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Battery Electric

Battery electric vans operate entirely on electricity using an electric motor instead of a diesel or petrol engine. A high capacity battery (usually lithium ion technology, the same as we have in our phones and laptops) powers the vans. Battery electric vans are classed as ultra-low emission vehicles.

Fit for purpose

  • Electric vans are suitable for regular and low mileages due to their limited driving range between recharging.
  • Electric vans can offer up to an 106 mile range in the real-world, which reduces if driven aggressively or with high heater use in winter. Range can be increased by using specialist routing software to optimise daily journeys for EV use.
  • The daily range can be extended by topping up the battery during the day.
  • Fleets would normally drive back to base to recharge. The growing number of fast and rapid public charging stations also allow top-up charging during the day – links to charging station maps are provided in the What to do next? section of the guide.
  • Due to the weight of the batteries, payload for a small panel van typically reduces by around 5 to 15% with up to 35% for a large panel van. Load space is not affected.

Ideal operation

  • City and/or suburbs and back to base.
  • Battery electrics are best suited to city and suburban environments and back to base logistics.
  • An example of a fleet using battery electric vans is British Gas, which is using over 100 Nissan e-NV200 across the country to perform residential visits. Others include Oldham Council, Camden Council and EAE, a leaflet distribution company.

Environmental performance

  • Electric vans produce zero tailpipe emissions which make them ideal for improving air quality in our cities and reducing CO2 emissions. EVs offer CO2 savings of up to 35% even when the carbon intensity of electricity production is taken into account.