For many businesses, electric vans have shifted from being a niche product to a serious consideration. Combining the usual practicality you would expect from a van with extremely low running costs, the sums quickly add up for businesses both small and large. In light of this, we’ve put together a list of some of the best electric vans available in 2021.
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits, range, costs and charging times of electric vans beforehand, you can also read our Guide to Electric Vans.
Best Electric Vans 2021
It should some as no surprise that the EV LCV market is growing fast – helped by a number of new models that offer a useful driving range with large load capacity – and there is now a selection of electric vans to suit many businesses.
Load areas and payloads are typically the same or similar to diesel-powered counterparts, and electric driving ranges for plug-in LCVs will comfortably cover many daily mileages. From ‘last-mile’ delivery specialists to long-range electric workhorses, this is our round-up of the UK’s best electric vans 2021.
Citroen e-Dispatch / Peugeot e-Expert / Vauxhall Vivaro-e
Three brands, three badges, three practically identical vans. The Citroen e-Dispatch, Peugeot e-Expert, and Vauxhall Vivaro-e share the same platform, powertrain, and much of the bodywork, as all come under the PSA Group umbrella. As such, picking between the three largely comes down to preference on style and any deals going.
Featuring a range of almost 200 miles on a charge, the Citroen, Peugeot, and Vauxhall electric vans are available with a choice of two battery sizes and a variety of body sizes.
Payload is rated at around one tonne, and charging has been comprehensively thought through by the engineers. The on-board charger can charge at up to 11 kW AC, whilst ultra-rapid 100 kW DC charging is available to allow for quick turnarounds – essential for those racking up a high daily mileage.
Citroen e-Berlingo / Peugeot e-Partner
As early entrants into the electric van market, the Berlingo Electric and Partner Electric were, until recently, starting to show their age against newer models. However, second-generation models change all that.
Featuring the same powertrain as available in electric cars from Peugeot, Citroen, Vauxhall, and DS, the e-Berlingo and e-Partner use a 50 kWh battery and 100 kW electric motor for drive. This allows for a range of up to 171 miles on a charge.
Added to this are the charging specifications, including the option of an 11 kW AC on-board charger and standard 100 kW DC capabilities, via the CCS inlet. The useful range and quick charging times mean Peugeot and Citroen – particularly combined with the e-Expert and e-Dispatch above – have a very strong showing in the electric LCV market, and a deserved place in our round-up of 2021’s best electric vans.
Mercedes Benz eSprinter
The forthcoming Mercedes Benz eSprinter showcases electric powertrain technology in a large van. Set to be available with a choice of battery sizes, and a strong contender in our line up of best electric vans, the popular Sprinter is sure to find favour with customers wanting to go electric, but without cutting down on load area.
A choice of two battery options will be available, with the larger providing a range of a little over 100 miles on a charge, and the smaller reducing that to around 70 miles.
However, the latter offers a larger payload, allowing buyers to pick between range or payload depending on priorities. Rapid charging is fitted to keep mid-use recharging times down to less than that of a lunch break.
Mercedes Benz eVito
Sharing a familiar set-up with the rest of the popular Vito range, the Mercedes Benz eVito is available in a choice of two body sizes. The battery Mercedes provides for the electric version offers a range of up to 93 miles under official tests.
Charging is possible at 7.4 kW for a full top-up in around six hours, though there is no rapid charging capability. Payloads are a little under 1,000 kg for both versions, with only 25 kg difference between the two.
Like Nissan’s Leaf, the Nissan e-NV200 is a pioneer in the electric van market. Despite having been on sale since 2014, Nissan has upgraded the e-NV200 over the years, and it now features the same powertrain as the 40 kWh Leaf.
That gives a range of 124 miles on a single charge, with charging available at either 7 kW AC on fast points, or 50 kW DC rapid units.
A recent addition to the line-up expands choice with a high-roof / longer-wheel base specification, while Nissan also offers the e-NV200 as a car in MPV form.
Renault Kangoo ZE
Another early entrant to the electric vehicle market, the Renault Kangoo ZE also shows its age compared to newer models. However, with updates over the years from Renault, and the benefit of a lower purchase cost, the Kangoo ZE – like the similarly sized Citroen / Peugeot offerings above – could suit some businesses down to the ground, and so remains firmly on our list of best electric vans.
Making use of the Renault Zoe’s electric powertrain developments, the Kangoo ZE can cover up to 143 miles on a charge, and will take up to five hours on a 7 kW fast unit to top-up.
Renault Master ZE
Renault’s latest electric LCV is a large panel van with a range of 124 miles on a charge. Available in three lengths and two body styles, the Master ZE is a flexible vehicle, and can even be specified as a platform cab for customisation options.
There is no rapid charging capability, though fast charging at 7 kW is possible, fully-recharging the 33 kWh battery in around six hours.
Renault Twizy Cargo
Certainly not for everyone, the Renault Twizy Cargo takes out the rear seat in the electric quadricycle and replaces it with a small load area. Not really practical for much more than takeaway deliveries or small packages, the Twizy Cargo is an alternative to a scooter, with better protection from the elements.
Sharing the rest of its specifications with the passenger-focused Twizy, Renault provides a range of around 50 miles on a charge, which will take about three and a half hours via the tethered three-pin plug kept up front.
Renault Zoe Van
Renault’s popular electric supermini has been given the LCV treatment, with the rear seats replaced with a flat load area, and a bulkhead added. It’s not a large van, but certainly a competitor in the compact LCV market.
Of course, being based on the Zoe car underpinnings, the ZOE Van has the same excellent range available. A range of 245 miles on a charge will be more than enough for most potential buyers each day, and there’s the option of 50 kW DC charging available too.
Volkswagen’s e-Crafter looks to offer all the practicality of the normal Crafter large panel van, with an electric powertrain. As such, payloads of between 1,000 kg and 1,750 kg are available depending on specification.
Range is a little over 100 miles on a charge, with 7 kW fast AC charging and 40 kW DC rapid charging possible. This keeps charging times down to 40 minutes on a rapid unit, adding another 80% to the range.
Sharing a number of components with the e-Golf, VW’s e-Crafter has been subjected to real-world trials before general release, and is designed for urban operators or those with local routes.
VW’s eTransporter is the pure-electric version of the ever popular Transporter panel van. Developed with tuning/racing firm ABT – the company that runs Audi’s works Formula E team – the eTransporter features a range of up to 82 miles on a charge.
Fast AC charging at 7 kW and rapid DC charging at 50 kW means the eTransporter is a flexible electric LCV for last-mile deliveries and local drops.
Two different body styles are on offer, and the electric VW van has a one tonne payload rating.
We hope you’ve found our round-up of the best electric vans helpful. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits, range, costs and charging times of electric vans, you can also read Zap-Map’s Guide to Electric Vans.