Business benefits of Electric Vans and vehicles eligible for the Plug-in Van Grant

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There’s lots of talk about electric cars, but electric vans are also available, and they can make more sense than electric cars.

Why is this? Well, electric vehicles are ideal for short, predictable journeys, when they return to a base where they can be recharged. In other words, this is the driving cycle of many urban delivery vehicles.

Green Car Guide is involved in ongoing trials of electric vehicles with Camden Council . One of the vehicles that has been trialled was a Renault Kangoo electric van. The company trialling the Kangoo was a London-based property maintenance company called Lakehouse. The company’s drivers were initially highly skeptical about the prospect of driving an electric van. However as soon as they drove the Kangoo, the drivers found that driving an electric vehicle around London was vastly better than driving one of their normal Kangoo diesel vans.

This is because electric vehicles have no clutch or gears, they are virtually silent, and, unlike petrol or diesel vehicles, they have 100% torque available at all times, providing excellent acceleration in city traffic. Of course they also have zero tailpipe emissions.

Plug-in Van grant

There are also various financial incentives to encourage businesses to buy electric vans. The government’s Plug-in Van grant offers buyers up to £8,000, or 20%, off the price of an electric van.

They are also subject to zero benefit in kind company car tax, and first-year allowances are available, up to 31 March 2015. ‘First-year allowances’ enable you to make a claim for up to 100 per cent of the cost against your business profits in the year of purchase.

Electric vans are also exempt from the London Congestion Charge, and they will be up to around six times cheaper to run than a diesel van.

The electric vans that are eligible for the Plug-in Van Grant are as follows:

Azure Dynamics Transit Connect Electric

Payload 540 kg

Top speed 75 mph

0-62mph TBC

Range 80 miles

Recharging time (220v 10a / 16a)  6 / 10 hours

Price £39,995 + VAT

Daimler Mercedes-Benz Vito E-Cell

Payload 775 kg

Top speed 56 mph

0-62mph N/A

Range 80 miles

Recharging time (230v / 400v) 12 hours / 6 hours

Price 4 year 50,000 mile contract hire

FAAM ECOMILE

Payload 1,300 kg

Top speed 50 mph

0-62mph N/A

Range >60 miles

Recharging time (380v) 8 hours 4 hours with optional 2nd charger

Price £35,100

FAAM JOLLY 2000

Payload 1,830 kg

Top speed 50 mph

0-62mph N/A

Range 70 miles

Recharging time (380v) 6 hours

Price £49,995

Mia electric Mia U

Payload 350 kg

Top speed 62 mph

0-62mph 34 seconds

Range 80 miles

Recharging time (240v) 5 hours

Price £22,000

Renault Kangoo Z.E.

Payload 650 kg

Top speed 80 mph

0-62mph 21.9 seconds

Range 106 miles

Recharging time (230v / 16A) 6-8 hours / 4-5 hours

Price £16,960 + monthly battery rental

Smith Electric Smith Edison

Payload 725 – 2,300 kg

Top speed 50 mph

0-62mph N/A

Range 55-110 miles

Recharging time 6-8 hours / 4 hours with fast charger

Price £58,000

Prices quoted do not include the Plug-in Van Grant which reduces the price by 20% or a maximum of £8,000, whichever is less, and may not include VAT.

See our Green Car Guide