With the huge investment into electric vehicle technology in recent years by auto manufacturers, it’s no surprise that we are starting to see commercial vehicles utilising this technology. The battery range is ever-increasing, charging time is decreasing and the substantial charging network across the UK has resulted in electric vans becoming a more viable option for many van fleet owners. There is also the added benefit of the Government grant where there is a 35% saving off the purchase price of 2.5 tonne light commercial vans with a maximum discount of £3,000. Electric Road takes a look at five of the best LCV electric vans on the market in the UK today.
Mercedes launched the eVito in 2018 and the eSprinter in 2019 and as such took on an early pioneering role as a brand dedicated to emission-free, commercial goods traffic.
Beneath the eVito front is the electric drivetrain, which powers the front wheels with a peak output of 150 kW with the energy stored in a lithium-ion battery in the vehicle’s underbody. It is configured low down and centrally, which has a positive effect on the eVito Tourer’s handling delivering maximum speeds of 140 km/h (standard version) and 160 km/h (option).
The Mercedes-Benz eVito comes with a water-cooled AC on-board charger with an output of 11 kW. This means that it is also prepared for AC charging at home or public charging stations. Charging is via the CCS vehicle socket on the left in the front bumper. This can also be used for charging using direct current (DC). This means that the eVito Tourer can be charged from 10 – 80 % in approx. 45 minutes at a quick charging station, thanks to a maximum charging capacity of 110 kW. The battery with a usable capacity of 90 kWh facilitates a range of approximately 420 kilometres.
The Mercedes-Benz eVito also charges its battery while driving. In overrun or braking mode, the mechanical rotation is transformed into electrical energy and used for charging the high-voltage battery (recuperation). The driver has a considerable influence on this. He or she can vary the strength of recuperation using the gearshift paddles behind the steering wheel, as required. A particularly efficient and comfortable driving style is enabled by a new feature of the eVito Tourer: recuperation state DAUTO. In accordance with the motto, ‘look ahead and save energy’, information from the safety assistant is linked and the strength of recuperation is adjusted in real time depending on the situation.
In terms of managing range and battery performance, the eVito uses a recuperation process that recovers energy when the vehicle is decelerating to help you efficiently manage your vehicle’s range. There are 4 recuperation modes available, which can be adjusted via the gearshift paddles. The greater the recuperation, the faster you decelerate and therefore, the more energy your vehicle will regenerate:
- D- This mode will enable you to get maximum range from your eVito. It has maximum recuperation and fastest deceleration. Due to the deceleration being so strong, the vehicle will automatically activate the brake lights.
- D This mode has less recuperation then D- and has similar deceleration levels to a diesel Vito.
- D+ This mode has significantly lower recuperation levels and therefore will decelerate at a slower rate than a diesel Vito.
- D++ This is a coasting mode, meaning your vehicle will have no deceleration and will significantly reduce your vehicle’s range
The eVito comes with free roadside assistance, 3 year unlimited mileage warranty and 8-year/100,000km battery guarantee.
For more information or to book an eVito test drive click here
Nearly a decade after trials first began in London, the e-NV200 continues to prove its durability and it comes with a five-year vehicle warranty and eight years of battery cover. As the e-NV200 has been around for some time it has an established reputation both as a van and as the underpinnings of the Nissan LEAF passenger car which count in its favour in proving the effectiveness of the technology.
With vehicle-to-grid capability built-in, the e-NV200 allows electricity to flow in both directions to and from the vehicle. This allows energy stored in the battery to be sold back to the grid when the vehicle is parked and demand for power is high, earning additional energy bill discounts for the vehicle owners.
The 100 per cent electric e-NV200 is available in both five and seven-seat combi forms. It’s smooth, practical and incredibly efficient. With its maximum range of 187 miles in city conditions, it gets drivers and their cargos all around the city incredibly well.
The Nissan e-NV200 is an excellent electric commercial vehicle for any business, whether for a fleet manager or small enterprise. And when you go 100 per cent electric, low operating costs, high efficiency and surprising performance come as standard.
On the dashboard you get all the info you need for the day’s plans. You can keep tabs on your current charge, estimated range and how much power you’re using as you drive, right on your instrument panel. You will find that you can access the Nissan Navigation System, NissanConnect EV, the Zero Emission menu and audio options all in one place on the 7″ colour touch-screen monitor*. Here, you can manage your driving range, calculate routes, get real-time traffic updates and use hands-free Bluetooth. Also, thanks to NissanConnect EV, you can connect with your e-NV200 Combi using your computer or mobile device to manage some functions remotely, like charging and climate control.
When it comes to cargo, the e-NV200 Combi is incredibly versatile, seats 5 or 7 people comfortably with plenty of room for luggage and tools. Plus, it’s easy to load thanks to an exceptionally low 524 mm rear load height.
There is plenty of room whatever the task in the Nissan e-NV200. With 4.2m³ of load space and a load height of just 52cm, it can handle cargo of all shapes and sizes, whilst loading and unloading is easy. With up to 1.36m of height and up to 2.8m of length, there is plenty of room to fill up as needed. There is enough room for 2 Euro Pallets or 705kg of cargo. It’s also easily accessible with wide opening 60:40 split rear doors and sliding side panel doors.
Just like the New Nissan LEAF, the e-NV200 comes with comprehensive guarantees. The vehicle and its electric components are covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles and it’s new 40kWh battery is covered for 8 years/100,000 miles.
For more information or to book an e-NV200 test drive click here
Developed in collaboration with long-standing Partner ABT e-Line, the ABT e-Transporter 6.1 has been created to meet the increasing customer demand for cleaner, emissions-free urban transportation. Although the e-Transporter’s powertrain is all-new, it enjoys the same practicality and ease of use that has become a trademark of Volkswagen’s best-selling commercial vehicle. Available in both panel van and kombi forms from launch, both models feature the same load area as their diesel-powered counterparts (6.7m3 for the panel van and 4.4m3 for the kombi) while payloads are up to 996kg and 900kg respectively. The e-Transporter features a 37.3kWh battery pack and delivers drive to the front wheels via a modified DSG transmission and a 110PS electric motor. It combines quiet driving and instant torque to deliver the perfect, hassle-free driving experience.
In terms of range, it is capable of covering up to 82 miles on the WLTP cycle and comes with CCS rapid charging as standard. Customers can recharge the vehicle in a variety of ways, with the fastest option being a 50kW DC rapid charge. When rapid charging, the e-Transporter can achieve an 80 per cent charge in around 45 minutes. Customers can also charge via Type 2 AC domestic and workplace chargers for even greater flexibility.
Customers can choose from two trim levels: Standard and Advance, with features such as climate control air conditioning, Front Assist with City Emergency Braking and a touchscreen infotainment system are standard on both models.
The all-electric drivetrain of the e-Transporter has been designed and developed to offer maximum usability with a 37.3kWh lithium-ion battery pack (32.5kWh usable). The battery is neatly packaged into the floor behind the front axle and helps give the e-Transporter excellent weight distribution. Although the drivetrain layout differs significantly from the diesel-powered Transporter, the floor height and all internal dimensions remain exactly the same. Under the bonnet is a powerful electric motor that delivers 110PS (83kW) and up to 200Nm of torque. Unusually for an electric vehicle, the e-Transporter is equipped with a modified dual-clutch DSG transmission. This unit combines the flexibility of a conventional DSG with the requirements of electric drive to deliver sufficient power in any driving situation. When Drive (D) is selected, the motor will deliver 75 per cent power to maximise range with the kickdown function on the gear shift providing 100 per cent power and torque.
The charge port is located in the same position as the fuel filler cap on the diesel T6.1 variants. As soon as the charging process has started the indicator will flash green to let the driver know it’s successfully charging. The connector is locked to prevent accidental removal of the cable. Once fully charged, the light will change to solid green. To remove the cable, the driver needs to press the unlock button on the key fob twice. The vehicle is compatible with both CCS and type 2 connectors. These are the most common charging connector types and support both AC and DC charging which makes charging on the road very straightforward.
To help keep the driver informed of the vehicle performance and remaining range, the e-Transporter has a unique instrument cluster with a traditional speedometer on the right hand side with a smaller charge level dial inside. On the left is a power display that shows the power flow to and from the battery. When the ignition is turned on, the needle moves from ‘Off’ to ‘Ready’ indicating the vehicle is ready to go. When braking or coasting off-throttle, the needle moves left into the green area, indicating that the vehicle is recuperating energy and feeding it into the high voltage battery. In normal driving, the needle will move to the right to show that the driver is driving efficiently and using the least amount of energy. If the needle moves further to the right, this means the driver is using more energy, for example accelerating quickly. If the driver needs to see more information on their remaining range and energy consumption, they can view this in the multifunction display in the centre by using the buttons on the multi-function steering wheel to toggle through the display.
To give peace of mind, the e-Transporter battery pack is supplied with an eight year/100,000 mile warranty. Should the battery capacity fall below 70% or develop a fault during the warranty period it will be replaced. The rest of the vehicle is covered by the brand’s standard warranty of three years/100,000 miles.
For more information or to book an e-Transporter test drive click here
Ford is the world’s cargo van leader and has introduced the new E-Transit van, a smart workhorse that will offer customers enhanced productivity enabled by its fully electric powertrain, software solutions, services and Pro Power Onboard options. E-Transit starts arriving with European customers in early 2022 and is part of Ford’s more than $11.5 billion global investment in electrification through 2022.
In Europe, Ford has been piloting electrified commercial vehicle technology since 2018, working with officials in England, Germany, Spain and Turkey to study how drivers used Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid vehicles in London, Cologne, Valencia and Ankara. The company has applied those learnings including on users’ vehicle use and charging habits in developing E-Transit and its services.
With a usable battery capacity of 67 kWh, E-Transit offers an estimated driving range of up to 350 km on the combined WLTP cycle, providing enough range to meet daily requirements but with sufficient additional capacity to account for variations in vehicle load and weather conditions. This makes E-Transit ideal for urban environments, fixed drive routes and deliveries within geofenced zero-emission driving zones without requiring fleet owners to pay for excess battery capacity they don’t require.
E-Transit’s drive modes are tailored to its electric powertrain. A special Eco Mode aims to provide up to an 8-10 per cent improvement in energy usage if E-Transit is driven unladen with spirited acceleration or at highway speeds, according to Ford data. Eco Mode limits top speed, regulates acceleration and optimises climate control to help maximise the available driving range. The vehicle also supports Scheduled Pre-Conditioning, enabling the climate control system to be programmed to adjust the cabin to the preferred temperature while the vehicle is still on charge, ensuring that the maximum driving range is available.
In Europe, customers will benefit from a best-in-class, one-year, unlimited mileage service offering that will sit alongside the 8 year/160,000 km warranty package for the battery and high-voltage electric components.
Ford will also offer a variety of charging solutions to fit fleet and driver needs, whether at home, at a place of business or on the road. E-Transit features both AC charging and DC fast-charging. The vehicle’s 11.3 kW on-board charger is capable of delivering a 100 per cent charge in 8.2 hours. Charging with up to 115 kW using a high-power DC fast-charger, E‑Transit can top-up the battery from 15 per cent to 80 per cent in around 34 minutes.
E-Transit features optional Pro Power Onboard, which enables European customers to transform the vehicle into a mobile power source, providing up to 2.3 kW for powering tools and equipment on the jobsite and on the go. This is an industry first for light commercial vehicles in Europe.
The standard FordPass Connect modem delivers seamless connectivity to help commercial vehicle customers manage and optimise fleet efficiency, with a range of dedicated electric vehicle services available through the Ford Telematics fleet solution. E-Transit also brings SYNC 4 communications and entertainment technology to commercial vehicles, featuring a standard easy-to-use 12-inch touchscreen, plus enhanced voice recognition and available cloud-enhanced navigation. With SYNC over-the-air updates, E‑Transit’s software and SYNC technology will benefit from the latest new features and quality enhancements.
On the road with navigation enabled, fleet operators can benefit from advanced driver assistance technologies including Traffic Sign Recognition and Intelligent Speed Assist, which together identify speed restrictions and allow fleet managers to set vehicle speed limits.
Additionally, E-Transit features an array of available technologies designed to help fleet customers reduce driver-based insurance claims. These include Pre-Collision Assist, Blind Spot Information System with Lane Change Warning & Aid and a 360-degree camera with Reverse Brake Assist. Along with Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, these features can help maintain fleet safety standards and reduce the risk of accidents.
Designed with uncompromised cargo volume capacity, E-Transit’s battery is located underneath the body, providing up to 15.1 cubic meters of cargo space, the same as a rear-wheel drive diesel Transit. Ford engineers redesigned E-Transit’s driveline and rear suspension system to optimise cargo space, creating a heavy-duty semi-trailing arm suspension system that enables better steering precision and more confident handling, plus better traction in both laden and unladen conditions. E-Transit for customers in Europe targets up to 1,616 kg payload for the van and up to 1,967 kg for the chassis cab models. The vehicle’s electric motor has a peak output of 198 kW (269 PS) and 430 Nm of torque, making it the most powerful motor of any fully electric cargo van sold in Europe. The rear-wheel drive layout ensures outstanding traction when the vehicle is heavily laden.
For more information on the E-Transit click here
The Vivaro-e is Vauxhall’s first fully-electric van and was named ‘Overall Van of the Year’ at the What Car? Van Awards 2020 thanks to its impressive 205-mile EV range, vast load capacity of up to 6.6m3 and low running costs. The Vivaro-e supports up to 100kW rapid charging as standard, allowing customers to obtain an 80% charge in as little as 30 minutes – making it highly practical and useable for businesses and private users alike.
British Gas recently announced that it has ordered 1,000 Vauxhall Vivaro-es. This was the largest commercial BEV (battery electric vehicle) order in the UK to date.
The all-electric Vauxhall Vivaro-e is available in two trim levels, Dynamic and Elite, two lengths, L1H1 and L2H1, two bodies, Van and Double Cab, and two battery sizes, 50kWh and 75kWh.
Vivaro-e is based on the EMP2 multi-energy platform with exactly the same load volume ability as the internal combustion engine (ICE) Vivaro. Payload is best in class, up to 1226kg and uniquely in the market for all-electric LCVs, Vivaro-e is capable of towing up to one tonne.
The electric motor produces 136hp (100kW) with a powerful 260Nm of torque. Two battery sizes are available. 50kW offers 144 miles of all-electric range in WLTP conditions (this includes ½ payload). The larger 75kW battery offers 205 miles of range. With an average annual fleet mileage of 20,000 miles, both battery sizes can easily cope with the daily weekday mileage of 76 miles. Drivers can select one of three driving modes, Power, Normal and Eco depending on their respective requirements: increased performance for heavier loads, optimised for daily use or lowest energy consumption.
100kW charging capability is available as standard enabling rapid charging of the 50kW battery from zero to 80% in 32 minutes and the larger battery in just 48 minutes. The onboard charger is 7.4kW with three-phase 11kW available as an option.
Connected services are available via MyVauxhall App including remote charging, with the ability to defer charging, and cabin temperature pre-conditioning.
For more information or to book a Vivaro-e test drive click here