Electric Vans versus Diesel Vans

Nissan E-NV200

ELECTRIC vans are becoming an appealing alternative to their diesel counterparts, but how do the running costs stack up? 

In the battle of electric vs diesel vans, we’ve researched some the costs of both types of vehicles and how much you will have to fork out in running costs.

If you’re looking for a simple answer, electric vans are slightly more expensive to purchase mainly because of their expensive battery technology. However, they are much cheaper to actually run.

As mentioned, the high price tag of these new eclectic vans is still the main pitfall, and until there is a major breakthrough with the battery technology, the costs are unlikely to come down significantly.

However, as many manufactures turn their attention to innovating a more cost-effective battery, the Bloomberg New Energy Finance stated that EVs could match prices with the combustion engine as soon as 2025.

How much does it cost to buy an electric van?

The initial outlay does cost more than a standard diesel or petrol van, with prices beginning at:

  • Looking for a tiny van? Then we say consider the Renault Kangoo E-Tech Electric starting at £28,200 (source)
  • A smallish Nissan E-NV200 has an on the road price from £23,305 (source)
  • The Electric version of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter gives you a credible large e-van. The Esprinter starts at £51,950 on the road. (source)

But it is important to bear in mind that these vehicles can save you so much money over time and may act as a smart investment for your business.

The key difference between an electric van and the diesel model is the cost to fill up.

Taking into account the average electric prices in the UK at the moment, to drive 100 miles in an electric van would cost around £4 or 4p per mile.

Whereas their less eco-friendly counterpart model could cost up to £9 or 9p per mile with an average UK fuel price.

This definitely highlights the decent savings that electric van owners can expect, as well as other money saving benefits such as being exempt from vehicle excise duty (or ‘tax’). 

Another very valid point being made about the cost of running an electric van is the potentially reduced maintenance costs, as these vehicles have fewer moving parts and therefore pose less risk of damage or needing repair.

What is the government plug-in van grant?

The plug-in grant was brought in by the UK government to incentivise more people to buy electric and hybrid vehicles.

These grants cover 20% of the purchase price up to a maximum of £8,000. 

You don’t even have to apply for this grant yourself because it is administrated from the office for Low Emission Vehicles.

Sometimes, the dealership will have already taken off this price reduction on their website so it’s important to keep this in mind while browsing.

Bear in mind that, contrary to the what the name suggests, this grant doesn’t apply to all models of electric and hybrid vans.

In order to qualify for the grant, a van must be capable of covering at least 60 miles in zero emission mode and must emit less than 50g/km of CO2 according to manufacturer-stated figures based on the official tests.

The UK Government Plug-in van and truck scheme was renewed on the 18th of March 2021 and it is worth checking the government website to see where they are up to as these schemes have limited roach and are often subject to change and or renewal.

Depending on the political bias for the time. At present you can discover more about the plug-in scheme here (external link to the .gov.uk website correct at publishing).

You can check your intended plug-in van and truck grant eligibility here (external link to the .gov.uk website, correct at the time of publishing)

Buy or Lease Your Electric Van?

As we any large purchase and especially with vehicles it has been known for a long time that leasing suites more businesses as there is a reduced capital expenditure.

You do not have to fork out great swathes of your hard earned to get your business mobile. Which if you are looking at the prices of electric vehicles is probably a good thing.

As with all electric vehicles, and as with current battery technology there is a limit to the number of charge cycles before liquid-Ion batteries ability to store a charge at 100%, reduces.

For a technology which was designed for mobile devices, then progressively made to fit in larger devices. Li-ion batteries are doing a good job at present to support the worlds need to wean itself off hydrocarbons.

That said battery technology has to evolve to meet global demand and counter the limitations of vehicle range and charge time.

Taking these factors in to account, the leasing model of electric vans is the better way forward.

Enabling a more flexible approach to vehicle use and countering battery limitations with a clever subscription based models are aspects we think we will see in the coming decade, especially with e-vans.

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