Electric vans are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, and that trend looks set to continue with government looking to invest in eco-friendly methods of transportation and public acceptance rising.
But is now the right time for you to purchase one? Here’s some of the pros and cons of buying an electric van to help make an informed choice:
There are lots of good things about electric vans but let’s start with the bad news first. They won’t be right for everyone and you need to understand whether buying one is the right choice for you and your requirements.
- Less range – one of the major challenges of electric vans is that they do not have the same sort of range as a traditional van. A single charge will not take you as far as a conventional tank of fuel. This means that you will need to stop more often – and wait longer for charging (we’ll address that in a minute). This makes electric vans impractical for driving long distances.
- Lacking power – it’s no secret that not all electric vehicles have the power of an Audi e-tron SUV – electric vans are typically underpowered compared to their conventional alternatives. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a problem, it can be just something that you will have to get used to as a driver. For some van drivers, this lack of power will be ultimately quite frustrating.
- Charging challenges – as with all electric vehicles, vans needed to be charged regularly, and this present challenges to some owners. If you are used to be able to fill up whenever you like this can come as something of a shock – even the fastest chargers will usually take over an hour to complete a full charge. It is also typically less convenient, as you will need to find somewhere you can charge – and standard home chargers will take a full overnight charge to complete.
- Initial expense – it is still sadly the case that electric vans are more expensive to buy than their conventional equivalents. This can put off many buyers before they even consider the advantages of an electric van.
- Excess weight – of course vans faced weight restrictions like any other vehicle on the road. Electric technology is heavy and vans are heavier, which can reduce their potentially carrying load compared to conventional equivalents.
- Residual value – there is uncertainty around electric vans which means that they typically lose their value relatively quickly. This may well change over time as the market gets more used to electric vehicles and their performance improves.
Alongside the negatives, there are a number of positives in owning an electric van.
- Lower running costs – electric vans generally enjoy much lower running costs than diesel alternatives. The cost of fuel of cheaper, but also electric vans have fewer moving parts that conventional fans which helps to keep maintenance costs to a minimum.
Source: Energy Saving Trust
- Eco-friendly – a major advantage for electric vans is that they are much better for the environment than diesel options. Aside from the obvious societal benefits, having an eco-friendly van can improve the image of your business. It shows that you have a conscious and act as a unique selling point for your brand.
- Silent engine – electric vans are virtually silent which makes it easier to use the van during unsocial hours – during this time a conventional van might attract noise complaints. And of course, the quiet engine is a pleasanter experience for the driver.
- Incentives for buying – local and central government are both keen on encouraging people to invest in green technology such like electric vans. There is the plug-in grant which gets you a discount of 20 per cent on a new electric van up to a total of £8,000
- Perfect for cities – electric motors are not famed for their power; however, they do deliver instantaneous torque which means that they are light and nippy at lower speeds. This makes them a perfect choice if you are doing most of your work within cities or towns.