Concerns over air quality and fuel prices mean diesel may not be the best fuel choice for your next van. Dan Powell of Honest John Vans unveils his top five electric and plug-in hybrid alternatives.
Electric and hybrid commercial vehicles have come a long way over the past few years, and this means there are some excellent alternatives to the once trusty diesel van. What’s more, with fuel prices creeping up and many cities introducing urban pollution charging zones, like London’s ULEZ, these non-diesel vans could save you a packet when it comes to running costs and fuel.
The VN5 is based on the London electric taxi, can travel 61-miles on electricity alone and has a maximum payload of 830kg. However, when the battery runs out of charge, it uses a turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine to act as a generator for the battery. With a full charge and a tank of petrol, the VN5 will travel 300 miles and return up to 313mpg.
Ford Transit Custom PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle)
Britain’s best-selling van has gone green. The Transit Custom is now available as a plug-in hybrid, which combines a 1.0-litre petrol engine with an electric motor and a battery located under the loadspace floor. It can cover up to 35 miles under electric power alone and return up to 91mpg. With the batteries positioned underneath the floor, this van is just as practical as a standard Transit Custom. That means there’s a useful 6.0 cubic metres of load space in the back and a maximum payload of 1,130kg.
Renault Kangoo Z.E
Easy to use, practical and capable of travelling up to 120 miles on a single charge, the Renault Kangoo Z.E shows that you don’t have to downsize your expectations when it comes to choosing a non-diesel panel van with zero tailpipe emissions. The Kangoo Z.E is available in two load lengths – standard or maxi – and can be specified as a two-seater panel van or as a crew cab with five seats. Maximum payloads peak at 640kg and the largest models provide 4.6 cubic metres of loadspace.
Easy to drive, practical and capable of covering up to 186 miles on a single charge, the Nissan e-NV200 has lots to offer builders who want a versatile van with low running costs. The van has 4.2 cubic metres of load space and room for two Euro Pallets weighing up to 705kg. Charging is stress-free, too. Find a ‘rapid’ charging point and you’ll juice the battery from 20 to 80 per cent from flat in just 40 minutes.
The eVito is the electric van that kicks off the new 2020 range of plug-in commercial vehicles from Mercedes-Benz. Capable of covering 93 miles on a single charge, this electric medium-size van can carry payloads weighing up to 1,073kg. The eVito is available in two load lengths – long and extra long – and cargo volumes range from 6.0 to 6.6 cubic metres.
For further information on Honest John Vans visit https://vans.honestjohn.co.uk/