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Pros and Cons of Electric Vans

Electric vehicles are all the rage right now but are they right for your business?

By Life and ChatPublished 9 months ago 5 min read
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Source : www.vanessentials.co.uk

With the current rise in fuel prices and last year’s fuel shortages, electric vans have become more popular and a more tantalising option for owners and operators. Switching over to electric vans is something that you’ll likely need to start thinking about anyway as the government commits to their plan of zero emission vehicles by 2035. But what are the potential pitfalls and what are the things you’ll need to consider when switching over to the modern choice of electric? We’ve compiled a list of pros and cons as well as a list of things to consider when considering the switch over.

Pros

The Cost Effective Choice

This is the most topical reason to invest in an electric van at the moment. While they usually are a bit more expensive at point of sale (especially if you want a brand new van), they are far cheaper to run overall. Not only is a plug-in grant available (20% of the price of the vehicle), the mileage cost is far lower. Typically, electric vehicles can run for as cheap as 5p per mile while diesel is around 12p at the moment. Charge points are usually around £5-10 on the motorway so charging is still relatively cheap and available.

It can also be a lot cheaper to move around with clear air zones becoming more frequent around big cities such as Birmingham and London, placing charges on non-electric vehicles. If you have a business operating around big urban areas, this will likely become more and more important as the government puts heavier pressure on petrol and diesel drivers to make the move over.

The Eco-Friendly Option

Being eco-friendly in the modern age is highly beneficial for a number of reasons. Firstly, you are being environmentally friendly which is good for the planet and is often rewarded by the government. Also, electric vehicles make your business more appealing to customers, there’s something quite nice about seeing a modern electric van turn up for a job. Building trust and leaving a good impression with a customer is crucial to contractors and handymen so setting yourself apart from the crowd.

Easier to Live With

Electric vans are usually easier to live with when compared to their diesel counterparts. Electric vans are quieter, making them far nicer to drive around in and turn up to the job with. They are also typically cheaper to maintain as well as general servicing being easier. There are less parts to the engine which means that repairs aren’t needed as often and damage is less common. This allows for a longer lifespan and more consistent time on the road which, if you have a small fleet, could be crucial to your company being able to deliver your service.

Cons

The other side of the coin, literally

While electric vans definitely have a lot of incentive in terms of the financial benefit, however they’re generally more expensive to buy – even with the grant mentioned above. This is a price gap that is constantly changing and will likely get ever closer as electric vehicles become more commonplace but it is worth noting that you’ll likely have to pay more for what you want, especially if it’s a bigger brand like Ford or Citroen.

It’s also crucial to note that repairs are often more expensive for electric vehicles and they typically are more expensive to insure due to these higher costs. Also, these repairs require a specific licence for the garage which means that finding a garage if you work in a small town or rural area may be difficult. The number of available garages is always growing so this shouldn’t be much of a problem but it’s worth researching to ensure you are covered.

The pains of progress

With all technical and technological advancements, early adopters will find issues that will continue to be addressed as the technology evolves. Range is one of the most well-known barriers for electric vans. Typically, electric vans can last around 100-200 miles which is nowhere near the range of a typical diesel van and this range can decrease with the battery life and is far more affected by things like the weather as it is an actual range rather than a miles per gallon calculation.

Fully charging an electric van can take hours. As the technology evolves, rapid chargers are becoming more available but even with a rapid charger, you can be looking at an hour to gain a full charge and you are dependent on that charger. If the charger is broken or unavailable, you are in trouble. If the charger is slow, you are in trouble. The infrastructure is also a pain with most chargers requiring a sign up or some form of app which can be a bit annoying and tedious.

Payload issues

Electric vehicles and their technology are heavy. That means electric vans can sometimes struggle to match their petrol and diesel competitors in terms of payload, especially among large vans. This extra weight can also mean that the range is likely to be impacted, adding to the problems discussed above. If your company works with a lot of tools, it’s worth noting that this could have an impact on how far your van can travel and also be aware of what your electric vehicle can actually carry in terms of payload as it will likely differ to what your current fleet can carry.

To wrap it up, electric vans have many compelling reasons for consideration, particularly if you operate in an urban area or if you work in a small region. Waiting for technology to evolve is an option that will benefit you, as the electronics will only improve and the infrastructure will only grow. Every year these vans expand their efficiency and cost-effectiveness. In contrast to this, reliable diesel vans are cheaper to buy and maintain and their ease of use for longer, bigger journeys will certainly be beneficial if your business needs it. It might also be worth investing in a hybrid van, which has both a diesel and electric motor. While still having a number of the disadvantages of both motors, it has a lot more of the advantages and this makes hybrid vehicles a lot easier to rely upon with the current electric infrastructure in place. For further information, you can check out the links below with useful information on the governmental policies mentioned as well as other information discussed.

Links

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1005301/transitioning-to-zero-emission-cars-vans-2035-delivery-plan.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/driving-in-a-clean-air-zone

https://www.gov.uk/plug-in-vehicle-grants

https://vanessentials.co.uk/reasons-buying-electrical-van/

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