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Electric Vans – Fad or the Future?

The transport and logistics industry must ensure that they remain current with evolving and developed technology that they have access to. Additionally, the industry must also ensure they are trading in line with government initiatives and policies. All of this begs the question – are electric vans the future, or are they just the current fad destined to dissipate with time?

Companies that utilise employed drivers to deliver goods and services will always practice in the most profitable way, and with the rising cost of fuel, electric vehicles present themselves as the only logical progression to protect profits and remain compliant with government standards, but should they invest in electric?

EV Background

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are at an all-time high in terms of popularity as fuel prices continue to hike, but few know that they have been in development for over a century! Due to recent innovations and industry progressions regarding battery quality and sustainability, EVs have emerged as the hot new topic in the automotive industry. Almost every car manufacturer seems to place a real focus on the development and manufacture of EVs. Simply, high-powered battery power the car, with no need for any fuels such as petrol or diesel. This alone has prompted more people to take EVs seriously, but some are still reluctant to jump into the world of EVs due to several drawbacks.

Van drivers, and in particular couriers, have paid the closest attention to the development of electric vans as an industry that naturally covers a lot of ground. Of course, a fuel price rise means so much more to the transport and logistics industry, and profit takes a hit during those periods of peak pricing.

Benefits of Electric Vans

Fuel

Electric vehicles have many benefits to offer the driver or company that uses them, with the obvious benefit being the break away from fuel reliance. To help you visualise the savings, here is an example of a small electric courier van compared to its diesel counterpart.

A Renault Kangoo ZE (EV) boasts a range of 170miles from a single charge of its 33kwh battery. A single charge from a domestic charging point would cost you £4.13 at the standard charge rate of 12.50p per kWh.

With fuel currently averaging at £1.80 per litre, it would cost you around the £20 mark on the equivalent diesel vehicle to achieve the same distance of 170 miles.

So, the estimated saving on this example is in excess of £15.

Of course, this is a very rudimentary example, and this will differ from van to van, but electric is cheaper than diesel or petrol at the moment, mile-to-mile, and there are no signs of this reversing.

Eco-Friendliness

This is a simple one – electric vans are kinder to the planet than diesel or petrol vans as they do not emit Carbon Dioxide or Nitrogen Dioxide into the environment, thus reducing the environmental impact. The UK have a commitment to reach carbon neutrality by the year 2050, and if they are to achieve this goal, they will have no choice but to remove fuel cars from the roads.

Government Backing

Potentially the most important point on this list of benefits is the fact that the UK government are backing it to the hilt. There are already a number of government-backed schemes designed to increase the number of electric vehicles on the road, and they’ve even implemented congestion charges in London that electric vans are exempt from.

Disadvantages of Electric Vans

Cost

While the cost of running an electric van is cheaper than traditional cars, the cost of the vehicles is significantly more expensive, especially for companies looking to invest in fleets of electric vans.

Infrastructure

Electric vans are a new technology to the world whether they have been in development for over 100 years or not. Simply put, if you purchase an electric vehicle, you must either rely on the public charging points in your area or invest in the equipment yourself for a home charge point. There are government initiatives to assist with the payment of domestic and business charge points, but significant investment is still required.

Charge Time & Range

An average electric van will achieve around 170 miles per full charge, with the very top end achieving no more than 250 miles. A diesel van with a full tank will boast a range of close to 500 miles. Another important point is that it takes an electric van around 1 hour to charge from empty to full at a public rapid charge point, with it taking around 5-6 hours at a home charge point. For some, this just doesn’t fit in with business models, and the downtime required proves disastrous to profit margins and efficiency

Insurance Impacts

Another massive benefit for electric van drivers is savings on insurance. Insurers base premiums on a number of factors, including the technology within them that safeguard the car and passengers. One of the biggest appeals of EVs is the futuristic element and innovative technology within them. Essentially, they are harder to steal, easier to track and have safety technology that reduces the chance of car accidents. All of this makes for cheaper premiums when compared to petrol or diesel vehicles.

UK Government Grants

Plug-In Car Grant (PICG)

This grant will offer you up to £5,000 off a new van purchased from a dealer. Visit the link below to see a full list of approved vehicles under the grant.

  • Up to £5,000 off of a new electric van
  • Available to vans under £32,000

https://www.gov.uk/plug-in-car-van-grants

OZEV Grant

The EV charge point grant provides funding of up to 75% towards the cost of installing electric vehicle smart charge points at domestic properties across the UK. It replaced the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) on 1 April 2022.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/government-grants-for-low-emission-vehicles

For more information about insuring electric vans or cars, get in touch with one of our team either in one of our new branches in Wavertree, Southport or Wrexham, by phone or online at https://jbbrokers.co.uk/.

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