New electric vans coming soon

The next crop of electric vans is just around the corner. Here's what to expect in the coming months and years

More and more manufacturers are adding electric vans to their commercial-vehicle line-up. Several models - such as the Nissan e-NV200, the Peugeot ePartner and the Renault Jangoo ZE - are eligible for the Government's Plug-in Car Grant, which will take 20% off the purchase price up to a value of £8,000.

And with regular strides being made in terms of range, electric vans are beginning to make more and more sense for an increasing number of people and businesses.

Here's what to expect in the coming months and years...


LEVC plug-in hybrid van

The Coventry-based, Chinese-owned London Electric Vehicle Company – which also builds the electric London Taxi – will introduce a new plug-in electric van in the second half of 2019.

The plug-in van is expected to use a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine from sister company Volvo, as well as an additional electric motor to power the rear wheels. The same system can be found in the current LEVC London Taxi. In the taxi, this gives a pure-electric range of 80 miles, although the van’s range may be shorter.

Initially, the van will be available in just one body style: a regular medium-sized panel van with barn doors at the rear and a sliding door on the side. However, LEVC hasn’t ruled out different variants in future, while cargo space and load capacity are also unclear at the moment.

Volkswagen e-Caddy and Volkswagen e-Transporter

Earlier this year, Volkswagen revealed a two new electric vans at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover, Germany. The e-Caddy and e-Transporter will be sold alongside the current e-Crafter, with the e-Caddy the smallest in the line-up and the e-Crafter the biggest.

The e-Caddy and e-Transporter have been developed in conjunction with Formula E racing team Abt. The e-Caddy gets a 37.3kWh battery with a quoted range of 137 miles, while the 4.2 cubic metres of load space in the back mean it'll be one of the most versatile electric vans on sale.

The e-Transporter can be had with either a 37.3 or 74.6 kWh battery. This means there's a driving range of 130 or 250 miles respectively, although the scalable battery technology on board means other capacities can be included.

Also revealed was a 48-volt mild-hybrid Transporter.

Volkswagen I.D. Buzz Cargo van

Volkswagen also revealed a concept van at the Hanover Commercial Vehicle Show earlier this year. The I.D. Buzz Cargo van is a panel-van version of the I.D. Buzz people carrier, with the passenger seats removed and replaced by a racking system. Other details of the van are sparse.

Mercedes eSprinter

The eSprinter is Mercedes’ second all-electric van. It'll join the existing eVito later on and is a larger version of the Vito van. It gets the same 41kWh battery with 71 miles of range. There's also the option to fit a larger 55kWh battery pack that'll increase the range to 93 miles.

An 84kW electric motor powers the wheels, while the payload for the 41kWh version is just over 1,000kg. The larger battery takes this down to below 1,000kg.

Ford Transit PHEV

Ford is set to sell a plug-in version of its iconic Transit van next year. The Transit PHEV uses the company’s 1.0-litre three cylinder EcoBoost as a range extender for a lithium-ion battery pack that sits at between the front and rear axles.

The petrol engine is there to solely boost the car’s battery. Ford says the Transit PHEV comes with a fully electric range of 31 miles, boosted to 310 miles thanks to the petrol engine.

Other technical details are sparse at the moment, although the company has already begun a 12-month feasibility trial, after which the van will be on sale to the public.