Leasing the right van can have a big impact on the way your business operates. There’s such a huge range of options in terms of size, layout, and possible uses, that it’s easy to get bogged down in all the brochures and spec lists.
In reality, while of all the above is important, what really matters is how easy it is to drive around and how much it will cost you to do so. We’ve all seen the way hybrids and electric motors have started to creep into the car market so it was only a matter of time before the technology appeared in vans.
It’s actually appeared in five vans in very quick succession. Well, technically you could argue it’s arrived in four and a half vans…..you’ll see what we mean, just keep reading.
Ford Transit Custom PHEV
Combining zero-emission driving capability without the worry of range anxiety, the new Ford Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid van can be charged with mains electricity for a pure electric driving range of up to 35 miles.
The front wheels are driven by a 92.9kW electric motor powered by a 13.6kWh lithium-ion battery pack. A compact, 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine acts as a range extender for total driving range in excess of 310 miles, 91.7mpg fuel efficiency and 60g/km CO2 emissions. A net payload of 1,130kg and unchanged load volume of 6.0m3 are achieved by packaging the compact battery pack beneath the floor.
The new Vivaro-e will be launched this year as a pure battery electric version of its best-selling medium van. The Vauxhall Vivaro-e is based on the same platform as the regular models so drivers won’t notice any marked difference.
With the Vivaro-e, customers will have a choice between two battery sizes, depending on their specific needs. The 50kWh battery provides a range of up to 125 miles, while the 75kWh offers at least 185 miles, more than enough for a lot of businesses to take advantage. You can still expect the same levels of practicality, equipment and comfort as the diesel variants, with the added benefit of being emission free and significantly cheaper to run.
The e-Expert is Peugeot’s take on the electric van and takes all the styling and specification of the internal combustion versions and adds zero emissions to the options list. Peugeot is aiming squarely at those businesses operating in ultra low emission zones, as well as offering customers a van which suits their daily driving needs.
Users will be able to choose between two battery sizes, a 50 kWh battery with a range of 124 miles and a 75 kWh battery extending the range to 186 miles, without any compromise on load space, specification, comfort or practicality.
Citroen Dispatch Electric
You may have noticed a few similarities between the Vauxhall and Peugeot offerings above. That’s because they are both built on exactly the same platform as each other, and feature exactly the same drivetrains. Given that the those two badges both fall under the PSA Group, as does Citroen, it won’t come as a surprise to hear that the electric Dispatch shares the same underpinnings and offers similar abilities.
You get the same specification, the same amount of space, and the same same trim levels found across the rest of the Dispatch range. You get the same battery sizes, a 50 kWh battery with a range of 124 miles or the 75 kWh battery and a range of 186 miles. Of the three vans from PSA it’s really only the styling that differs so choose whichever one you like the look of and take it from there. Or whichever has the best lease rental, of course.
Which brings us neatly on to the no-less brilliant but not exactly what you might expect, Electric Assisted Vehicle (EAV). The half a van we referred to earlier is actually an excellent idea that’s already been put into operation by parcel delivery companies in the UK and Europe. The EAVan is an eCargo bike and operates under the current regulations for eBikes
It started with the idea of an outer body of a light commercial van and then added the electric pedal-assist propulsion system. A thumb throttle engages the electric motor, which combined with the pedals can provide enough power to move up to 120kgs of payload in the cargo area up to a maximum assisted speed of 25kmh. It can regenerate power into the batteries under braking and free-wheeling to maximise the efficiency and offer a potential range of up to 60 miles or further if you piggyback more batteries.
The EAVan has also been designed to be fully modular so it can be configured as a delivery van, a pick-up, a paramedic vehicle, or security patrol vehicle, pretty much anything you can think of. It might only be half a van in the traditional sense but it’s really rather clever.
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