Best electric vans

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

Murray Scullion
Jan 24, 2019

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

A 62 mile range is well within the realms of most electric vans. So as long as you have 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-silent 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 people looking at switching to electric power, but all of the electric vans (well, except for the Renault Twizy Cargo, which technically isn't a van) 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, as well as by using electrical appliances like air conditioning. 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. For instance, 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).

The Government is encouraging people to buy less poluting vans too. New electric vans get a Government grant that will pay for 20% of the purchase price, up to a maximum of £8,000. And a van scrappage scheme for small business owners in London is en route too.

And while selection is somewhat limited at the moment, there are more electric vans coming next year.

Best electric vans 

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

Renault claims that the Kangoo ZE would be a feasible purchase for 85 per cent of current Kangoo customers, as they 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.

Loadspace 3,000-4,000 litres Payload 605-625kg Range NEDC 75-170 miles

Renault Master ZE

Best electric van for delivery drivers with large packages

Base price excluding VAT but including plug-in grant £45,700

Renault’s ZE electric panel van is officially on sale, at around £5,000 less than predicted.

It’s based on the popular Master van, but instead of an engine up front, there’s a battery pack that 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.

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, it’ll cover around 75-124 miles on a charge, a bit less than the average city-centre delivery driver will cover according to Renault.

Estimated loadspace 8,000-17,000 litres Estimated payload 1,000-1,750kg Range NEDC 124 miles

Nissan e-NV200

Best electric van for range

Base price excluding VAT but including plug-in grant from £19,166

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.

Loadspace up to 4,300 litres Payload 542-703kg Range 124-187 miles

Citroen Berlingo Electric 

Best electric van for fast charging

Base price excluding VAT and on-road charges but including plug-in grant £22,628

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.

Loadspace 3,300 litres Payload 636kg Range 106 miles

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

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 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 inbuilt writing panel.

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

Loadspace 3,700-4,100 litres Payload 552-636kg Range 90 miles

Renault Twizy Cargo

Best electric van for fitting into tiny parking spaces

Base price excluding VAT and plug-in grant £7,690

The Twizy Cargo is the only model here that can count the doors as a £545 optional extra, but at £7,690, it is also by far and away the cheapest thing on this list.

We’re hesitant to call it a van as it’s technically a quadricycle, e.g., not quite a car, but has too many wheels to be a motorcycle.

The boot will fit about 180 litres worth of stuff in it, or about a third less than a typical hatchback like a Ford Fiesta.

Top speed is a mere 56mph, but in truth that won’t matter too much because it’s mainly aimed at city dwellers who want a bit more size and protection than a scooter. Range is around 50 miles and it takes three and a half hours to fully charge from a standard three-pin plug. You'll have to lease the batteries though - at a cost of around £45 a month.

Maximum load depth 550mm Maximum load height 950mm Maximum load width 500mm Range NEDC 62 miles

                        

Mercedes eVito

Best electric van for emissions-free deliveries in style

Estimated base price excluding VAT but including plug-in grant £35,000 On sale 2019

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 in 2019 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.

Load space 6,000-6,600 litres Payload 1,043-1,073kg Range (estimated) 90 miles

VW eCrafter

Best electric van for Lovers of left-hand drive

Estimated base price excluding VAT but including plug-in grant (TBC) On sale 2020

Deliveries of left-hand-drive versions have already started, 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.

Estimated loadspace 11,000 litres Payload 1,000-1,750kg Range 99 miles

         

Latest best cars & vans

  1. Cheapest Euro 6 diesel van deals

  2. Best SUVs to buy in 2019

  3. Most efficient petrol cars

What our customers say