How to run a zero-emissions van

Looking to save money by purchasing a zero-emissions electric van? Read these tips before heading to the dealer

Electric vans were once associated with milk floats, but that’s no longer the case. A growing number of individuals and businesses are making the move to electric vans, as they can offer huge savings and benefits over conventional vans. Before taking the plunge, make sure you're prepared to run an electric van.

Is an electric van right for you?

If you'll use the van for work purposes, think carefully about the kind of daily driving you do. How many miles do you cover on average and do you drive mostly on motorways or in city centres?

An electric van will be ideal if your daily mileage is low and mainly done in cities or areas with lots of public charging points. Most electric vans today come with a real-world range of about 100 miles, but this can decrease when carrying heavy loads.

Where to charge your electric van?

Having a van with a full charge each morning will be important. Otherwise, you may have to waste precious work hours recharging your van. An overnight charge, done either at home or work, is the best approach.

This does mean you need to have the space and facilities to do so. You might also have to invest in a home wallbox charger. These start from around £250 for a 3kW unit, which will take around six to eight hours to charge an electric van.

Consider payloads and servicing

Another key consideration when running a zero-emissions van is payload. Electric vans currently generally have as much cargo volume as conventional vans. However, because they generally weigh more, they're not able to carry the same weight. Also note that the more you carry, the more it'll affect the range of your van.

Benefits of running a zero-emissions van

One of the big benefits is low running costs. In general, an electric van will cost around 3p per mile to run, while a conventional van costs around 12p per mile. You'll not only save on fuel, but also on vehicle tax, as electric vans are VED-exempt. You'll also save on fees like the London Congestion Charge, which costs £11.50 for any vehicle polluting more than 75g/km of CO2.