Top 10 best electric vans 2023
Electric vans make perfect sense for businesses of all types, and the competition is hotting up fast. Here are our picks for the best zero-emissions workhorses you can buy right now
Electric vans boast a number of advantages over diesel-powered alternatives: they’re often cheaper to run, are exempt from the London Congestion Charge (until 2025 at least) and other clean-air zone charges being established in UK cities, and offer a more relaxing and refined driving experience. So why don’t more people drive them?
Well, some early examples of electric vans were hasty conversions from combustion-engined models and often struggled to cover more than around 100 miles on a charge. But manufacturers have stepped up their game significantly since, with closer to 200 miles or more now being the norm, and the latest models featuring technology just as impressive as the best electric passenger cars on sale.
The Stellantis Group currently dominates the market in terms of offerings, selling essentially identical models under the Citroen, Peugeot, Fiat and Vauxhall badges. However, Ford and Volkswagen’s latest electric vans won big in the 2023 DrivingElectric Awards, plus Renault, Nissan and Mercedes are all looking to get in on the action soon. Here are our top picks – in no particular order – for the best electric vans on sale in the UK in 2023…
Best electric vans on sale now
The Citroen e-Berlingo arrived in 2021 as a successor to the pioneering but by-then quite outdated Berlingo Electric, which had been on sale since 2013. It uses the same underpinnings as Citroen's e-C4 family hatchback, so it offers a refined, car-like driving experience, as well as decent 171-mile range, fast charging speeds and up to 4.4 cubic metres of load space.
Sitting above the e-Berlingo in Citroen's zero-emissions range is the e-Dispatch. It competes with its identical sisters the Fiat E-Scudo, Peugeot e-Expert, Toyota Proace Electric and Vauxhall Vivaro Electric in the medium van category, offering up to 6.1 cubic metres of load space and a choice of two battery sizes – 50 or 75kWh – for claimed driving ranges of 143 or 211 miles respectively. A variety of body sizes are available, as well as trim levels that come with a host of car-like on-board information and safety technology.
The E-Doblo is the nearly identical sister van to the e-Berlingo above. The e-Doblo’s one-box shape provides lots of cargo space and is available in L1, L2 and Crew Van body styles, with the L2 version offering up to 4.4 cubic metres of space. The 50kWh battery is the only one available, but it does offer a competitive 175 miles of range and it’s coupled with 100kW rapid charging capability. Fiat Professional's 555 package is also available for the e-Doblo, which bundles five years of warranty, servicing and roadside assistance cover into a single affordable package.
Until the Ford E-Transit showed up, the Fiat E-Ducato was the go-to choice if you needed a load volume in the 10 to 17 cubic-metre range from your electric van. It's quite expensive, especially when equipped with the larger 79kWh battery needed to hit the maximum 230-mile range figure, but it has all the practicality and connectivity features needed to be a highly dependable workhorse. The E-Transit has a few extra tricks up its sleeve, but the E-Ducato can still hold its own against the Blue Oval’s best.
The E-Scudo mid-size electric van isn’t a bespoke Fiat like the larger E-Ducato. Instead, it’s a rebadged version of the Citroen e-Dispatch, Toyota Proace Electric and Vauxhall Vivaro Electric, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For a start, you get the same choice of two batteries – 50kWh or 75kWh – for claimed driving ranges of 141 miles and 202 miles respectively, plus 100kW rapid-charging capability. There are also clever storage solutions throughout the cabin, while the long-wheelbase version boasts 6.1 cubic metres of cargo space, a one-tonne payload and one-tonne towing capacity.
The one you’ve all been waiting for: the Ford E-Transit. The first of five zero-emissions vans from the Blue Oval, the E-Transit features a 68kWh battery and an electric motor sourced from the Mustang Mach-E SUV that drives the rear wheels. The E-Transit has a claimed maximum range of 196 miles from a fully charged battery, and charges at up to 115kW, which is more than twice as fast as the E-Ducato. Additional technology on offer includes adaptive cruise control and what Ford calls a ‘ProPower Onboard’ panel for powering tools, lights, laptops and conversions such as refrigeration units. Maximum cargo space on offer is 15.1 cubic metres, and it’s significantly cheaper than its E-Ducato rival, too.
Toyota Proace Electric
Toyota isn't part of the Stellantis Group, but it does have a licence to rebadge some of the European giant's commercial vehicles, offering yet another spin on the Citroen, Fiat, Peugeot and Vauxhall models elsewhere on this list. While its vans are identical mechanically, Toyota sets itself apart by offering a 10-year warranty, as long as the van continues to be serviced by a franchised dealer. Depending on how you buy and use your vans, this could be quite the benefit.
Toyota Proace City Electric
The Proace City Electric is Toyota's compact electric van, produced under the same agreement as the larger Proace Electric above. As a sister model to the Citroen e-Berlingo, Fiat E-Doblo, Peugeot e-Partner and Vauxhall Combo Cargo Electric, it offers the same benefits as those models, including a circa-170-mile range and 100kW rapid charging, plus the kind of driving experience, interior quality an on-board technology you'd expect from a small passenger car.
Vauxhall Vivaro Electric
Vauxhall launched the Vivaro-e electric van in late 2020. It made an immediate impression, making other medium-sized electric vans on sale at the time such as the Volkswagen eTransporter and Mercedes eVito seem decidedly second-rate. Re-badged in 2022, the Vivaro Electric is identical under the metal to the Citroen e-Dispatch, Fiat E-Scudo and Toyota Proace Electric that also feature on this list, and is offered the same choice of 50kWh or 75kWh batteries for a 143 or 205-mile driving range respectively. Cargo volume is unchanged compared to the diesel Vivaro, at 5.3 cubic metres in the L1 and 6.1 cubic metres in the L2, but the electric model can't quite match the diesel's maximum payloads, managing about 200kg less in all instances.
Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo
Winner of our Best Medium Electric Van Award for 2023, the Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo is an exceptionally talented EV. As well as lovable retro styling, the ID. Buzz Cargo boasts a practical load bay that can accommodate two Euro pallets, class-leading 256-mile range and fast charging tech that not only puts it ahead of other mid-size electric vans on the market, and means this is a van you buy with your heart as well as your head. A modern successor to the old Type 2 has been a long time coming, but it’s been very much worth the wait.
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