Electric Vans: Can They Do the Job?

White Vauxhall vivaro-e van at angle facing right

Here at EV Sales we have been fortunate to be able to sell a large number of electric vans to our customers. We love electric vans as much as we love the electric cars that go through our doors. 

Unfortunately, you do still see a reluctance by some to make the switch to electric vans due to misconceptions or misinformation. These points include a worry about the range of the vehicle, the time to charge the vehicle, and locations to charge the vehicle. 

In this blog I will address these concerns by discussing the electric van models we either currently have for sale or have sold in the last couple of years and seeing just how practical they are.

Renault Kangoo

The Renault Kangoo comes through our doors quite often and it is a fantastic small electric van. I have decided to start with the Kangoo as it has the shortest range of all the vans we have seen, yet it has a great pedigree as a work van and should not be discounted so quickly.

Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way early on. The Renault Kangoo, at least the ones we have sold, has a real world range of around 100 miles. On first viewing, particularly for anyone who is not used to electric vehicles, this may seem like a low number. But is it really?

The average daily commute, for example, is less than 20 miles. In a work van your mileage will probably be a bit longer than this. However, it is incredible when people say they need a van with a range of 400 miles? This may be what you are used to but it isn’t necessary. The distance from Central Kent to Cardiff in Wales is only 200 miles. Ask yourself “do I really need a vehicle that will take me from Southeast England to South Wales in one go?” I’m guessing that nearly everyone will answer no to this question.

Red Renault Kangoo

Addressing the Charging of Electric Vans

Charging speeds depend on the type of electric van you have, how big the battery is and how much you need to charge the vehicle. It is time to rethink the need to fully charge. An optimal level for any electric vehicle is actually 80% charge.

Renault Kangoo: Sticking with the Renault Kangoo, the slowest of all the vans, and the only one that doesn’t offer rapid charging. If you were to charge from 0-100% in one go (very unlikely) it would take up to 5 hours using a 22kW charger. However, and more realistically, if you say you wanted to charge from 30% to 80% it would be at around the 2 hour mark. This is still very slow when compared to our other vans, but it is certainly an acceptable speed.

Vauxhall Combo-e: This vehicle is a much faster charging electric van. Able to take rapid charging speeds of up to 100kW, the Combo-e is capable of charging from 15-80% in around 25 minutes. This is the time it may take you to get a cup of coffee and have a comfort break at a service station.

Vauxhall Vivaro-e: This is the quickest charging van of all those we have seen come and go through our doors. Able to rapid charge at speeds of up to 150kW, the Vauxhall Vivaro-e is capable of charging 15-80% in just 20 minutes. Pretty hard to argue against that really.

Vauxhall Combo-e

The Combo-e is a mid-sized electric work van that has a real world range of up to 145 miles, which is pretty good. As it is a mid-sized vehicle it will have a smaller capacity for battery underneath.

There is plenty of room for tools, goods or even a Euro pallet in the cargo area. The maximum payload is 751kg, the load length is 3.44 metres and the load volume is a pretty good 4.4 cubic metres.

Vauxhall Vivaro-e

Without a doubt the van that we see come and go through our gates most of all is the Vauxhall Vivaro-e electric van. A full sized work van that has an excellent load capacity and also offers a great performance.

There is a real world range of around 175 miles which is absolutely fantastic. To give you an idea of just how far this is, you can travel from the EV Sales Head Office in Kent to north of Hull, Cullompton in Devon, or even past Cardiff in Wales. That is quite a colossal distance.

This is a proper hard-working van that has proven to be a reliable companion. Cargo-wise you can expect a payload of up to 1,002kg, a load length of 2.8 metres and a load volume of 9.8 cubic metres. There is enough room in the rear to fit 2 Euro pallets, tools or any other cargo. The Vauxhall Vivaro-e truly is a great van for everyday use.

A white Vauxhall Vivaro-e van facing left

A Few Final Words

You can see that electric vans have a real world practicality. Sometimes it is our thinking that needs to change. Yes, there will be vans coming in the future that will have longer ranges. I’m sure that we will eventually see electric vans that can double the distance of any current petrol or diesel van, yet it isn’t necessary. There are over 40,000 electric charge points in the UK and more are being built all the time. A visit to Zap Map will show you just where they are near wherever you may be.

Visit our website to check out what vans we currently have available. Maybe you would like one of the fantastic electric cars we have available as well.