With the increasing focus on sustainability and the transition towards electric vehicles, small electric vans are in high demand among UK fleets in 2023, for a variety of reasons.
Electric vans are environmentally friendly as they produce zero emissions, reducing the carbon footprint and improving air quality in urban areas. They are allowed to enter low or zero-emission zones in cities, making them an ideal choice, especially for deliveries in busy areas. With the charging infrastructure improving over time, small electric vans offer a cost-effective solution as the cost per mile is considerably lower compared to diesel or petrol vans. Thanks to the design with fewer moving parts, there is also little to no maintenance required. They also provide ease of driving and parking in congested cities due to their compact size and are often easier to manoeuvre in tight spaces. Moreover, a smaller cargo area will result in less chance of load damage during transit, thus providing greater safety for both the driver and the items at the back of the van.
Overall, a small electric van is a smart choice for any company looking to electrify its fleet. The good news is that most commercial vehicle brands offer electric versions of their small diesel vans, so there’s no shortage of EV models. However, if you’re upgrading to an electric van for the first time, it can be tricky to pick the one that works for you. In this guide, we will explore some of the best small electric vans available in the market today, so you can choose the most suitable model for your business needs.
1. Citroen e-Berlingo
The Citroen e-Berlingo is an all-electric version of the multi-award-winning and Royal Mail favourite Berlingo small van. This fully electric model features a powerful 136hp electric motor and offers an official driving range of approximately 170 miles on a fully charged battery. The e-Berlingo van offers the flexibility of two different body lengths to cater to various requirements. When it comes to its payload capacity, this compact electric van has the capability to transport heavy loads weighing up to 803kg, making it a dependable option. By reading the rest of this article, you’ll discover that small electric vans typically offer similar payload and range, but what really makes the Citroen Berlingo electric stand out from the crowd is its great value for the money. If you need a small electric van, this one definitely should be on the top of your list.
2. Peugeot e-Partner
For years, businesses of all sizes have placed their trust in the reliable Peugeot Partner. Now, they can take the next step towards a greener future with the all-electric e-Partner, a van that operates without pipeline emissions. With a driving range of up to 171 miles and a payload capacity of up to 800kg, the e-Partner is an excellent alternative to the Citroen e-Berlingo. While these vans share many similarities, the e-Partner distinguishes itself with a bespoke dashboard, featuring the innovative i-Cockpit layout from Peugeot’s passenger cars. This unique configuration incorporates an unusually small steering wheel, allowing for clear visibility of the instruments without obstruction. This not only offers a contemporary and sporty vibe but also ensures the same level of comfort as a car. Speaking of comfort, the e-Parther is unbeatable in that aspect.
3. Vauxhall Combo Cargo Electric
Combo Electric combines the trusted reliability and practicality of the legendary Combo Cargo, the smallest in the Vauxhall range, with a fully electric drivetrain. This means an emission-free, comfortable, and well-equipped working tool. With two body lengths available and no sacrifices on specs, the Combo-e Pro model boasts impressive features such as air conditioning, satellite navigation, cruise control, and rear parking sensors. Despite its 800kg load capacity and 175-mile driving distance on par with rivals like e-Berlingo and e-Partner, the electric Vauxhall Combo has a marginally higher price tag. However, the Combo Electric comes with a powerful charging option included as a basic feature, with rapid charging available on all models. This allows you to connect to a public charging station that offers 100kW fast charging and charge your vehicle from 0 to 80% in only 30 minutes.
4. Renault Kangoo E-Tech
The Renault Kangoo, originally introduced over a decade ago, experienced a surge in popularity just prior to the pandemic, becoming a highly sought-after EV in the market. The latest Kangoo model, the E-Tech, has already garnered significant praise from industry experts. This small electric van offers an impressive official range of up to 186 miles, ensuring emission-free driving. If you plan to charge the battery at home overnight, it takes approximately 5 hours and 40 minutes to achieve a full charge using a 7kW charger. The van can carry up to 764kg, while two rear and two side doors give you easy access for loading and unloading. The Kangoo Electric makes the ideal choice if you’re looking for a small electric van with a lighter payload for efficient travel across motorways and city streets.
5. Nissan Townstar EV
The Nissan Townstar EV is the latest addition to the world of zero-emission LCVs as a direct successor to the well-known e-NV200. This small electric van boasts a generous payload capacity of up to 800kg, ensuring both practicality and efficiency. Furthermore, the Townstar EV comes in two body lengths to accommodate different business needs. It also offers a cargo-carrying capacity ranging from 3.3 to 4.3 cubic meters, providing ample space to transport goods. Even the short wheelbase version has enough room for two Euro pallets, demonstrating the versatility of the all-electric NissanTownstar. It’s the best small electric van if you’re worried about range. It can go up to 183 miles between charges – the longest range on this list.
6. Toyota Proace City Electric
The award-winning Toyota Proace City Electric shares many features with other small electric vans on the market due to a commercial agreement between Toyota and Stellantis, the group manufacturing the Berlingo, Partner, and Combo. The Proace City EV offers an 800kg payload capacity and a decent driving range of up to 161 miles. There are also three driving modes (Eco, Normal, and Performance). As well as standard coverage, if you service your van at a Toyota dealer annually, you can benefit from the extended warranty until the van’s tenth birthday (up to a 100,000-mile limit). While the Toyota Proace costs more than some of the other best small electric vans, Toyota’s remarkable warranty makes it all worth the extra money.
Best small electric vans FAQs
Small electric vans usually have a range of 150 to 200 miles. However, factors such as driving conditions, weather, and payload weight can influence the actual figures.
The charging duration for a small e-van is determined by factors such as battery size, charger output, onboard charger rating, and whether you’re using home AC or public DC. Generally, an overnight home charge can completely recharge the van in as little as 6 hours, whereas a public point with a DC charger can achieve an 80 % charge in as little as 30 minutes.
The cost of charging an electric van can vary based on several factors. This includes your home tariff, as some providers offer cheaper charging rates during off-peak hours. Additionally, the cost of using public charge points may be higher compared to charging at home.
The payload capacity of small electric vans may be reduced compared to small diesel vans due to the added weight of the battery. The exact difference in payload capacity can vary depending on the specific make and model of the vehicles. However, you should expect approx 150-200kg difference in a small van.
Small electric vans are capable of towing, but the towing capacity can vary depending on the specific model. While some small electric vans may have a lower towing capacity compared to their diesel counterparts, there are electric vans available that can tow significant loads.
Small electric vans can be suitable for various types of businesses and industries, especially those that involve local or short-distance operations, such as delivery services and last-mile logistics. The compact size and maneuverability of small electric vans make them ideal for navigating urban environments and congested areas where larger vehicles may face challenges.