The 10 electric vans with the best range

The 10 electric vans with the best range

Posted by

David Blackmore

July 2023

The EV revolution started with cars, but now other areas of road transport are catching up, none more so than vans.

The electric van – or eLCV – market is really taking off, quickly moving from just a couple of models available to dozens, and all in a short space of time. For customers, there is choice across brands, but more importantly also across van types, from compact car-based models to large panel vans.

Ideally suited to last mile deliveries, eLCVs have quickly gained the range required for longer distance work too. Since most fleets run familiar routes, and also have space for charging points where the vans are kept when not being used, running an eLCV can make a lot of financial sense as long as the range is sufficient for operational efficiency.

And that’s key to eLCVs:  reliable driving range is central to avoiding expensive vehicle downtime with a vehicle out of charge. As with all electric vehicles, eLCVs are susceptible to temperature and driving style when it comes to calculating driving range, not forgetting the amount of load being carried. In a car, loads tend to be fairly generic, but a van’s load can alter greatly.

As such, real-world ranges can vary anywhere from 50-90% of official WLTP combined figures. But since these are the best statistics to compare model-to-model, we’re sticking with these to run down the top 10 electric vans with the longest range.

Before we run down the top 10, it’s worth noting that the plug-in grant is still available for eligible vans. Small vans qualify for a £2,500 discount and large vans for a £5,000 discount.

VW ID. Buzz Cargo – 256 miles

Customers have waited a long time for the reinvention of VW’s iconic Bulli design, but it’s back, and electric. The ID. Buzz is available as an MPV, but also a full eLCV. Built on the same MEB platform as the likes of the Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4 – as well as Skoda and SEAT EVs – the ID. Buzz has caused quite a stir with its eye-catching design.

The ID. Buzz Cargo has a 77kWh (net) battery fitted, for a range of up to 256 miles, as well as ultra-rapid charging capabilities. If plugged into a 170+kW charger, it will top up to 80% in less than half an hour. And it’s a handy van, with a 600kg payload, and a floor large enough to fit two euro pallets.

Renault Zoe Van – 245 miles

In its second-generation as an electric car, Renault’s Zoe is available as a van for the first time. The supermini-based van is not exactly cavernous in the rear, but by removing the back seats and adding an extended parcel shelf across the load area, it’s a useful machine for companies delivering small loads.

Fully equipped with a bulkhead and 387kg payload, the Zoe Van might be a converted car, but it also benefits from the Zoe’s long range and excellent cabin. The official range is more than 240 miles, and it can be rapid charged to 80% in less than an hour on 50kW points.

Citroen e-Dispatch / Fiat eScudo / Peugeot e-Expert / Toyota Proace Electric / Vauxhall Vivaro-e – 205 miles

Yes, we’re cheating here and bunching five vans into one. Mainly, because if we separated them out, this top 10 list would see half of it made up of what is effectively the same van, just with different badges. The Stellantis Group – which includes Citroen, Peugeot, Vauxhall, and Fiat – has also joined forces with Toyota to develop the mid-sized panel van, capable of covering more than 200 miles when fitted with a 75kWh battery – a 50kWh pack is available too.

Charging at 100kW takes around three quarters of an hour to top-up the larger battery model, and the van – regardless of badge on the front – has a payload of 800kg.

Ford E-Transit – 196 miles

The Transit name is surely the most famous of all vans, and now it has that crucial “e” in front of it, as Ford electrifies the large van range. Capable of covering almost 200 miles on a charge, the e-Transit has been designed for tradespeople, with the ability to run electrical devices from its battery, with V2L bi-directional charging.

Available in the usual range of panel van, double-cab-in-van, and chassis configurations, payload is 1,758kg – an impressive figure for an electric model. Charging on 115+kW ultra-rapid points will top the e-Transit up in around half an hour.

Renault Kangoo E-Tech – 186 miles

Renault’s electric Kangoo has been available for many years, but a new generation brings about a switch from Z.E. to E-Tech badging. More importantly for van operators is the greater range on offer, now to 186 miles on a charge.

It also benefits from the addition of CCS DC rapid charging where specified for faster recharging. A 90 kW motor is powered by the Renault’s 45 kWh battery, which will pull along a payload of up to 600kg in a 3.9cu m load area.

Maxus eDeliver9 – 185 miles

Maxus offers the eDeliver9 large panel van in a wide variety of configurations, including the choice of one of three different battery packs. The largest, an 88 kWh battery, provides a driving range of up to 185 miles on a charge, though there are also 72 kWh and 51.5 kWh options.

With the largest battery pack, the Maxus eDeliver9 has an 11cu m load capacity and 860kg payload – though smaller battery packs all offer more than 1 tonne payload. Charging will take around 40 minutes on a rapid point, and all models are powered by a 150 kW electric motor.

Citroen e-Berlingo / Peugeot e-Partner / Toyota Proace City Electric / Vauxhall Combo-e – 171 miles

Like the set above, we’ve bunched together the same basic van from the Stellantis Group (including Citroen, Peugeot, and Vauxhall) as well as the Toyota version – although Toyota quotes a 161 mile range so it sneaks in here. This compact eLCV gets a 50 kWh battery and 100 kW electric motor.

A rapid charge will take around half an hour to get back to 80% charge, and there is a choice of standard or long wheelbase models, plus panel van or crew van options. Payload is up to 800kg, with the 4.4cu m load space identical to diesel models.

Mercedes-Benz eCitan – 176 miles

Mercedes-Benz has dramatically expanded its eLCV line-up – both in terms of options and driving range. The eCitan has been developed alongside Renault, and shares much of its architecture and powertrain with the Renault Kangoo E-Tech above. However, a shorter range is quoted, and with a different cabin, the Mercedes-Benz sits alone on this list.

The 45kWh battery will charge in less than 40 minutes on a rapid point, and the eCitan shares the Renault’s 90kW motor, but it also offers a larger payload than the Kangoo E-Tech; up to 752kg.

Maxus eDeliver3 – 151 miles

Maxus is quietly developing itself into a big player in the eLCV market. Along with the larger eDeliver9, the eDeliver3 gives customers a good choice of electric vans in the UK, and this mid-sized model can cover more than 150 miles on a charge.

There is a smaller battery model too, with 35kWh or 52.5kWh packs on offer, though any choice is powered by a 90kW motor; payload is just under one tonne.

And finally…

Vauxhall Vivaro-e Hydrogen – 249 miles

This is a little different, with the Vivaro-e a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCEV) rather than a pure-electric model. This uses a fuel cell stack to generate electricity from hydrogen stored in on-board tanks. The benefit is a reliable range, and one longer than can be achieved in the same model fitted with batteries alone.

There are a few trials of FCEV vans taking place, with Ford’s e-Transit also in a project with a range expected to be 400+ miles, but Vauxhall’s model is on the market.

The main problem is making sure you can get to a hydrogen refuelling point. But if you’re based around one of these, FCEV vans could make more sense than an eLCV.

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