge and tank.

It's a practical electric vehicle because 50kW charging means a full charge in as little as 30 minutes, but it's also a practical van, with a load space of up to 5,500 litres.