The 5 best new electric vans of 2020
Electric vans are becoming the latest additions to business fleets all across the country at the moment, and indeed the world. While they’ve been on the industry’s agenda for quite some time, the turbulence of 2020 has bumped them up even further on the agenda for many buyers. In the midst of lockdowns resulting from the Covid-19 crisis, pollution levels noticeably fell, and the pressure is on for many businesses to maintain that momentum. Transforming their fleet to low-emissions are amongst the most effective places to start, so electric vans have enjoyed an even greater surge in recent popularity.
2020 has already seen the release of some impressive new electric van models from some of the world’s leading manufacturers, which means buyers now have lots more sustainable options when looking for the best van deals. Below, we’ve highlighted some of our favourites!
1. Vauxhall Vivaro-e
This has been one of the new Vauxhall vans that’s had everyone talking this year. It’s actually not been all that long since the new Vauxhall Vivaro hit the market, but the new all-electric version is already making waves. It’s called the Vauxhall Vivaro-e, and it’s available in two bodies (van and double cab), and two pleasingly-named trim levels: Dynamic, and Elite.
Each trim level offers a choice between two battery sizes: 50kWh, and 75kWh. With the more modest battery, the Vivaro-e is still capable of achieving an impressive 144 miles of range (with half payload), while the larger battery allows it to reach a maximum of 205 miles between charges. And with a maximum payload of 1275 kilograms, it’s sure to find a firm place in many commercial and business fleets.
There are a couple more bonuses to the Vivaro-e, too: it can pull trailer loads of up to 1000kg, and as a zero emissions transport, it’s qualified for the Plug In Grant here in the UK. As of the 19th of July, the Vauxhall Vivaro is now available to order in Britain.
2. Citroen Dispatch electric
The French automotive giant is already establishing itself as a fierce rival of Vauxhall’s in the electric van market, as evidenced by its new all-electric Citroen Dispatch model. According to Citroen, the new Dispatch will offer a payload of around 1262kg, roughly equivalent to that of its existing Citroen vans, while allowing buyers to benefit from reduced whole life costs.
Like all other vehicles on our Top Five list, this new electric van from Citroen is geared primarily towards driving in urban areas. It’s available in three trim levels.
The Citroen Dispatch X is the most basic trim, but even so it still offers a highly impressive range of features and functionality as standard. Examples include its electric and heated door mirrors, electric parking brake, and unglazed rear doors which open to 180°.
The Citroen Dispatch Enterprise has been described as the most versatile out of the three trims, able to adapt to a range of roles with ease. In addition to the features of the X version, it also offers additional gadgets and technologies such as rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, and a Thatcham Category One alarm for extra security.
The Citroen Dispatch Driver is the best suited for long-range deliveries, great for ferrying cargo across cross-country distances. As well as the tech of the X and the Enterprise, its on-board complement also includes additional features such as an active safety brake, driver attention alert, front parking sensors, and a Visio Park 180° rear parking camera.
The Citroen Dispatch X is now available to buy in the UK, as of the 28th of July 2020.
3. Citroen Relay electric
Citroen made quite the impression at the Commercial Vehicle Show back in 2019, so if you were following it you may remember the French manufacturer’s other memorable entry into the electric vans sector. This is another zero-emissions, fully-electric version of one of its most popular vehicles, the Citroen Relay.
Buyers will be able to choose between the L1 and L3 bodystyles. The longer wheelbase option naturally provides more cargo capacity, but no exact payloads have been released just yet by Citroen. The new Citroen Relay electric van has two battery options – the smaller one is a 44kWh battery, with a maximum range of 141 miles. The larger one on the other hand stands at 62kWh, which has a maximum range of 169 miles. However, it’s worth us pointing out that these figures were produced under the now-discontinued NEDC process, so they’re likely to be different under the new Worldwide harmonised Light vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).
It’s expected to rival the Renault Z.E. Master in the large electric van class, primarily marketed to companies who plan to use it for multi-drop, last-mile urban deliveries.
4. Fiat Ductao electric
The Fiat Ducato electric is one of the most high-profile examples of the Italian manufacturer’s initial foray into the electric van market, marking a new era in Fiat vans. Fiat says that the fully electric Ducato will be available in all body versions that already have internal combustion engines. The electric motor is capable of producing 90kW, and buyers can choose between battery options of 47kWh and 79kWh. The Fiat Ducato’s maximum payload is a respectable 1769kg, or 1.95 tonnes.
One of the electric Ducato’s most notable features are the three driving modes it offers. ‘Normal’ driving mode is designed to offer the optimum balance between performance and economy, while ‘Eco’ reduces power in favour of extra range. And ‘Power’, as you’ve no doubt guessed, sacrifices a bit of range to give the Fiat Ducato extra energy to its engines. The Ducato also offers a range of networking features, making it usefully compatible with various fleet management systems. Fiat is already taking orders for the electric Ducato, having opened its order books in the main European markets.
5. Volkswagen e-Transporter
If you’re a fan of the standard Volkswagen Transporter, you’ll like the electric model. According to the description from Volkswagen, it “combines quiet and smooth driving, instant torque, fast charging and high load capacity for the ultimate zero-emissions urban logistics van.” That’s certainly quite the sales pitch – so what does the van offer?
Well, it’s based on the standard Transporter 6.1, which means it offers a useful payload of 1001kg, with a cargo space of 6.7m³. Its standard 38.8kWh battery gives it a range of up to 131km, or about 82 miles. However, Volkswagen are considering the release of a version with a 77.6kWh battery, if there’s sufficient demand.
This battery can be charged with 80% of its capacity in just 45 minutes, while its electric motor is rated at 111bhp, which is sent to the front wheels to give it a 0-60 acceleration time of just 17.4 seconds. The Volkswagen e-Transporter also makes use of regenerative braking to maximise its range.
There’s another clever addition too – the modified dual clutch transmission DSG. This lets drivers take advantage of a standard driving mode which restricts power to just 75% in order to maximise range. However, drivers can use a kickdown function to give them access to 100% of the power from the van. What’s more, on the interior the instrument clusters have been modified to show a power meter, as well as battery capacity and charging status,
The Volkswagen e-Transporter has already been launched in the UK, so if you’re looking to get your hands on one, now’s the time!
And that’s where we can help right here at Van Discount. In fact, our mission is to make sure that it’s never been easier to get behind the wheel of a brand new van – our buyers save an average of 40% off the recommended retail price. As the home of cheap van deals, we’ve got brand new vans for sale from a range of leading manufacturers, including Renault and Nissan. Why not take a look around our site, and see what you can find?