Electric van tax explained

Fully electric cars are exempt from paying Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) road tax, but how does the law apply to electric vans? We investigate

Renault Kangoo electric van charging

Vehicle Excise Duty, or road tax, applies to any vehicle registered for road use in the UK. How much tax you have to pay depends on many factors, including whether the vehicle you own is a passenger car or a van (also known a light commercial vehicle, or LCV).

If you own a van, the amount of tax you have to pay also depends on whether or not it's a zero-emissions electric van. For clarification, a van is a light commercial vehicle with a maximum gross weight of 3,500kg.

Currently available electric vans include the Citroen Berlingo Electric, Nissan e-NV200, Peugeot Partner Electric and Renault Kangoo Z.E. (pictured above).

For cars, VED is based on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions measured from the tailpipe. In short, the more a car pollutes, the more it's taxed. However, for vans, the law works slightly differently. Instead of a progressive rate, LCVs are charged a flat rate, which depends on when your van was first registered.

New vans are charged at £260 a year, while vans registered between 1 March 2003 and 31 December 2006 pay £140 a year. The same £140 fee also applies to vans registered between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2010.

Electric van road tax

If you own a fully electric car, you don't pay any VED and the same applies for fully electric vans. This is because the Government has given van buyers the same incentives to go green as it has car buyers. This means annual road tax for all fully electric, zero-emissions vans is £0.

However, it’s important to note the discount only applies for fully electric vans. Plug-in hybrid vans, such as the Ford Transit Hybrid, still have to pay the annual £260 fee.