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Why choose electric or hybrid vans?

As concerns and regulations surrounding environmental pollution continue to grow, more and more businesses are moving towards electrified commercial vehicles. But it's not just for environmental reasons that they're making the switch: from lower running costs to Government incentives, electric and even hybrid vans can make a real difference to how much you're spending to keep your business moving.

Electric vehicles are an increasingly growing market, with many more models introduced every year. That means there's more variety and choice to suit a wide range of drivers. Plus, with the UK's infrastructure to support EVs growing too, owning an electric van has never been more convenient and therefore appealing to businesses.

Easy driving experience

Save on Fuel

Save on Road Tax

Easy charging at more than 15,000 points, or from the comfort of home

Better for the environment

Improves business image

Electric vs hybrid

What's the difference? Electric and hybrid vehicles are still relatively new to our roads, so there's still a few misconceptions about what the differences are between them. Here's a quick comparison:

Electric Vehicle

An electric van uses an electrical engine that needs to be 'charged' before you can put it to work. The battery is the only source of power these vehicles need, but that's not to say they're lacking in performance! They do better than many of their petrol / diesel counterparts when it comes to BHP, mileage and tech features.

Hybrid Vehicle

A hybrid van is a great choice for your business, if you're not ready to go fully electric. It combines a battery with a petrol/diesel engine - the battery powers your shorter commutes, and the petrol/diesel kicks in for those longer-distance jobs that involve motorway drives. The van charges itself as you drive, so there's no need to use charging stations... just drive as you usually would and save on fuel!

Elctric Vehicle

It drives like an automatic, so there are no gears to worry about - just put your foot on the pedal and go! Not only that, but it's much kinder to the environment as you're emitting 50% fewer greenhouse gasses when compared to traditional vans - and ZERO direct emissions.

Hybrid Vehicle

There's a choice of manual or automatic transmission, so that's up to you! But either way, you will definitely notice a much quieter and smoother ride, as the battery takes some of the load - meaning your gas engine doesn't need to work as hard. You'll also notice that your fuel consumption is dramatically reduced.

Elctric Vehicle

Electric vans have a variety of benefits that could make a busy work's schedule just that little bit easier! Not only are they better for the environment, they are quiet, low maintenance, cheaper to run and very responsive on the road. Sounds ideal!

Hybrid Vehicle

If hybrid vans have caught your eye, we aren't surprised! With incentives like lower Road Tax, not to mention the fact they're more economical, lightweight and they reduce carbon emissions! Regenerative braking means your van charges itself as you drive. Perfect!

Electric Vehicle

Electric vans are ideal if you tend to commute shorter distances, have off road parking to charge it overnight and want to contribute to reducing your business's overall carbon emissions. With the ever-growing number of charging points popping up all over the country, you'll never find yourself short of zap!

Hybrid Vehicle

Because hybrids offer better mileage and have higher range, they're a great option if you tend to do a lot of motorway driving. The performance of a hybrid may not be the speediest but if you are looking to save some money, they are certainly more economical! Businesses who don't have off road parking or easy access to charging points will find hybrids a dream!

Electric & hybrid vans - More choice at Vertu Motors

More and more van manufacturers are expanding their electric and hybrid line-ups, with new options hitting the market all the time! The choice is growing rapidly and already includes vans from the likes of Citroen, Ford, Nissan, Peugeot, Renault, Toyota, Vauxhall and more. You're sure to discover an electric alternative to a model you know and love:

New Electric Vans

New Hybrid Vans


Are electric vans cheaper to run?

Understandably, electric vans are cheaper to run than fuel-fed alternatives - the cost per mile is considerably lower.

For instance, the Citroen Berlingo Electric costs 2-3p per mile to run on average - that's less than £2 per 40 miles. Comparing that to the cost of 40 miles of fuel makes the decision to switch a no-brainer.

With electric vans, maintenance costs are also reduced. Notably, there's fewer moving parts inside EVs - there's no pistons pumping up and down, no oil to change and no clutch in the gearbox to wear out. Due to the electric van's braking effectiveness, you'll even find your brake pads and discs lasting longer too!

What incentives are available for those who choose to switch?

The Government has various schemes in place to encourage the sale of electric vehicles over none-electric; their current plug-in vehicle grant applies to vans as well as cars. The plug-in grant applies at the time of purchase and is given as a discount off the purchase price of the van.

From 18 March 2021 the government will provide grants of up to £3,000 for small vans (less than 2,500 kg gross vehicle weight) and up to £6,000 for large vans (between 2,500 kg and 3,500 kg gross vehicle weight). The vehicle must also have an electric range of at least 70 miles.

With an electric commercial vehicle, you can also expect reduced tax burdens for both business and private use. In addition, there's even grants available to put towards the cost of purchasing and installing workplace chargers.

Other incentives include benefitting from free parking in some areas, exemption from London's Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) charge and even free EV charging at some public parking destinations.

What about the added weight of a battery to my van?

Whilst the additional weight that comes with housing an electric battery isn't really an issue for smaller vans, it's more of a potential problem for larger vans. Because they're heavier, some of the larger electric vans out there do come with a lower range, which could be impacted further if the van is fully loaded.

In terms of overall van weight, the legal maximum gross vehicle weight (GVW) for a standard UK driving licence is 3.5 tonnes, with many large vans already using every kilogram of this allowance.

Since the basic weight of battery-powered electric vehicles is typically more than that of a vehicle powered by a diesel engine, this leaves less capacity for payload and reduces the amount of stuff you can legally carry with that 3.5 tonne limit.

Thankfully, the Government has countered this by allowing standard car licence holders to drive electric vans weighing up to 4.25 tonnes, a process that has been labelled the 'alternative fuel payload derogation'. This extra weight allowance compensates for the extra heft of the electric technology, so all-in-all an electric van will still be able to match a diesel equivalent for carrying ability.

Our prediction is that manufacturers will use the updated weight allowance to increase the number of batteries on board their electric commercial vehicles, therefore increasing their mile range too!

Will I have enough range for day-to-day work?

Most electric sceptics would cite range as being their main concern - running out of juice whilst on the job would be less than ideal!

Although it's true you won't get as far on a full charge as you would with a full tank, most ranges available with modern electric vans far surpasses the miles covered in the average working day. If your van does cover more ground than most, you will need to consider plugging it in at some point.

Thankfully, manufacturers are listening to driver's concerns and have worked hard to develop new technology to increase this. For instance, Nissan's reliable and hardworking e-NV200 delivers an impressive range of up to 174 miles, making it the ideal option if your business sees long distance journeys regularly.

We also can't forget to mention the growing number of rapid public chargers. Need to add a quick 30 miles to your battery? No problem. Take a quick coffee break whilst plugged into a rapid charger, and you'll be on your way in no time.

What's electric van performance like?

Many say that electric vans are much simpler and more enjoyable to drive, which bodes well when it becomes your office.

When it comes down to it, you press the accelerator to go and you brake (or simply lift off) to stop. There's no changing gear and you'll find they're incredibly nippy around town because electric motors deliver instant torque.

For those that want something completely confident on the road, the Ford e-Transit offers a maximum power option of 198kW, equivalent to a staggering 269hp. This delivers about 430Nm of torque, delivering an entirely impressive performance.

All-in-all, you can expect a smooth and relaxing drive in any electric van; apart from a distant hum of power, electric motors are virtually silent.

Still an electric sceptic?

Come and test drive one for yourself - we think you'll be surprised!


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