The electric vehicle market is the fastest growing segment in the motor industry. By the end of July 2018, sales figures rose to an all-time high of 2.3%, while electric van sales are set to rocket as motorists move away from diesel vehicles.
Since July 2017, UK van drivers no longer need a new licence to drive electric or gas powered vehicles. Therefore, it is easier than ever for drivers to make the switch to electric vans.
#1 What are the benefits of an electric van?
A huge advantage is the reduced running costs. Not only does the London congestion charge entitle electric vans to a 100% greener vehicle discount, but their lack of emissions also exempt them from Vehicle Excise Duty. Overall, you could save up to £140 per annum compared to petrol or diesel vans!
As electricity is cheaper than other fuel alternatives, there are also significantly reduced fuel costs. Furthermore, studies have found high quality traction batteries still hold 80% of their initial capacity (at least!) after seven to ten years. Therefore, they are incredibly cost efficient.
#2 How do I charge it?
There is no need to feel intimidated by an electric van: it is simply a vehicle powered by an electric motor instead of a petrol or diesel engine. Its battery stores energy to power the motor and operate the vehicle; therefore, in the same way you would charge your mobile device, you must charge the battery when it is running low. This can take anywhere between 30 minutes to over 12 hours, depending on the size of the battery and the speed of the charging point.
It is recommended you use a 32-amp charging station. These can be installed either at your home or office and will average a recharging time of 8 hours. Simply plug in your electric van to charge overnight to ensure a full battery every morning. Should your van run low during a journey, you can often find a rapid charging station to deliver a near 80% charge in just 40 minutes. In fact, thousands more charging points are expected to be installed in the next ten years.
#3 What are they like to drive?
Electric vans are almost entirely silent, helping to create a calming driving environment. They are also extremely responsive, which may mean you need to recalibrate your driving style. For example, the moment you take your foot of the pedal, you start to slow down considerably.
Online review note that driving an electric van is a lot less stressful due to the lack of gearstick or clutch (all vehicles are automatic). Clutch repairs are often very expensive, so once again electric vans are proving they can save both money and the environment!