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Electric car and van advice for SMEs

Electric vans

The number of electric van models available and their ranges are increasing, making them an increasingly practical choice.

While more expensive to purchase than similar diesel models, adopting electric vans can save you money on fuel and tax, as well as significantly reduce your fleet’s carbon and nitrogen dioxide emissions.

Energy Saving Trust’s guide on lowering van emissions and costs includes information on different models of electric van, pointers on identifying where they could fit into your fleet and building a business case, plus case studies.

How do electric vans work?

Our first of six videos will equip you and your business with essential information on the benefits of using electric vans and the support available to help you start using them. Learn more about the latest models, driving range and battery size of electric vans in our first video.

Eligible vans for the plug-in grant

The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles’ (OZEV) plug-in van grant will pay for 35% of the purchase price for these vehicles, up to a maximum of £2,500 for vans <2.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight (GVW) or up to £5,000 for vans 2.5-3.5 tonnes GVW. Correct as of 16/12/21.

These vehicles have CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and can travel at least 96km (60 miles) without any emissions at all.

Energy Saving Trust has classified the size of electric vans as:

  • Small: <2.5t
  • Medium: 2.5-2.9t
  • Large: >2.9t

This means there is an extra classification of ‘medium’ compared to OZEV’s classification. This is to make it easier for users to identify van models of a suitable size. Vans in the ‘medium’ category would be eligible for the same maximum grant amount as those in the ‘large’ category (£5,000).

Electric van FAQs

Electric vans are cheaper to run than diesel or petrol vans due to the lower cost of electricity per mile. As well as potentially large savings on fuel, vehicle maintenance is usually cheaper and for a pure electric van, there is no Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax) to be paid. There are no tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) or nitrogen oxides, so you’ll help improve the air quality in the area you drive.

The guide below will answer many of the questions you might have before making the switch to an electric van. Alternatively, you can download our electric van FAQs as a PDF.

Electrifying last mile deliveries

Ecargo bikes and electric vans have a vital role to play in distributing supplies and parcels sustainably to their final delivery addresses, referred to as the ‘last mile’.

Energy Saving Trust’s guide on Electrifying last mile deliveries offers advice for businesses on how they can adopt electric vans or ecargo bikes or electric vans or support sustainable deliveries by switching suppliers and managing their inbound deliveries.

Take a look at our Electrifying last mile deliveries guide for local authorities, which sets out the variety of approaches that local authorities can take to support the electrification of last mile deliveries and illustrates the approaches with an array of case studies.

The eCargo Bike Grant Fund 2021/22 is open for applications.

£400,000 has been made available by the Department for Transport in 2021/22 for the purchase of ecargo bikes, to support businesses switching to a sustainable transport solution.

Apply here

Header image credit: Vauxhall

Case study: Fruit 4 London

Fruit 4 London delivers fruit to over 500 offices in London every day using bikes and electric vehicles (EVs). The company now has more than a decade of  experience running an electric delivery fleet.

Last updated: 31 March 2022