Electric Commercial Vehicles Out Now and Coming
Electric commercial vehicles are coming onto the market by the bucketload. There is, of course, more and more demand for electric vans, as more businesses, both small and large, feel the impetus to drive towards a Greener future.
Both for private and commercial vehicles, there is a constantly growing demand for electric vehicles - ones that are better than their previous incarnation, are cheaper or are kitted out with everything you expect from an ICE drive (and more). When they deliver just as an ICE engine does, but without the costly carbon footprint, it’s a no-brainer to go Green.
Large city centres often impose clean air zones, so the business imperative to drive more cleanly in these areas can be a costly error to fall foul of. Due to pressure from the consumer, business incentives and punitive measures on carbon-emitting vehicles, green commercial vehicles are doubtless here to stay - and well worth early investment.
This is our list of our favourite electric commercial vehicles 2021.
Best small electric vans
There’s been movement in the small electric van market as more smaller start-ups and self-employed workers combine business with everyday driving.
Best for small car usability and impressive range
Speaking of small vans to combine work and daily driving, the Renault Zoe van is a real exemplar of this trend. Basically, a compact car with the passenger seats removed, the Zoe van is excellent to drive, quiet, and comfortable. It’s small 387kg payload, and 0.5m3 of capacity won’t fit all commercial needs, but the range will certainly keep many happy - an 80kW motor plus 52kWh battery make for a 245-mile range. For smaller carrying capacities who need a comfortable city car that can adapt to daily life and longer journeys, this is a winning option.
Best for carrying capacity at micro size
At the other end of the small van, spec is the Nissan eNV200. It offers a sizable load volume but in a small van category, great for urban deliveries. With a real-world driving range of just over 100 miles (174 official range), it can’t compete with more car-like models such as the Zoe, but it allows for maximum carrying capacity in a small, zero-emission van.
Renault Kangoo ZE
Europe’s best-selling small electric van
The latest Kangoo ZE offers a massive 70 miles more range than the previous electric Kangoo due to a new 59bhp electric motor (a variation of the one used in the Renault Zoe). With a real-world driving range of 120 miles, the Kangoo combines a car-style drive with great small van capacity. It comes as a standard-length van, the ZE Maxi (long-wheelbase version) and the ZE crew variant, which can carry up to five.
Best medium electric vans
Medium electric vans are set to explode in terms of choice, as exemplified by the imminent arrival of Ford’s electric variant of the ever-popular Transit. The PSA Group leads the way in this sector currently, with its Citroen, Peugeot and Vauxhall brands.
Maxus E Deliver 3
An engaging, zippy drive
The Maxus E Deliver 3 offers two sizes - the standard and the long-wheelbase - but it’s really the latter of these choices that offers the best ‘medium van’ spec. The standard comes in at a 4.8m3 capacity, whilst the larger wheelbase affords 6.3m3 of loadspace (with maximum payloads of 905kg and 1020kg, respectively). Capable of 150 miles, this is a ‘get the job done’ electric van to fit the bill.
Mercedes Benz E-Vito
The clever, innovative electric van
The Mercedes E-Vito is class-leading in medium-sized vans in terms of tech. Its set of regenerative braking levels almost emulate a gearbox, allowing you to slow or coast. Its 85kW motor makes for a zippy drive and offers a 93-mile range. With a payload of 1015kg and a capacity of 6m3, it delivers practically as well as aesthetically - Mercedes always comes up trumps when it comes to good-looks and reputation. It does not support quick charging (it only supports up to 7kW), so this may be a consideration if you’re looking to undertake longer distances and charge publicly rather than overnight at home/on business premises.
Best large electric vans
The large electric vans market is quite new, but there’s already hot competition. Batteries can eat into payloads, which is a challenge in the large van category, as they are already quite heavy, nearing the 3.5-tonne maximum weight limit.
Renault Master ZE
Renault’s large zero-emissions option
The Renault Master ZE fills in the blank in Renault’s EV van offering. Dominating the market in EV sales (claiming 25% of EV sales worldwide), Renault offers the Kangoo ZE as their small electric van, but this is their first large electric option. It uses much the same tech as the Kangoo and offers similar all-round appeal. The official driving range is 124 miles (with real-world range likely to be nearer 74), so it’s a great large van for city deliveries.
Mercedes Benz e-Sprinter
The Mercedes Benz e-Sprinter is a similar offering to the eVito, but is bigger. Some might even class it as a better offering, as it supports rapid charging - the lack of which might be a deal-breaker for some in the smaller eVito. It only offers one body size, but can transport up to 1045kg, in 11m3. The real-world range offered hits up to 96 miles. As ever, it comes with that quality level standard to Mercedes Benz, so although it represents a bigger investment, it can earn its keep relatively quickly and easily.
Eco-consciousness is only going to grow as the government works towards its Road to Zero plans for zero emissions by 2050. Some measures already penalise carbon emissions, and failing to move to a zero-emissions car or fleet may really hit your bottom line. If going Green is your plan for your next purchase of a commercial vehicle, take a look at Rivervale’s electric van leasing options, whether you’re in the market for a small, medium or large vehicle.
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