Best electric vans 2022

The latest breed of vans are technologically-advanced, with all the gadgets and creature comforts you could hope to find in a luxury car.

And an increasing number are available as electric models that make them absolutely ideal for the so-called last mile delivery market.

Here’s our rundown of the best electric vans on the market this year.

An orange Vauxhall Vivaro-E being charged by its driver

 

Vans have come a long way over the last 50 years. No longer are they basic, noisy boxes-on-wheels that are designed purely to be workhorses.

The combination of an e-commerce boom and demand for products during the Covid-19 lockdowns has seen the electric van sector grow enormously over the past couple of years.

E-commerce giant Amazon has already bought thousands of electric vehicles in which to deliver its parcels as part of its environmental pledge. 

If you’re an eco-conscious van driver or looking to cut your running costs, you might be tempted to make the switch. Here we take a look at the benefits of an electric van as well as our picks for the best models.

 

Pros and cons of electric vans

The first thing to say is that electric vans aren’t cheap. In fact, they’re likely to be considerably more expensive than diesel versions.

However, this initially hefty cost should be counterbalanced by significantly reduced running costs for electric van drivers.

As well as qualifying for attractive tax incentives and entrance to low emission zones, you might be able to run your vans for only a few pence per mile. 

For the nation’s army of van drivers – particularly those making numerous daily deliveries in congested towns and cities – this is welcome news.

There’s also plenty of choice with most of the major manufacturers, including Peugeot, Renault and Mercedes having launched strong contenders in this increasingly competitive space.

Of course, the increasing number of vehicles on the road means there should be used electric vans for sale that could reduce your initial costs.

 

The best electric and hybrid vans for 2022

Fiat E-Ducato

A white Fiat e-Ducato parked by a warehouse

  • Price: From £59,699
  • Electric range: Up to 175 miles combined WLTP 
  • Payload: Up to 1,855Kg

Fiat is a familiar name in the light commercial market with its award-winning Ducato having been around for 40 years in various guises.

A prototype 100% electric version of this popular large van was unveiled in 2019, with the E-Ducato officially making its debut the following year.

While retaining the versatility of size and toughness, this innovative model is also packed full of the latest technology. It’s a package that makes it a serious contender in this market.

There are also two battery configurations:

  • Three modules with 47kWh for a range of 142 miles
  • Five modules with 79kWh and 223 miles.

It also has four different charging options, with a smart-charge plug that fits both AC and DC charging configurations.

Then there’s the overall practicality. The panel van comes in a choice of three heights and three lengths, with a payload capacity of almost 1,900 Kg.

Performance-wise, the Ducato won’t be winning too many races. It goes from 0-30 mph in less than six seconds on its way to a top speed of 62 mph.

However, speed isn’t usually a prerequisite of van ownership and the E-Ducato certainly hits the market as far as toughness and practicality is concerned.

 

Mercedes e-Vito

A white Mercedes E-Vito sits alone

  • Price: From £43,600
  • Electric range: Up to 162 miles combined WLTP
  • Payload: Up to 807Kg

Mercedes is a manufacturer that needs no introduction. With an impressive heritage of producing luxury vehicles of all sizes, its presence in the electric van market is no surprise.

The e-Vito was officially launched in 2018 and was one of the first 100% electric vans to arrive in the UK a couple of years ago. 

Its latest version builds on the success of its predecessors in this fast-developing market, with an extended range and rapid charging capability.

The panel van is available in two lengths, with the cargo volume being between 6m3 and 6.6m3 depending on which version you choose. There are also two trim levels: Progressive and Premium.

As far as performance is concerned, the e-Vito has a speed limiter at 75 mph and a range of up to 162 miles before it needs to be recharged. 

The good news is that you can charge the battery to 80% in just 35 minutes, should you need to cover more miles than planned.

Unsurprisingly, there’s an impressive amount of standard equipment, including:

  • Active brake assist
  • Crosswind assist
  • Attention assist drowsiness detection
  • A reverse camera for negotiating tight delivery spaces
  • A heated driver’s seat to keep you warm on winter journeys
  • An Audio 30 infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen
 

Citroen e-Berlingo 

A white Citroen e-Berlingo being charged

  • Price: From £32,075
  • Electric range: Up to 171 miles on the WLTP cycle
  • Payload: Up to 800Kg

If you’re after a small, versitile van that’s full of everything you need for a day on the road, the Citroen e-Berlingo is hard to beat.

Citroen is particularly proud of the van’s comfortable cabin, having paid attention to factors such as sound insulation and a high driving position.

As far as technology is concerned, the van comes with up to 19 driver assistance systems, including:

  • A head-up colour display
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • A lane departure warning system

You can even have an audible coffee break alert that kicks in after you’ve been driving continuously for two hours at 40 mph or more. 

The battery is located in the vehicle chassis, which doesn’t impede its practicality. There’s still a load volume of 3.3 m3 to 4.4 m3 on the XL version and up to 800kg payload.

When it needs charging there are several choices available. 

  • The 100 kW public charging option should give you up to 80% in 30 minutes.
  • The 11 kW and 7.4 kW wallboxes, meanwhile, take five and 7.5 hours, respectively.
 

Vauxhall Vivaro-e

An orange Vauxhall Vivaro-E being charged by its driver

  • Price: From £39,663
  • Electric range: Up to 205 miles on WLTP.
  • Payload: Up to 1,226 Kg

The Vauxhall Vivaro-e is a great option in the medium van market with its combination of good looks, practicality and overall driving experience.

As with most electric vans, the Vivaro-e comes with plenty of options, depending on the nature of the work it’s being used for – and your budget. 

For example, you’ve got a choice of batteries. The 50kWh unit has a range of up to 143 miles, while the 75kWh battery delivers a range of up to 205 miles.(WLTP).

You can recharge the 50kWh battery to up to 80% in just 30 minutes at a 100kW public charger, while the 75kWh unit takes 45 minutes.

If you’re charging at home, the on-board 7.4kW and optional 11kW chargers should power up the Vivaro-e overnight to ensure it’s ready for the next working day.

You can also exercise control over the van’s handling, range and running costs through its drive mode selector.

For example:

  • Power provides maximum performance and comfort with heavy loads.
  • Normal is the preferred option for a balanced drive between performance and efficiency. 
  • Eco is for you, if maximum range and energy efficiency is your priority.

The panel van dynamic is available from £38,000 with standard features that include cruise control with speed limiter, and both nearside and offside sliding side access doors.

Another £7,000 gets you the panel van elite, with extras such as:

  • A satellite navigation system
  • Six-way adjustable driver’s seat
  • Electrically folding door mirrors.

If you’ve got around £50,000 to spend then the doublecab elite is an option. Its standard equipment includes an electronic stability programme, traction control and one touch power windows.

 

Ford Transit Custom PHEV 

A Ford Transit being charged

  • Price: From £38,995
  • Electric range: zero emission up to 27 miles; up to 376 miles with engine.
  • Payload: Up to 1,130 Kg

What’s not to love about the Ford Transit? The name has been associated with vans for more than half a century – and it’s currently available as a hybrid option.

The Transit Custom PHEV could be ideal for drivers that aren’t quite prepared to go 100% electric but want to enjoy a taste of environmentally-friendly benefits.

The van offers zero-emission driving for up to 27 miles, according to Ford. You also have the flexibility of up to 376 miles courtesy of its 1.0L Ford EcoBoost petrol engine. 

As is always the case with Transits, you can choose between numerous configurations and trim levels. You’re also spoiled for choice with a wide variety of driver assist features, including a Blind Spot information system.

As well as three body styles - van, double cab-in-van and the kombi – there are also a huge number of standard and optional features.

Depending on the model, these might include:

  • A trip computer
  • Cruise control
  • Bottle holders
  • Map reading lights
  • Heated front seats.

Depending on your budget, optional extras include:

  • Rear-view cameras with trailer hitch assist
  • Lane-keeping alert
  • Partial leather seat trim
  • Various colour and stripe combinations

* However, for those wanting zero emissions, the Ford E-Transit is on its way this year with a 400v battery with 68kWh of usable power.

It’s expected to deliver a range of up to 196 miles on a single charge and should be available in two height and three length variations.

 

Best small electric van

If a smaller ride is top of your priority list, then the best small electric van in our eyes is the Citroen e-Berlingo

The van’s cabin area also doubles as a mobile office with:

  • Flexible work surfaces
  • USB and 12V sockets 
  • A 220V laptop charging point

It means you can work easily on a laptop if required. 

And the battery is covered by a manufacturer’s warranty for eight years – or 100,000 miles – for 70% of its charge capacity.

 

Best medium electric van

In the mid-range market, our pick for best medium electric van goes to the Mercedes e-Vito. 

Opt for the Premium version and you benefit from cosmetic additions such as:

  • Painted bumpers
  • 17-inch light-alloy wheels
  • PARKTRONIC parking sensors at the front and rear
 

Best large electric van

For those who need - or want - to go big, look no further than our choice for the best large electric van - the Fiat E-Ducato

The electric version shares a similar number of options to its long-established diesel counterpart, being available in a wide range of variants and body sizes.

For example, it’s available in a number of van body types including:

  • A panel van
  • A chassis cab 
  • A people mover with up to nine seats.
 

E-van insurance

You compare and buy electric van insurance exactly the same way as you would be for a diesel. 

The policy you need – and the price you pay – depends on a number of factors including:

  • Your driving history
  • Your occupation
  • How you intend to use the van

For example, if you don’t use it for business purposes then a private van insurance policy might be for you to cover you for social driving.

However, if you’re using it for work then it could depend on your job. Multi-drop courier insurance, for example, tends to be more expensive as insurance companies perceive them to be at higher risk of accidents.

It’s worth bearing in mind that insurance for electric vehicles might be higher than for their petrol and diesel counterparts. This is because the technology is newer, so could be more expensive to repair after an accident.

That’s all the more reasons to compare van insurance quotes and make sure you’re finding the best deal you can.

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