Best electric vans

Electric vans make perfect sense for business covering short distances on a regular basis. Here are the best

If you’re looking to carry the maximum amount of kit for the minimum cost per mile, then you can’t do better than an electric van.

And don’t think for a moment they’re not capable of hauling everything you need for a day’s work – be it parcels for delivery or building supplies – as electric vans have payloads close to their diesel equivalents. And you can expect around 100 miles from a single charge, too, so you’re not restricted to jobs around the corner.

The number of new electric vans on the market is small but growing. Already there are small, medium and large vans available, so there should be something to suit every need.

Read on to find out the best new electric vans on sale.

Nissan e-NV200

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 40kW battery, which provides a claimed range of 174 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, or four if you use a high-capacity charging point. A rapid charger is available, allowing the batteries to charge to 80% in 30 minutes. The e-NV200 is slightly longer than the diesel NV200, which improves its pedestrian safety credentials – as does a sound generator that allows the van to be heard at speeds over 30mph. Inside, the e-NV200 boasts 4.2 cubic metres of volume and a 2.4-metre 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 Europallets. Maximum payload is 770kg.

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 its range remains competitive. Helping make the most of every charge are features like Eco mode, which limits the 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 will be 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.

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 33kW battery, which boosts the claimed range to an impressive 170 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 23A socket and you can use rapid chargers 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.

Peugeot Partner Electric

Available in two wheelbase lengths, the Peugeot Partner Electric is a rival to the Kangoo Z.E. Like that model, it’s ideal for round-town use, and Peugeot claims a range of 106 miles on a charge. Its 695kg payload is slightly more than the Kangoo, so what it loses on range, it makes up for with capacity.

The standard wheelbase, referred to as L1, has a load volume of 3.3 cubic metres, while the longer L2 version sees that grow to 3.7 cubic metres. The Partner can be ordered with a split-folding passenger seat for longer loads. There’s no solid bulkhead, which means you’ll hear your cargo moving around as you drive.