Best electric vans

Electric vans are charging forward. Read our guide to the best electric vans

Murray Scullion
Jul 19, 2018

70 per cent of van users drive less than 62 miles a day, according to research from Renault.

62 miles is well within the realms of electric vans - so as long as you've got somewhere to charge one at night, a zero emissions, cheap to run electric van might make more sense than you'd initially thought.

Plus the near-silence running and automatic gearboxes surely beat a clattery old diesel with a heavy clutch and an archaic five-speed manual gearbox.

Range is the main worry for most drivers, but all of the electric vans on this list have an official range of more than 100 miles per charge. This should be taken with a pinch of salt as range can go down thanks to cold weather, and which electrical appliances are used. But as long as you have somewhere to charge it at the end of the day, range shouldn’t be a problem for most van drivers who work with the confines of one city.

Charging a van up from empty at night time outside your home costs (roughly) £1.50, and you’d need to spend (roughly) ten times that to get £100 miles of diesel.

Payloads, in general, are unaffected by the switch to electricity too. The Nissan e-NV200 has the same cargo volume as the standard NV200 diesel, but can actually hold a heavier payload (770kg electric 730kg diesel).

New electric vans get a Government grant too. This grant will pay for 20% of the purchase price, up to a maximum of £8,000.

And while selection is somewhat limited at the moment, there are more electric vans from Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen on the way.

Best electric vans 

Renault Master ZE

Best electric van for delivery drivers with large packages

Estimated base price including plug-in grant £50,000 (TBC) On sale September 2018
Estimated loadspace 8,000-17,000 litres Estimated payload 1,000-1,750kg Range 75 miles

Renault will begin taking orders for the Master ZE in September 2018, with deliveries starting in early 2019.

Yes, pricing does look like it’s starting at £50,000. But that’s the cost of large electric vans at the moment (just look at the LDV at the bottom of this list).

This Master uses the same battery pack as the Renault Kangoo below, but is obviously much much larger. In the real world, it’ll cover around 75 miles on a charge, a bit less than the average city-centre delivery driver will cover according to Renault.

The battery pack essentially sits where the gearbox is on the regular Master, which means it’s just as big and as easy to use as a regular Master for day-to-day tasks.

Mercedes eVito

Best electric van for emissions-free deliveries in style

Estimated base price excluding VAT but including plug-in grant £35,000
Load space 6,000-6,600 litres Payload 1,043-1,073kg Range 90 miles

The eVito is the first of a new generation of electric vans from Mercedes. The eSprinter will follow in 2019 and the eCitan a short while later.

It goes on sale towards the end of 2018 in two body lengths. There’s a good load space and decent payload but importantly, a zero-emissions range of 90 miles. This will make it ideal for delivery companies operating in the clean-air zones coming into force in cities.

VW eCrafter

Best electric van for Lovers of left-hand drive

Estimated base price excluding VAT but including plug-in grant (TBC) On sale September 2018 (left-hand-drive), 2020 (right-hand-drive)
Estimated loadspace 11,000 litres Payload 1,000-1,750kg Range 99 miles

Deliveries of left-hand-drive versions begin later in 2018 but the UK won't be seeing the all-electric eCrafter until 2020 at the earliest.

That said, for urban deliveries, UK drivers may find it safer to exit the vehicle from the nearside in any case.

         

Nissan e-NV200

Best electric van for range

Estimated base price excluding VAT but including plug-in grant from £19,166
Loadspace up to 4,300 litres Payload 542-703kg Range 124-187 miles

Nissan’s 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.

The Nissan is also one of the first vans to be tested by a new WLTP (Worldwide harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedure) efficiency standard. This is designed to give more representative real-world range of electric vehicles. In this testing, motorway mileage works out at 125 miles per charge, and city driving works out to 188 miles.

It’s also available as seven-seater called the Combi, for those who need to transport people rather than boxes.

Renault Kangoo Z.E

Best electric van for all-round capability

Base price excluding VAT and on-road charges but including plug-in grant £14,799-£19,486
Loadspace 3,000-4,000 litres Payload 605-625kg Range NEDC 75-170 miles

Renault claims that the Kangoo ZE would be a feasible purchase for 85 per cent of current Kangoo customers as the majority of these people cover less than the range of the Kangoo ZE in a day.
The Kangoo ZE is powered by a 33kWh lithium-ion battery, giving it an official range of 170 miles. Or enough to go nearly three days without a charge for most van drivers.

Quick charging ensures a full charge will only take six hours as long as you have access to a fast charger. Using a regular three pin plug, it’ll take around 20 hours. Yikes.

New prices don’t include the price of the battery, because Renault prefers to lease these separately. It says this makes things easier should the battery need replacing. The battery has a lifetime guarantee for the duration of the monthly contract. With outright purchase the battery is covered for five years or 60,000 miles, with performance guaranteed to at least 66 per cent of full capacity. Renault will replace a defective or under-performing battery for any reason once it can no longer hold at least 75 per cent of maximum charge.

Citroen Berlingo Electric 

Best electric van for fast charging

Base price excluding VAT and on-road charges but including plug-in grant £22,628
Loadspace 3,300 litres Payload 636kg Range 106 miles

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.

And it comes with rapid charging as standard, unlike the Renault Kangoo ZE and Nissan e-NV200. It can achieve an 80 per cent charge in 30 minutes with an appropriate rapid charger, which are popping up more frequently around the UK.

Its range isn’t quite as good (106-miles) as the Renault or Nissan above, but for day to day use for most people it wouldn’t make too much of a difference.

Peugeot Partner Electric

Best electric van for adaptability 

Base price excluding VAT and on-road charges but including plug-in grant £22,550-£23,150
Loadspace 3,700-4,100 litres Payload 552-636kg Range 90 miles

The 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 3.3m3, load length between 1.8m (L1) and 2.05m(L2) and payload up to 636kg.

Up front, there’s 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 inbuilt writing panel.

It can also be had as a Peugeot Partner Teepee, which is a five seat model.

LDV EV80

Best electric van for size

Base price excluding VAT and plug-in grant £60,000
Maximum load length 3,300mm Maximum load height 1,710mm Maximum load width 1,770mm

If you remember this van from somewhere, but can’t put your finger on it, let us help. You might recognise the shape of the van as an LDV Maxus - which first appeared in the UK in 2004. Then LDV disappeared in 2010...and reappeared under new Chinese ownership in 2017.

The EV80 is an electric version of the LDV V80, itself not that different from the Maxus. However, the biggest change in the EV80 is its method of propulsion.

The EV80 has a claimed range of around 120-miles, and although £60,000 sounds like a lot, the large electric van market virtually doesn’t have any competitors. And future competitors look like they will be much, much more expensive (read £80,000 +).

So if you really want to go electric, and need a big van, this LDV is a logical choice. Obviously, the interior feels pretty old, as does the rest of it, but it does undercut its future rivals before they’ve even been released.

                     

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