Best electric vans 2022

Generous buying incentives for electric vans, coupled with attractive tax advantages and low running costs have started to entice customers. Yet they're still in the minority.

Even though the number of new electric vans sold last year soared by 142.3%, this only equated to a modest 12,759 out of 355,380 total vans sold, according to SMMT. But with the 2030 petrol and diesel ban on the horizon, electric vans are on the rise. Here's what you need to know.

An orange Vauxhall Vivaro-E being charged by its driver

 

What are the advantages of electric vans?

  • Cheaper running costs
  • Eco-friendly
  • Quieter ride
  • Grants available to reduce initial cost

Van manufacturers have been quick to recognise the longer-term demand for electric vehicles. It means a string of household name manufacturers are already in this market.

Peugeot, Nissan, Renault, Citroen and Iveco are among the leading contenders – and industry observers expect competition to increase rapidly.

According to Dan Powell, senior editor at heycar, this is helping the tide turn in favour of electric:

“For years, diesel has been the default choice for van buyers but the latest range of electric commercial vehicles are starting to change that – and for good reason,”.

“One of the most significant is the choice. There are lots of excellent new and used electric vans for sale. The Vauxhall Vivaro-E, for example, can travel up to 200 miles on a single charge.”

Electric vans are certainly a lot quieter than their diesel cousins. Other than that, they’re similar to their diesel equivalents, given the latter have become far more luxurious these days.

If you opt for an electric van then there’s the added bonus of helping the environment. With no emissions, eco-conscious van drivers can be secure in the knowledge that their driving isn’t having a harmful impact on the planet.

Let’s not forget the reduced running costs of electric vans, either. A fully-electric van pays no van tax, and fuel costs are slashed compared to running a petrol or diesel model.

There are also government grants available to reduce the initial cost of buying an electric van, making it a more tempting prospect for drivers hesitant to make the switch.

 

What are the disadvantages of electric vans?

  • High initial cost
  • Battery range issues
  • Reduced payload limits
  • Van insurance potentially more expensive

Of course, electric vans aren’t perfect. There are a few potential disadvantages that you need to consider.

Top of the list is the cost. Electric vans are generally more expensive, even when you take the grants into account.

If you’re on a budget you need to weigh the initial outlay against the longer-term savings in terms of fuel and various road-related charges.

Then there’s the practicality. Today’s electric vans can cover more miles than used to be possible, but that still might not be enough. It all depends on how you’re using the van.

If it’s for the increasingly popular last-mile delivery tasks, where drivers are dropping off parcels to the local area, then they make complete sense.

In these cases, the distances covered should be lower. But if you’re looking to drive up and down motorways all day long then battery life may be an issue.

It’s a point acknowledged by Dan Powell:

“As with all things in life, electric vans might not be suitable for everyone.

“If you’re a builder who regularly covers high mileage and don’t have access to a home charging point then you may be better off with a traditional diesel van.”

Would-be buyers also need to pay attention to the payload limits. In some electric vans this is lower than a diesel equivalent due to the extra weight of the batteries.

This may not be an issue if you’re carrying lighter loads, such as flowers. But it's something to bear in mind if you’re lugging heavy tools and equipment.

Another consideration is the cost of electric van insurance. As electric vans aren’t yet commonplace, they could be more expensive to repair due to less common and specialist parts.

This increases the size of any electric van insurance claim, which in turn could make your policy more expensive. The best way to mitigate this is to compare van insurance policies to ensure you’re getting the best policy at the best price for you.

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What’s the range of an electric van?

The best vans in this space can get up to 200 miles on a single charge.

However, many won’t get near this figure. You might expect a range of between 80 and 150 miles, depending on the model.

It's impossible to answer the question of which electric van has the longest range because it depends on:

  • The size of the van
  • How it's driven
  • The driving conditions

It’s best to take a look at what sort of distances you’re covering in an average day before you decide on a particular electric van.

Let's take a look at some popular models, their cost and average distance in a single charge:

Van make and model Charge time Vehicle cost Distance in one charge
Iveco daily electric
8 hours
£100,000
174 miles
LDV EV80
7 hours
£60,000
120 miles
Nissan E-NV200
7 hours
£29,755
118 miles

If you're making a long journey, knowing where the charging points are on your route is vital.

It's also worth nothing that while batteries could take up to 12 hours to charge using a charging point at your home or workplace. Public charging points may be faster, and most also offer a rapid charge or faster charge mode.

Also, drivers should be aware that batteries likely deteriorate over time, and hold less charge over time. But batteries are generally covered by warranties and could last around 8 years in some cases.

 

How much are electric vans?

Given the technology used to power them, electric vans tend to be more expensive than their diesel counterparts.

For example, the lowest-priced model on our best electric vans list below comes in at £26,000. The most expensive on the list is almost double that at £55,000.

But it’s important to balance out the initial cost with the longer-term savings. Dan Powell says:

“Admittedly, electric vans are more expensive to buy outright compared to their diesel counterparts but there are huge long-term savings to be made on fuel and tax.

"Electric vans are also exempt from low emission zones and congestion charging.”

 

Electric van grants: what’s available?

Van grants are a major incentive. This grant saves you up to £2,500 on a small electric van and £5,000 on a large electric van.

The government announced the grants to “enable a more sustainable grant scheme” and ensure that taxpayers’ money is distributed more fairly.

The amount is usually automatically taken off the list price when you buy the van.

The government has listed the following small vans as qualifying for the scheme.

These vehicles are less than 2,500 kilograms (kg) gross vehicle weight, have CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and can travel at least 96km (60 miles) without any emissions at all:

  • Citroën e-Berlingo
  • Maxus eDeliver 3 (short wheelbase variants)
  • Nissan e-NV200
  • Nissan Voltia
  • Peugeot e-Partner
  • Renault Kangoo ZE
  • Renault Zoe Van
  • Toyota Proace City Electric
  • Vauxhall Combo-e

The government has also listed the following large vans.

These vehicles are between 2,500kg and 3,500kg gross vehicle weight, have CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and can travel at least 96km (60 miles) without any emissions at all:

  • BD Auto eTraffic
  • BD e-Boxer
  • BD e-Ducato
  • BD e-Relay
  • Citroën e-Dispatch
  • Citroën e-Relay
  • Fiat e-Ducato
  • LEVC VN5
  • MAN eTGE
  • Maxus eDeliver 3
  • Maxus eDeliver 9
  • Mercedes-Benz eVito
  • Mercedes eSprinter
  • Peugeot e-Boxer
  • Peugeot e-Expert
  • Renault Master ZE (3.1 and 3.5 tonnes)
  • Renault Trucks Master ZE
  • Toyota Proace Electric
  • Vauxhall Vivaro-e
  • Volkswagen ABT e-Transporter
  • LDV EV80

There are other company benefits too. If your company turns your fleet electric, for example, you could save on tax.

A van benefit charge is applied when an employee is given a van for private use.

This is a flat rate of £3,500 and is considered a ‘benefit in kind’ which employees are taxed on at their own rate of income tax.

However, drivers of zero-emission vans are now exempt from this charge.

You should also save on fuel benefits. The van fuel benefit charge, currently £669, works in a similar way to the van benefit charge.

It’s applied when an employee is given a van and the company pays for the fuel.

As electricity isn’t treated as fuel, this charge isn't applied on electric vans. However, this only applies if the vehicle is charged in the workplace.

 

Best electric vans 2022

Here we take a look at some of the highest-rated electric van models of 2022*.

Best small electric vans

Renault Zoe Commercial: One of the smallest electric vans available, with a load volume of 1 cubic metre, the Zoe is celebrated for having an impressive driving range. While it's certainly on the small side, its range is up to 245 miles - the highest of any other electric vans on the market. It costs from £26,000.

Nissan e-NV200: First launched in 2014, the Nissan e-NV200 is small but powerful, with a driving range of 124 miles. It’s constantly awarded for being one of the best small electric vans and is often compared to the Renault Kangoo ZE. It has a large load space for such a small van, of 4.2 cubic metres. Prices start from £26,000.

Toyota Proace City Electric: Built for Toyota by Stellantis, the Proace City has a range of 168 miles and a load volume of 3.3 to 3.9 cubic metres. It’s almost identical to the Citroen e-Berlingo, Peugeot e-Partner and Vauxhall Combo-e vans. The bonus of choosing the Proace is that you get a 10-year warranty from Toyota. It costs from £27,000.

Best medium electric vans

Volkswagen ABT e-Transporter: This electric Volkswagen van has a small range, of 82 miles, and a load volume of 6.7 cubic metres. Experts agree its range prediction is one of the most accurate. Ideal for small journeys, or city and town use, it was the first electric VW van to go on sale. Prices start at £42,000.

Maxus e Deliver 3: First launched in 2019, the Maxus has a range of 151 miles and a load volume of 4.8 cubic metres. For a medium-sized electric van, it's light - around 400kg lighter than rival-sized vans - and has a reliable range predictor. Maxus is the new name for LDV in the UK. Prices start from £34,000.

Toyota Proace Electric: As it’s made by Toyota, you get the 10-year warranty if you choose the Proace Electric, which is a huge plus point when compared to other models. It has a range of up to 205 miles and a load volume of 5.8 cubic metres. Prices start at £34,000.

Best large large electric vans

Fiat E-Ducato: Launched in 2021, the E-Ducato is one of the newest large electric vans available. It comes in a range of sizes and has a battery range of up to 175 miles. There are 2 battery pack sizes and you can choose a chassis cab or a panel van. Load volume is between 10 and 17 cubic metres. Prices start at £56,000.

Renault Master ZE / E-Tech: The Renault Master ZE was first launched in 2018 and it’s come a long way since then. Now called the Master E-Tech it has a driving range of 75 miles, so mainly suited for city and town driving. It has an impressive payload, of between 925-1,425kg and a load volume of between 8 and 13 cubic metres. It’s available in a range of styles and prices start at £54,000.

Mercedes eSprinter: It’s been around since 2019 but the eSprinter from Mercedes is frequently at the top of the charts when it comes to large electric vans. It has a range of 82 miles and a load volume of 11 cubic metres. A newer version is set to be launched next year. Prices start from £51,000.

*Prices accurate as of August 2022