Everything you need to know about electric vans

As concern for environmental pollution and carbon emissions grows, businesses and private drivers are turning to electric vans as an alternative to traditionally fuelled vehicles. However, there is a lot to consider before making the initial investment in a greener vehicle, especially if an organisation is expanding their fleet. In this article, we explore everything you need to know about electric vehicles, so you can make the most informed decision for your business.


What electric vehicles are available?

There are plenty of makes and models available, which is great for those who need to consider the overall size and power of their new vehicle.

Vans

These vehicles have CO2 emissions of less than 75g/km and can travel at least 16km (10 miles) without any emissions at all, and as such are eliglble for a Government grant include:

  • BD Auto eTraffic
  • BD Auto eDucato (3.5 tonnes)
  • Citroen Berlingo
  • Mercedes-Benz eVito
  • Mitsubishi Outlander Commercial
  • Nissan e-NV200 (cargo van)
  • Peugeot ePartner
  • Renault Kangoo ZE
  • Renault Master ZE
  • LDV EV80 van
  • LDV EV80 chassis cab

The grant will pay for 20% of the purchase price for these vehicles, up to a maximum of £8,000. [Checked 11/09/2019 at https://www.gov.uk/plug-in-car-van-grants]

Larger vans and trucks

These vehicles have CO2 emissions of at least 50% less than the equivalent conventional Euro VI vehicle that can carry the same capacity. They can travel at least 16km (10 miles) without any emissions at all:

  • BD Auto eDucato (4.25 tonnes)
  • Paneltex Z75

For the first 200 orders the grant will pay for 20% of the purchase price for these vehicles, up to a maximum of £20,000. The grant will then pay for 20% of the purchase price for these vehicles, up to a maximum of £8,000.

There may be more vehicles added as manufacturers see the benefits of making these vehicles, but at the time of writing, these are the ones that can travel at least 10 miles without creating any emissions at all.


Do you get any help towards the cost?

In short, yes you can. As we have mentioned above, Government grants are available for certain vans. These vehicles have CO2 emissions of less than 75g/km. Even with the changes introduced in the 2018 Budget, the Government grant will pay 20% of the purchase price for the vehicles, up to a maximum of £8,000.


How will your business benefit from leasing an electric van?

For businesses looking to lease an electric van, the main benefits are from the tax savings and the improved environmental credentials.

For example, under Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECAs), businesses that purchase vehicles that emit less than 75g/km of CO2 (such as the vans listed above) and Ultra-Low Electric Vehicle recharging or refuelling infrastructure, are eligible for 100% of the first year allowance.

You can find out more about the taxation benefits for businesses owning an electric van in the Government’s official guidelines.

  • One 50kW rapid charger, with EVs scheduled to charge one-by-one
  • Two 22kW fast and two 3.5kW slow chargers, with vehicles in rotation
  • Ten 3.5kW slow chargers, all being used at the same time

What are the advantages of leasing an electric van?

Apart from the aforementioned taxation benefits, leasing an electric vehicle holds other benefits too. These include:

Reduced maintenance costs

Should your business lease an electric vehicle through a fleet management and leasing business such as ours, you do not have to worry about the maintenance and servicing of the vehicles.

These can be included in the fixed monthly payment, which helps to free up additional capital. Not only does this help you when budgeting for the year, it also gives you the opportunity to reinvest the savings in other areas of your business.

Reduced operating costs

Since these electric vans are considerably cheaper to run when compared to traditional diesel vehicles, the savings made by a business in fuel expenditure can be reinvested into other areas of the organisation. The engines of electric vans have fewer moving parts, which means there is a reduced chance of it breaking down, minimising the risk of unplanned downtime.

Incentives and grants

As we have previously mentioned, there are grants available that help to cover the initial purchase price of the electric van, and there are also grants available to help pay for the installation of charging infrastructure.

Your business will have to apply for the additional help, but once approved you will be issued with vouchers that provide extra support of the charging points.

Public perception of your organisation

The public is becoming increasingly focused on the environmental credentials of larger corporations, and if your business adopts electric vans before your competitors, you are going to be looked upon favourably compared to others in the market.


What do you have to consider before leasing an electric van?

As is the same with any vehicle, there are things that you need to consider before choosing one.

Weight and payload

Since the batteries in electric vans weigh more than traditional engines, this can have an impact on the van’s total payload. On the normal driving licence, employees are able to drive a vehicle that weighs up to 3.5 tonnes, but since the introduction of electric vehicles, the Government has increased this to 4.25 tonnes, to cater for the additional battery weight.

Range variance

As with all electric vehicles, the range that the manufacturer states has to be taken with a pinch of salt. There are plenty of variables that can impact the total range of the vehicles, including:

  • Total payload of the van
  • Outside temperature, EVs do not like the cold
  • Current charge and road conditions
  • Traffic and journey planning

However, as they continue to rise in popularity, the technology behind the batteries is always being developed. When it comes to the end of your vehicle lease, you have the option to hand the van back and trade it in for a newer model. Chances are that when this time comes, the technology will have evolved.

Depreciation values

Vehicles reduce in value over time, regardless of whether it is a traditional petrol or diesel model, or an electric van. This is to be expected, but when it comes to vehicle leasing, this is not something that you need to worry about.

The fleet management and vehicle leasing company will take this into consideration when they source their vehicles, but if you take out a lease you will not have to concern yourself over the reduction in resale price.


In summary...

Companies that are looking to expand into new locations and those that want to increase their output should consider leasing an electric van. The initial outlay may seem like an investment, but as more and more cities focus on cutting carbon emissions, it may be beneficial for the business.

If you would like more information on this article or would like to introduce electric vans into your own fleet, get in touch with a member of our team today. Our experienced consultants are able to source the right vehicle for your needs, at a monthly payment to suit your budget.


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Disclaimer and credits

  • The information in this article is correct as of its publication date
  • Many thanks to our partners GKL for the original article.
  • Image supplied by GKL
  • To find out more about leasing your electric cars and vans just arrange a callback on this page.