Best electric vans 2020
Electric vans are gaining popularity as viable alternatives to the diesel-powered mainstream; perfectly suited to urban life, they can offer a quieter, cleaner and cheaper-to-run option for a range of different businesses.
Most models deliver around 100 miles of driving from a single charge, due to the fact many have smaller batteries than you'll find in electric cars – manufacturers have to make sure they don't eat into a van's load space or gross weight with battery packs. However, technology is constantly improving and electric vans continue to make a stronger case for themselves with the arrival of each new model.
The number of new electric vans on the UK market is growing. Already there are small, medium and large models available, with more on the way in 2020 and beyond. There should be something to suit every need.
Read on to find out the best new electric vans on sale right now...
Although it's based on the underpinning of a diesel van that date back to 2004, the LDV EV80 can still be a good choice for those in search of a large zero-emissions van. Like its key rival the Renault Master above, it's best suited to urban multi-drop work, with a claimed range of 119 miles that's likely to reduce significantly the faster you drive or the more you carry.
The 123bhp electric motor gives strong performance up to about 40mph, with top speed limited to 62mph – another indication of the LDV's emphasis on urban driving. Maximum charging speed is 30kW, so a top to 80% battery should take about and hour and a half. Mid and high-roof panel-van variants are offered, for cargo volumes and payloads of 10.4 cubic metres/950kg and 11.6 cubic metres/910kg respectively. Read our full review for more.
The Nissan e-NV200 is based on the original Nissan Leaf electric car, so should be a dependable workhorse for your business. The mid-sized van boasts a 40kWh battery, which provides a claimed range of 124 miles – although this will vary depending on factors such as payload and ambient temperature.
Nissan says it could cost as little as 2p per mile to run, depending on your energy tariff. It takes eight hours to charge from a standard socket, or you can top up to 80% in 30 minutes from a rapid charger.
Inside, the e-NV200 boasts a 4.2-cubic-metre load volume and a 2.4-metre long load bay, although if you specify the optional folding passenger seat, that figure grows to 2.8 metres. At 1.22 metres wide, it can carry two Euro pallets. Maximum payload is 770kg. Read our full review.
Renault Kangoo Z.E.
The Renault Kangoo Z.E. is perfectly suited to the congested streets of the UK's cities, with a footprint no larger than a family hatchback. The latest examples have a 33kWh battery, which boosts claimed range to an impressive 143 miles. Even the claimed real-world range of 124 miles is more than most will need on a daily basis.
A full charge takes six hours from a standard socket and you can use a rapid charger to take the battery to 80% in an hour. There’s a clever climate-control system that helps maintain that range, so you’ll be able to drive in comfort in extremes of heat.
Three bodystyles are available: standard, Maxi and five-seat Maxi Crew, all with a payload of 640kg. The standard version has a carrying capacity of three cubic metres, while the Maxi and Maxi Crew record 4.6 and 3.4 cubic metres respectively – the latter reduced on account of the second row of seats. Read our full review.
Renault Master Z.E.
The Renault Master Z.E. is the largest van on our list and uses the latest lithium-ion technology to ensure a competitive range. Helping make the most of every charge are features like Eco mode, which limits top speed to 50mph (rather than 62mph), which is still more than enough for round-town use.
Renault reckons you should get around 74 miles from a charge in the real world. It takes 17 hours to charge from a standard mains socket, but a more palatable six hours from a 7.4kW wallbox charger.
In total, six versions are offered, including four panel vans with two roof heights and a pair of platform cabs – ripe for myriad conversions – making this the most versatile electric van on the market. Depending on spec, they’ll handle a 1.1-tonne payload. A range of telematics and fleet-management systems are available, which will please fleet managers. Read our full review.