Best electric vans

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

Murray Scullion
Apr 12, 2018

Research from Renault shows that on average, 70 per cent of van users drive less than 62 miles a day.

If you’re one of the seventy percenters, a zero emissions, cheap to run, and silent van might be up your street.

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.

Nissan e-NV200

Best electric van for range

List price £17,256 2017 vans typically £16,000 
Maximum load length 2,040mm Maximum load height 1,358mm Maximum load width 1,500mm

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 that need to transport people rather than boxes.

         

Renault Kangoo ZE

Best electric van for all-round capability

List price £18,693 2017 vans typically £10,000
Maximum load length 1,731mmmm Maximum load height 1,251mmmm Maximum load width 1,219mm

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

List price £15,617 2017 vans typically £15,000
Maximum load length 2,050mm Maximum load height 1,250mm Maximum load width 1,380mm

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

List price £15,081 2017 vans typically £14,495
Maximum load length 2,050mm Maximum load height 1,250mm Maximum load width 1,380mm

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 EV 80

Best electric van for size

List price £60,000 2017 vans typically £N/A
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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