Going green: The benefits of choosing an electric van

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Nowadays, most of us are a little more conscious of the world around us than before. If David Attenborough tells us to think about what we’re doing, we listen. Looking after the planet is vital, and we can contribute by making positive choices on a daily basis. One particularly good choice you can make is to go for an electric van hire. There are lots of benefits you can enjoy when you do so – not least getting a nod of approval from national treasure, Sir Dave.

The only way is electric

Why are electric vans better for the environment? Because they produce zero CO2 emissions. And that’s a really good thing. So good, in fact, that the UK Government has banned the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030.  Electric vehicles (EVs) can be powered with renewable energy, which is greener and cleaner, while we’re also in the process of developing technology where they can share power with the electric grid. Smart, huh. We’ll all be driving EVs in the not-too-distant future, so why not get ahead of the game and start doing so right away?


Maybe make it closer : Diesel Ban in Paris in 2024

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But aren’t electric vehicles expensive?

Electric vans used to have a bad rep for being expensive. But as they’ve become much more popular, this has brought prices down – both when buying and hiring EVs. This has a lot to do with residual values and depreciation, as well as improved manufacturing techniques. This includes battery manufacture, which has become far more efficient and cost-effective as companies have been able to scale up their processes and production lines.

What about charging – isn’t it a drag?

On the subject of batteries, this is how electric vans get around. And what happens when batteries run out or get low? You charge them. So, how do you charge an EV? The best way is to get a charge point installed at home or work. This is usually the cheapest and easiest way to charge up, as you simply plug your van in when you get home or back to work and let the charger work its magic. You can programme your EV to only charge up when off-peak energy prices are cheapest and most eco-friendly.

If you aren’t able to charge at home or work, or need to top up on the road, there are now more public charging points in the UK than there are regular petrol stations. What’s more, an increasing number of shops, supermarkets, bars and restaurants are offering free charge points so you can top up your battery while going about your day. Nice, huh?

You can’t run away from the costs

And thankfully, that’s a good thing. EV running costs are way cheaper than petrol and diesel vans. Why? Because electricity costs way less than fuel. It’s really easy to work out how much it costs to fully charge an electric van’s battery. All you do is multiply the size of its battery by the cost of electricity. Here’s a handy and super-simple equation to help.

Battery size x electricity cost = full charge cost

Batteries are measured in kWh and electricity is charged by the kW. Lots of energy suppliers now offer EV-specific tariffs designed for electric cars, which can cost less than 5p per kW. Let’s look at a little example to demonstrate how electric compares to diesel.

Show me the money

The Peugeot E-Expert all-electric van options include a model with a 75kWh battery, which has a range of up to 211 miles. It costs just £3.75 to charge from zero to full, based on a charging cost of 5p per kW. This in turn gives you a cost per mile of less than 1.8p.

The equivalent diesel model has a 69-litre fuel tank. With current diesel prices around £1.22 per litre, it costs £84.18 to fill up an Expert 2.0 BlueHDi from empty to full. This van has a combined fuel consumption of 52mpg and a range of 794 miles. This equates to a cost per mile of 10.6p.

The savings you can make by going electric are clear to see. Almost £9 per 100 miles in the example above. Throw into the mix congestion and emission zone charges, as well as fluctuating fuel prices – which can rise on the whim of an angry oil baron or when Her Majesty’s tax officers decide to go after us poor motorists again – and electric vans start to make more and more sense.

Insane in the long range

Ever heard of range anxiety? That’s a bit of panic that EVs can’t go very far and run out of juice super quickly. There’s really no need to worry. The bigger a battery capacity and an electric van’s efficiency in terms of using it, the further they can go. Both aspects of this have seen massive improvements in recent years, meaning EVs can go further than ever before. The E-Expert we mentioned above can cover more than 200 miles, which is often more than enough for a single day. It can also charge at speeds of up to 100kW, meaning you can boost your battery by as much as 80% in just 30 minutes if you need to top up on the road.

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Break it down now

Or not, as the case may be. When you work it out, electric vans are much less likely to break down than petrol or diesel ones. What is this sorcery, we hear you cry? Well, think about it. An electric van’s engine is a battery, which doesn’t have any moving parts in it. This means there’s a lot less that can go wrong with it compared to an internal combustion engine. I mean, it’s combustible. Maintenance costs are also lower, as you can say goodbye to things like topping up your engine oil.

Don’t let your rep get a bad rap

Being seen to be green is crucial these days. Whether you’re a sole trader driving your van around your local area every day, representing a national company or organising fleet vehicles for your staff, green credentials are more of a concern than ever. You can get ahead of the curve and promote your business as being an eco-friendly choice, which is sure to give your reputation a boost.

Enjoy the easy life

With no gears and simple stop and go pedals, EVs are a piece of cake to drive. Regenerative braking also makes for a smoother ride, which is great if you spend a lot of time behind the wheel. They’re also very pleasant to drive. Cabs in electric vans are quiet, enjoyable places to be compared to the roar of an old, smelly diesel.

Just to recap, here are some of the main benefits of choosing an electric van:

– Future-proof yourself

– Better for the environment

– Cheaper to run

– Cheaper to maintain

– Easy to charge up

– Better range than ever

– Less likely to break down

– Great for your reputation

– Easier to drive


Which of these things are bad? Probably none, really, so going electric is well worth a shout the next time you need to hire a van.

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