Best electric vans

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

BuyaCar team
Apr 24, 2019

If you drive a van on a regular basis, perhaps it comes with your job, you might be considering a jump to an electric van. As much as 70% of van users drive less than 62 miles a day, according to research from Renault, so we've come up with a list of options that ought to cater for that demographic.

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.

Electric range does fluctuate quite significantly depending on how you use your van though. Colder weather, the amount you carry in the back, even the type of journey you make can all have an effect on your vehicles range, so a generous pinch of salt is needed when you start looking into that range figure.

Then there's the money aspect. Electric vans are far more expensive than their petrol or diesel powered counterparts. While charging a van up from empty in the evening outside your home costs around only £1.50, and you’d need to spend at least ten times that to get 100 miles of diesel. So there's something of a paradox here - you need to cover more miles to justify the initial cost, but you're limited somewhat by the range.

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

Read on for our a list of what we think are the most enticing electric van options out there. The quoted prices include the Government grant that will pay for 20% of the purchase price, up to a maximum of £8,000 - unless stated otherwise.

Best electric vans

1. Renault Kangoo Z.E 33

Best electric van for all-round capability

List price £23,472
Loadspace 3,000-4,000 litres
Payload 650kg
Range 51-161 miles WLTP
Used deals from £6,500
Monthly finance from £161

Renault claims that the Kangoo ZE would be a feasible purchase for 85% 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, but as with all electric cars, its range can vary dramatically depending on the weather, how you drive and how much stuff you've got in the back, so you could find the need to charge every day if you're particularly hard on your Kangoo.

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

2. Renault Master ZE

Best electric van for delivery drivers with large packages

List price £57,040
Estimated loadspace 8,000-17,000 litres
Estimated payload 1,000-1,750kg
Range 36-114 miles WLTP

Renault’s ZE electric panel van is 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. This 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, the Renault Master ZE will cover anywhere from 36 to 114 miles on a single charge. This variance is again down to how you use it, while the smaller models will also fair slightly better.

3. Nissan e-NV200

Best electric van for range

List price from £20,005 (excl VAT)
Loadspace up to 4,300 litres
Payload 542-703kg
Range 124-187 miles WLTP
Used deals from £12,990
Monthly finance from £318

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.

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, aimed at those who need to transport people rather than boxes.

4. Citroen Berlingo Electric

Best electric van for fast charging

List price £15,577 (excl VAT and OTR)
Loadspace 3,300 litres
Payload 636kg
Range 106 miles (NEDC)

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 as the Renault or Nissan above, but for day to day use for most people it wouldn’t make too much of a difference.

A new Berlingo was launched last year, but the electric version isn’t available yet. This means this old version (pictured) is still on sale.

5. Peugeot Partner Electric

Best electric van for adaptability

List price £15,456 (excl VAT and OTR)
Loadspace 3,700-4,100 litres
Payload 552-636kg
Range 90 miles (NEDC)

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.

Like the Berlingo above, the Partner in question is the old model. This is because the electric version of the new model hasn’t been released yet.

6. Mercedes eVito

Best electric van for emissions-free deliveries in style

List price from £39,895 (excl VAT and government grant)
Load space 6,000-6,600 litres
Payload 898-923kg
Range 93 miles (WLTP)

Having initially been expected to hit the road in 2019, the Mercedes e-Vito is still not quite here, but with more details on pricing and specs being revealed at the beginning of the year, it seems likely we will see the e-Vito arriving sooner rather than later.

7. VW eCrafter

Best electric van for Lovers of left-hand drive

List price (TBC)
On sale 2021
Estimated loadspace 11,000 litres
Payload 975-1720kg
Range 107 miles (WLTP)

Deliveries of left-hand-drive versions have already started, but the UK won't be seeing the all-electric eCrafter until 2021 at the earliest.

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

 

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