Electric van guide - everything you need to know

  • Simple explanation of electric van pros and cons
  • Find out about current and future e-vans in the UK
  • Learn what electric vans are like to drive and which are best

This is the Parkers Vans and Pickups guide to electric vans, including details of what they're like to drive, info on how much they cost to run, and links to reviews of the latest models.

Whether you like it or not, electric vehicles are going to play an increasingly important role in the UK van market as it evolves over the next few years. More and more van makers will be introducing e-vans as a result.

Electric vans represent a tiny fraction of overall sales right now, but as concern about environmental pollution grows – especially in city centres – businesses and private buyers will come under increasing pressure to adopt e-mobility solutions.

Renault Kangoo ZE charging - electric van guide (2019)

But don't fret too much – electric vans are getting better all the time, and while there are compromises, there are also benefits, too.

There's a lot of information on this page so click on the links below to go quickly to the information that most interests you:

Alternatively, simply keep reading for everything you need to know about electric vans.

What are the bestselling electric vans?

The Renault Kangoo ZE and Nissan e-NV200 currently dominate electric van sales – and following updates in 2017 and 2018, they also have much longer driving ranges, making them more suitable for more businesses (we've details of the driving range of every current electric van below).

However, these are both aging models now, and they are going to face increasing competition from this point on.

More significantly for many businesses, the number of large electric vans is set to increase substantially over the next few years, with Citroen, Fiat, Ford, MAN, Mercedes, Peugeot and Volkswagen all set to launch new challengers to the established LDV EV80 and Renault Master ZE.

Before this, most electric vans had been small ones.

There are a number of medium electric vans on the way, with Citroen, Peugeot, LDV, Vauxhall and Volkswagen already promising interesting innovations in this area of the market, following Mercedes's launch of the eVito.

Nissan e-NV200 in Harrods livery - electric van guide (2019)

And of course, it’s not just vans – sales of electric vehicles (EVs) in general are set to rise dramatically in the coming years.

Several car brands, Nissan and Renault in particular, have established strong reputations in this area, success they are already carrying over into the light commercial vehicle world. More recently, Volkswagen has begun a big push into the electric vehicle market, planning a whole range of ID branded EVs, and of course everyone has heard of Tesla.

Which is exactly why petrol station companies are starting to add electric vehicle charging points to their forecourts. BP has even purchased charge point maker Chargemaster.

What are the pros and cons of electric vans?

We’ve built this page, packed with links to all the pertinent information on Parkers Vans and Pickups, to help you find out – including details of workplace charging point grants, analysis from industry experts plus info about current and future electric van models.

Electric vans – advantages

Let’s keep things simple, these are the major advantages:

  • Eco-friendliness – electric vans produce no CO2 or NOx emissions as they drive around, meaning their widespread adoption has the potential to dramatically improve air quality, especially in urban areas.
  • Running costs – typically e-vans are considerably cheaper to run than diesel alternatives. Not only is the cost per mile of ‘fuel’ (electricity) lower, there are fewer moving parts and they are less hard on their brakes, reducing maintenance costs.
  • Buying incentives – also helping to lower running costs, these include the government plug-in van grant worth up to 20% off the list price (up to a maximum of £8,000), plus reduced tax burdens for both business and private use. There are even grants towards the cost of workplace chargers available now.
  • Other incentives – people driving electric vehicles are seen as brave souls, saving our planet, so local authorities like to encourage them. Such encouragement ranges from free parking in many areas, exemption from the London Congestion Charge, and even free charging in some places.
  • Silent running – electric vans are much quieter than diesel vans, to the extent that some are virtually silent (aside from a hum you’ll only hear at low speeds). This makes life more pleasant for the driver, but also opens up a whole host of opportunities for unsocial-hours services, where a conventional van might otherwise bring noise complaints.
  • Easy-going performance – seems unlikely, but because electric motors deliver instant torque they get shifting smoothly and quickly. Outright response falls away at higher speeds, but around town they’re very nippy, especially as they universally ditch manual gearboxes for automatic transmissions.
  • Convenience – also seems unlikely, but electric vans do have some convenience features not often seen elsewhere, including the ability on many to set the air-conditioning to your preferred temperature while charging. This also avoids waiting around for the van to defrost in the morning.
  • Image – want to give your business a squeaky-clean, socially conscious image? An electric van will certainly help. Hence high profile adoptees such as Harrods.

Electric vans – disadvantages

It isn’t all good news, of course.

There are also some significant disadvantages to electric vans – which at the very least need careful consideration before purchase, to make sure an e-van will suit your needs:

  • Range anxiety – this is the obvious big issue. While driving range is improving all the time, electric vans will not travel as far on a single charge as conventional vans will on a single tank of fuel. This not only means you will have to stop more often (and for longer; see below), it also makes them almost entirely impractical for long-distance use.
  • Charging time – this varies, depending on the power of the charging system, but even in the best-case scenario it will take longer to recharge an e-van than to refuel a regular van. DC rapid chargers can give you an 80% charge in around 40 minutes; home charging stations can complete a full recharge overnight; a normal three-pin plug may require an entire day.
  • Charging convenience – not only does it take a long time to charge an electric van, you’ve got to find somewhere to do the charging, too. Certainly not as convenient as filling up at a fuel station. Yet.
  • Purchase cost – electro-mobility technology is still in its infancy, and is also made from individually expensive components (the very material that the batteries are built out of, for example), so it’s no wonder electric vans are so expensive. They are usually cheaper to run, though (see above).
  • Weight – e-mobility tech is also heavy. The current crop of small electric vans are able to manage this through increased homologated gross vehicle weight (GVW), allowing them to retain the same level of payload capacity as non-electric equivalents. The government has attempted to counter this by increasing the GVW for electric vans from 3.5 tonnes to 4.25 tonnes to allow for the weight of the battery tech. More on this below.
  • Range variance – like all vans, you need to take the efficiency of an electric van as quoted by the manufacturer with a pinch of salt. Most claim they will go 106 miles between charges, but the reality is that you’ll be lucky to see more than 80 miles in practice. To be fair to them, every electric van manufacturer acknowledges this. Perhaps more significant, therefore, is just how dramatically that range can be impacted by other factors, including not only payload weight and driving style but also the weather conditions. EVs do not like the cold!
  • Batteries lose performance over time – an unavoidable reality of all electric vehicles is that their batteries deteriorate over time, meaning they gradually begin to hold less charge. This, however, is why most battery packs are covered by extended warranties (up to eight years in some cases), ensuring they see out the working life of the van.
  • Residual values – at the moment, uncertainty in the used market about electric vans means that they often lose value faster than their diesel counterparts. Renault's model of leasing the battery pack separately from the van hasn't helped matters here.

Where do electric vans work best?

Taking all of the above into account, you’d expect the best use for electric vans to be in urban areas – so towns and cities – where you’re never far away from a plug.

Nissan e-NV200 as a florists delivery van - electric van guide (2019)

While this is certainly true, it doesn’t automatically rule out other uses – particularly if you have a set route or known distance that you rarely exceed that falls within an e-van’s real-world driving range.

Most current operators simply plug their electric vans in overnight, use them within their limits during the day, and then set them to recharge again ready for the next morning. And many EVs include timers that allow you to set them to charge when electricity is cheapest.

How do I know if an electric van is right for me?

If you’re still unsure, the best thing to do will be to speak to your local electric van dealer. They should be able to arrange for you to test one in a manner suitable for you to decide whether it will work for your business.

They should also be able to show you a specific cost comparison between electric and conventional fuel, based on your business needs.

Beat ULEZs in an electric van

In some instances in the not-too-distant future, such as where Ultra-Low Emissions Zones (ULEZs) are in force, an electric van might be the only way to carry goods without facing a financial penalty.

Ford Transit Connect Electric driving - electric van guide (2019)

For example, London's new ULEZ came into force on 8 April 2019, and already penalises all pre-Euro 6 diesel vans (and pre-Euro 4 petrol vans) that enter the capital with a £12.50 fee.

This will impact a vast number of van drivers, as Euro 6 legislation only came into force in 2016 (some older vans may still meet Euro 6, but you will need to check), with further updates introduced in September 2019.

How much is the government plug-in van grant?

The government plug-in grant discount for vans is worth 20% of the asking price, up to a total saving of £8,000.

The discount applies to light commercial vehicles with a plug, including both hybrid and full-electric vans as long as they meet a number of rules, including having official CO2 emissions of no more than 75g/m (fully electric vehicles emit 0g/km CO2).

Other rules cover minimum top speed (50mph), minimum electric driving range (60 miles for a pure electric van, 10 miles for a hybrid), and minimum warranty length (three years / 60,000 for the base vehicle but with additional requirements for the batteries).

The van must also have been built or converted to electric power prior to first registration, so aftermarket conversions do not qualify for the grant.

You can find out more about eligibility on the official Uk government plug-in van grant webpage.

What are electric vans like to drive?

Generally speaking, very pleasant. We’ve tried every mainstream model presently available in the UK and although there are subtle differences, there are a few universal truths as well.

VW e-Crafter driving, front view - electric van guide (2019)

Most prominent of these is the refinement. Electric vans are quiet at all speeds, with none of the diesel rattle you’re probably used to – and while that can result in wind and road noise becoming more noticeable, overall it’s a far more refined and relaxing driving experience.

Electric motors also remove the need for a conventional gearbox, so you simply select Drive or Reverse, and go. No tiring out your left leg with the clutch during traffic jams here. No clutch also means reduced running costs, too.

Nissan e-NV200 cab interior - electric van guide (2019)

Similarly, you’ll find you need to use the regular brakes less in an e-van. This is because whenever you lift off the accelerator, the electric motor turns into a generator – a process that not only recovers energy to top up the batteries but also acts to slow down the van.

On most electric vans, this action is quite pronounced – promoting what’s known as ‘one pedal’ driving. Watch the road well enough, and you’ll find you can often drive for long periods without needing to use the conventional brakes at all, reducing wear (and costs).

Renault Master ZE driving, rear view - electric van guide (2019)

Electric vans are also usually quite sprightly to drive, with motors providing maximum torque instantly giving responsive acceleration around town, while the position of the heavy batteries and other components low down in the chassis reduces bodyroll and increases road holding in the turns.

But do take a test drive, because this sprightliness isn’t universal. The Iveco Daily Electric, for example, is very slow…

What’s the driving range of an electric van?

Until 2017, almost every e-van on sale in the UK offered a 106-mile official range – which in reality is more like 60-80 miles, depending on how you drive, and how cold it is outside.

However, in mid-2017 the Renault Kangoo ZE was upgraded to 170 miles on paper, which should equate up to 124 miles in real life. We've driven this updated Kangoo ZE 33 model, and it impressed us so much we awarded it a runner-up spot in the Best Van category of the Parkers New Car Awards 2018.

Renault Kangoo ZE 33 charging - electric van guide (2019)

Following on from that, in October 2017 Nissan announced an upgrade to the e-NV200 to a claimed a 174-mile driving range. We drove this 40kWh version in January 2018, and with a real-world range similar to the latest Kangoo, it shows progress in the electric van sector is moving quickly.

In large and medium e-vans, the range generally depends on how many battery packs you opt to have fitted - a decision that may come down to cost, the driving range you need or the payload you need. Batteries are expensive and heavy.

While progress in the large and medium electric van sectors has been slow so far, in 2020 it's set to start moving much faster, as more and more models begin competing for your cash.

Comparison of official electric van driving range:

Van name Van type / size Official driving range
Renault Kangoo ZE 33 Small van 170 miles NEDC
Nissan e-NV200 40kWh Small van 174 miles NEDC
Citroen Berlingo Electric (old) Small van 106 miles NEDC
Peugeot Partner Electric (old) Small van 106 miles NEDC
VW e-Caddy (cancelled for UK) Small van 160 miles NEDC
Citroen Berlingo electric (2021) Small van To be confirmed
Peugeot e-Partner (2021) Small van To be confirmed
Toyota Proace City electric (2021) Small van To be confirmed
Vauxhall Combo-e (2021) Small van To be confirmed
Mercedes eVito (2019/2020) Medium van 93 miles NEDC
VW e-Transporter (2020) Medium van 134 miles (single-battery) / 250 miles (twin-battery) NEDC
LDV e Deliver 3 (2020) Medium van 115-174 miles (depending on van and battery size) NEDC
Vauxhall Vivaro-e electric (2020) Medium van 124-186 miles (depending on battery size) WLTP
Citroen Dispatch electric (2020) Medium van 124-186 miles (depending on battery size) WLTP
Peugeot e-Expert (2020) Medium van 124-186 miles (depending on battery size) WLTP
Toyota Proace electric (2020) Medium van 124-186 miles (depending on battery size) WLTP
Sokon / DFSK EC35 (2020) Medium van 138 miles
Morris Commercial JE (2020) Medium van 200 miles (untested claim)
VW ID Buzz Cargo (2022) Medium van To be confirmed
Renault Master ZE Large van 120 miles NEDC
LDV EV80 Large van 127 miles NEDC
Mercedes eSprinter (2020) Large van 71-93 miles (depending on battery packs)
VW e-Crafter (2021) Large van 107 miles NEDC
MAN eTGE (2021) Large van 107 miles NEDC
Ford Transit electric (2021) Large van To be confirmed
Iveco Daily Electric Large van Varies with number of battery packs
Citroen Relay electric (2020) Large van 99-140 miles
Peugeot e-Boxer (2020) Large van 99-140 miles
Fiat Ducato Electric (2020) Large van 136-223 miles
LDV e Deliver 9 (2021) Large van To be confirmed

The official driving range that is given by the manufacturer, based on a mandated testing procedure. Previously this was the NEDC test, but in September 2019 a new WLTP testing procedure came into force, and as you can see above, some electric vans makers are starting to give driving range estimates based on this.

WLTP is tougher, and supposed to better reflect real-world driving. However, you may still see some electric van makers continue to give a further real-world range estimate of the distance you should be able to do in actual driving, which will be different again.

Some electric car makers, such as Renault, even give a different real-world range for summer and winter driving, in an effort to ensure you completely understand whether an electric vehicle can cover the distance you need it to between charges.

Why don’t electric vans like the cold?

It’s not just vans, but all EVs, and has to do with chemical composition of the batteries – as well as the extra demand on them from drivers in cold weather.

Need to run a heater? Then that’s going to dramatically reduce your driving range; the Kangoo ZE now uses heat pump technology to reduce this disruption.

Electric car covered in show - electric van guide (2019)

It’s a similar story with the air-conditioning – switch it on and you’ll see an immediate reduction in the driving range shown by the on-board computer, simply because of the energy that needs to be diverted from driving the wheels to powering the air-con.

This isn’t quite as pronounced in the summer as it is in the winter, however, as the cold weather really does reduce battery efficiency as well.

Are there payload issues with electric vans?

While the added weight of electric van tech isn’t really an issue for small vans, when it comes to large vans it is more of a problem.

This is because the legal maximum gross vehicle weight (GVW) for a standard UK driving licence is 3.5 tonnes, and a lot of large vans already use every kilogram of this allowance. Since the basic weight of battery-powered electric vehicles is typically more than that of a vehicle powered by a conventional engine, this leaves less capacity for payload and reduces the amount of stuff that they can legally carry with that 3.5t limit.

Iveco Daily Electric driving - electric van guide (2019)

The government has countered this by allowing standard car licence holders to drive electric vans weighing up to 4.25 tonnes, a process that has been labelled the alternative fuel payload derogation.

This extra weight allowance effectively compensates for the extra heft of the electric technology, so a battery van should be able to match a diesel equivalent for carrying ability.

This could have benefits for an electric van's range in the future, too, as it could potentially allow manufacturers use the weight allowance to increase the number of batteries on board.

Are electric vans more expensive to service than diesel vans?

The results of a survey by behavioural research firm BVA BDRC suggests that although potential electric van owners and operators understand that daily running costs are lower for electric vans, a lot of them believe that servicing costs for electric vans will actually be higher than for traditional diesel models.

This is presumably down to the perceived complexity of the electric drivetrain components.

In fact, electric vans should be cheaper to maintain than diesel vans, as they have fewer moving parts. There are no pistons pumping up and down here, no oil to change, and no clutch in the gearbox to wear out.

You should even find that your brake pads and discs last longer due to the powerful braking effective of the motor - since the motor is also used to recover energy whenever you let up the accelerator.

What electric vans are on sale in the UK now?

There aren’t a huge number of electric vans on sale at the moment, but their popularity is rising fast. This means we will be seeing more of them, and we've got all the future models listed below as well.

For now, though, these are your choices:

Citroen Berlingo Electric / Peugeot Partner Electric

Peugeot Partner Electric and Citroen Berlingo Electric - electric van guide (2019)

The same van with different badges. Good value, including DC rapid charging capability as standard, and available in two different body lengths: L1 and L2.

A distant third place to the Nissan and Renault in terms of sales and driving range (just 106 miles officially), but Peugeot-Citroen is keen to do more e-van business, so could be worth approaching for a deal.

There are all-new versions of the Berlingo and the Partner available now, but the electric versions are going to remain in the old models' body for the time being. The company says that it will switch over in the future, but electric is not part of the initial roll out for the all-new vans.

>> Peugeot Partner L2 Electric review

Iveco Daily Electric

Iveco Daily Electric driving on road - electric van guide (2019)

Ponderously slow and expensive. Iveco doesn’t publish an official price list (you negotiate at dealer level) but it’s approximately £60k for the single battery pack version, £80k for two battery packs and £100k for three.

The technology feels far from the cutting edge here, and the Daily Electric has disappeared from Iveco's UK website since the introduction of the 2019 facelift.

>> Read the full Iveco Daily review


LDV EV80 facelift - electric van guide (2019)

A surprise option if you're looking for a large electric van on a budget, this is based on the LDV V80 diesel, and went on sale in the UK in November 2017. At around £60k it's still not exactly cheap, but this includes enough battery power for a claimed 127-mile range, and the driving experience is nicer than in the diesel version.

A facelifted version (pictured) was announced at the 2018 IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hannover, with a revised interior and exterior. The electric underpinnings remain the same, though, so the range and charging times are unchanged.

>> LDV EV80 review

Nissan e-NV200

Nissan e-NV200 40kWh - electric van guide (2019)

The bestselling electric van in Europe in 2016 and 2017 – and the UK is its biggest market. The electric version of the NV200 small van benefits from Nissan’s heavy association with electric cars (via the Leaf), but it also has generous load volume for a small van, boosting its efficiency.

What's more, the 2018 version has a larger 40kWh battery pack, increasing the e-NV200's official claimed driving range from 106 miles to 174 miles. This has been going down very well with UK buyers in the first part of 2019, with sales up 200% in the first part of the year.

>> Nissan e-NV200 40kWh review

Renault Kangoo ZE

Renault Kangoo ZE 33 - electric van guide (2019)

Nissan’s alliance partner Renault also builds a convincing small electric van – in fact, it was Europe’s bestseller until 2016, a crown it regained in 2018. Renault's battery rental model also means you’ll never be lumbered with a defective battery pack as long as you’re prepared to pay a monthly fee; this doesn't help used values, however, and you can buy the whole van outright if you prefer.

Upgraded with a larger 33kWh battery in 2017, the latest Kangoo ZE 33 now boasts an impressive 124-mile real-world driving range. This or the latest e-NV200 makes the most sense in the small van sector for us at the moment.

>> Renault Kangoo ZE 33 review

Renault Master ZE

Renault Master ZE charging - electric van guide (2019)

This all-electric version of the Renault Master is the first mainstream large electric van - beating the new Mercedes eSpritner and VW e-Crafter to the punch, it went on sale in late 2018.

The official claimed range is around 120 miles, though Renault is realistic enough to admit that 75 miles is more likely. Sounds bad but that is also a worst case scenario calculation, accounting for payload and poor weather. While it's not as quiet as we expected inside, it comes in four sizes and can carry over 1,100kg.

>> Renault Master ZE review

Electric vans coming to the UK soon

We're expecting the number of electric vans available to UK buyers to increase dramatically from 2020 onwards - here's our round-up of the new models you can expect to start seeing in dealerships soon.

Mercedes-Benz eVito (2019-2020)

Mercedes eVito - electric van guide (2019)

Based on the Vito introduced in 2015, this eVito electric version was slated to go on general sale in 2019 - and indeed some fleet customers have already got them. However, UK allocation for this year is now sold out, so anyone else interested will have to wait until 2020.

We sampled a prototype in 2017, and drove the production version in 2018 and tried on the road in the UK in 2019, and we like everything about it except the limited 90-mile range.

>> Mercedes eVito review

>> Mercedes announces new electric van strategy

Volkswagen e-Transporter (2020)

VW e-Transporter at the Frankfurt IAA 2018 - electric van guide (2019)

Following the cancellation of VW e-Caddy's for the right-hand drive UK market, the first all-electric Volkswagen to be sold here will be the e-Transporter, which is set to arrive in facelifted T6.1 guise in the early part of 2020 (it's shown as a pre-facelift T6 model above).

Based on the long-wheelbase Transporter and converted on VW's behalf by electric racing specialist ABT, this will come with a choice of one or two battery packs, allowing you to pick between payload or range, depending on which matters more.

The single-battery payload champion offers a driving range of 134 miles and the ability to carry up to 1,186kg, while the twin-battery model boosts the range to 250 miles but can only carry a maximum of 695kg.

 >> More information about the VW e-Transporter

Vauxhall Vivaro-e, Citroen Dispatch Peugeot e-Expert and Toyota Proace electric vans (2020)

Electric Vivaro, Dispatch and Expert, planned for 2020

This quartet of closely related vans is now fully confirmed to be going electric in 2020; there might even be a VXR version of the Vauxhall.

All four will use the same electric drive system and offer a choice of two battery sizes, giving them a projected WLTP driving range of 124 or 186 miles.

As yet there's no details about payload or power output, and only the Peugeot and the Vauxhall have been officially named - as the e-Expert and Vivaro-e.

>> More details on the PSA Group electric vans

Mercedes-Benz eSprinter (2020)

Mercedes eSprinter - electric van guide (2019)

An electric version of the latest Mercedes Sprinter has been confirmed for around about 2020, and again we've had access to an early drive in a prototype.

Payload (1,040kg max) and range (93 miles max) are somewhat limited for a large van, which will reduce its appeal. But the complete package is shaping up to be impressive for urban delivery operations.

>> Mercedes eSprinter prototype review

LDV e Deliver 3 / EV30 (2020)

LDV EV30 at the 2019 CV Show - electric van guide (2019)

This may be a surprise to some people, but LDV is shaping up to be a potential front-running electric van maker, thanks in part to this smart-looking new e Deliver 3 model, which goes on sale in the UK in early 2020.

Previously known as the EV30 (and unveiled with this name at the 2019 CV Show), the e Deliver 3 is a purpose-built electric van with a light-weight design, optimised through the use of aluminium, high-strength steel and composites. Claimed range is as much as 174 miles, but it's the 1,000kg payload capacity that's likely to really turn heads.

>> More information about the LDV e Deliver 3 electric van

Citroen Relay Electric (2020)

Citroen Relay Electric at the CV Show 2019 - electric van guide (2019)

Another unexpected surprise at the CV Show 2019 was the last minute appearance of an electric version of the aging Citroen Relay - a product development we weren't expecting until a next-generation Relay arrives sometime in the next decade.

But Citroen is playing smart here. Because the older design of the Relay makes it a relatively lightweight large van, its electric variant is promising impressive driving range of up to 140 miles.

>> More information about the Citroen Relay Electric

Peugeot e-Boxer (2020)

Peugeot Boxer Electric - electric van guide (2019)

Predictably appearing alongside the Relay Electric at the CV Show 2019 was the Peugeot Boxer, more recently confirmed to be called the e-Boxer. As these two are the same van beneath the badging, the Peugeot makes the same range promises as the Citroen.

Payload is also impressive at up to 1,215kg. Both are expected to go on sale in early 2020.

>> More information about the Peugeot e-Boxer

Fiat Ducato Electric (2020)

Fiat Ducato Electric - electric van guide (2019)

Announced in June 2019 and set to be available for 'pre-ordering' before the end of the same year, Fiat's first all-electric van will be a version of the Ducato, on sale in 2020 - and it could be a gamechanger.

The Ducato is related to the Relay and Boxer, but as with the rest of the engine line-up, Fiat is going its own way here, combining a 122hp electric motor with enough batteries to deliver between 136 and 223 miles of driving range.

Fiat is promising it will match the load carrying capability of the diesel versions, too, and plans to offer it in a wide selection of body styles.

>> More information about the Fiat Ducato Electric

Sokon Automotive / DFSK EC35 (2020)

DFSK Sokon Automotive EC35 electric van, on sale 2020

Not exactly a household name, but DFSK will soon start selling commercial vehicles in the UK again, and among the proposed new models is this old-school looking EC35 electric van.

Details are scarce at this stage, but it has 5.0 cubic metres of load space (which just about takes it into medium van territory) and a claimed driving range of 138 miles.

Perhaps most importantly, it also promises to offer 'an excellent value for money' price. More info as soon as we have it.

Morris Commercial JE (2020)

Morris Commercial JE electric van - planned for sale in 2020

Another unexpected incoming entrant to the electric van market is the Morris Commerical JE. That's right, someone has resurrected Morris vans, and chosen the old J-Type as the inspiration for a new electric load lugger.

An engineering prototype has been on the road since early 2019 ahead of a planned production launch in 2020. Claimed driving range is 200 miles (though this hasn't been tested to any official standard), payload is rated to 1.0-tonne and the price is expected to be around £60,000.

Using carbonfibre bodywork and a bespoke modular platform it's a very ambitious project. Here's hope it comes to something.

>> Morris JE electric van - iconic J-Type returns as an EV

Volkswagen e-Crafter (2021)

VW eCrafter, silver, driving - electric van guide (2019)

VW committed to building an electric version of the all-new 2017 Crafter almost as soon as it was launched, and the first examples will soon be hitting the road in Europe having undergone extensive trials in the UK and abroad. We've driven it, and came away impressed.

Trouble is, although you can buy an e-Crafter if you live in, say, Germany, you won't be able to get a right-hand version until around 2021.

There is presently only one size and shape of e-Crafter - a medium-wheelbase high roof model - and it offers a range of 107 miles, a top speed of 56mph and a payload of up to 1.72 tonnes. 

>> Volkswagen e-Crafter review

MAN eTGE (2021)

MAN eTGE - electric van guide (2019)

As the MAN TGE is a variant of the VW Crafter, so the eTGE is MAN's version of the e-Crafter.

Expect the exact same driving range and payload options, and a similar UK right-hand drive delivery date of 2021.

>> More information about the MAN eTGE

Ford Transit Electric (2021)

Ford Transit Electric concept - electric van guide (2019)

Unveiled as a concept for the first time at the 2019 Ford Go Further Event, Ford has also committed to building a large electric van, based on its ever-popular Transit model.

Details of performance and payload are still to be confirmed, but Ford promises the all-electric Transit will be 'competitive'.

>> More information about the Ford Transit electric

Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot e-Partner, Toyota Proace City and Vauxhall Combo-e electric vans (2021)

Citroen Berlingo - Parkers Awards winner - electric version coming 2021

Aside from an on-sale date of 2021, we so far know very little about this quartet of new small electric vans.

Although it seems very likely they will use technology similar to that fitted in the larger Dispatch, Expert, Proace and Vivaro models.

>> Citroen Berlingo (2019-on) full review

>> Peugeot Partner (2019-on) full review

>> Toyota Proace City first details

>> Vauxhall Combo Cargo (2018-on) full review

LDV e Deliver 9 (2021)

LDV Deliver 9 large van on sale in 2020 will form basis of e Deliver 9 electric van

Not much in the way of concrete details on this yet, but LDV is planning an all-electric version of its new Deliver 9 large van. This will be called the e Deliver 9, and replace the EV80.

Expect keen pricing and very capable performance - even if it looks a little too much like a Ford Transit.

>> More information about the LDV Deliver 9 large van

Volkswagen ID Buzz Cargo (2022)

VW ID Buzz Cargo concept - electric van guide (2019)

Finally, it's not just LDV that's working on a bespoke electric van platform - VW also has plans to build a solely electric model. Previewed as the ID Buzz Cargo concept, this is set to go on sale in 2022 as a more radical alternative to the Transporter.

For while it promises retro looks, it uses the same dedicated MEB electric vehicle platform as the firm's new ID range of electric cars, and VW is already talking up a claimed 205-mile driving range from the larger of two battery pack options.

Other cutting edge features include solar panels on the roof to charge the batteries on the move, wireless charging to top them up at home, and even self-driving technology.

>> More information about the VW ID Buzz Cargo 

Any other electric vans we should know about?

Well, Ford has a partnership with Deutsche Post, supplying the Transit chassis for a bespoke Deutsche Post and DHL electric delivery van called the StreetScooter Work XL.

StreetScooter Work XL - electric van guide (2019)

Astonishingly, the partnership planned to have 2,500 examples in service by the end of 2018, a record number of electric vans in the large van category.

StreetScooter is actually an existing subsidiary of the Deutsche Post DHL Group, and builds bespoke small electric vans for urban delivery services.

StreetScooter electric van - electric van guide (2019)

There are 2,500 of these already, with plans to increase production to 20,000 a year.

You may soon start seeing the smaller StreetScooter near you, as a fleet of 200 is going into operation as 21st century milk floats right here in the UK.

Renault Twizy Cargo - electric van guide (2019)

In addition to these, there are cargo versions of the Renault Twizy (above), the Renault Zoe and the Volkswagen e-Up (called the e-Load Up, below). You can get the Twizy Cargo in the UK, but its carrying capacity is tiny.

VW e-Load Up - electric van guide (2019)

Does anyone make a hybrid electric van?

The only hybrid light commercial vehicle currently available in the UK is a version of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV with the rear seats removed. But there is a proper hybrid van on the way from Ford, with another promised from London taxi firm LEVC set to follow in the next decade.

Ford Transit Custom Plug-in Hybrid

Ford Transit Custom PLug-in Hybrid charging - electric van guide (2019)

This Ford hybrid van (above) is based on the hugely popular Transit Custom, and uses a range-extender plug-in petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain to achieve a claimed 30 miles of electric driving, with a total range of 310 miles if you make use of the petrol tank.

As a solution that enables electric only running without the range anxiety it works very well, but it's not a great substitute for a diesel van long-distance and there will be a large number of pure electric rivals with claimed ranges as high as 250 miles on sale in 2020.

It also costs around £15,000 more than an equivalent conventional Transit Custom. Whoa.

>> Ford Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid review

LEVC taxi-based PHEV van

LEVC LCV plug-in hybrid electric van based on London taxi - electric van guide (2019)

You may not have heard of the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC), but it's owned by Chinese automotive giant Geely (also owner of Volvo) these days and builds the new plug-in hybrid London taxi. And it's now planning to build a van based on the same technology.

This project has had a bit of a rocky start to life - it was actually officially cancelled late in 2018 - but following a reveal event with London Mayor Sadiq Khan in June 2019, the firm has uncancelled it and is planning to start taking orders for the new model towards the end of 2020.

It uses a similar range-extender approach to the Transit Custom PHEV above, but claims a 80-mile electric driving range and 377 miles of total travel between fill ups. It's a smaller van than the Transit, though.

>> Official details of the LEVC London taxi-based hybrid electric van

Does anyone make an electric pickup truck?

None of the manufacturers of pickups that are currently sold in the UK have confirmed that they will build electric versions. But a few are starting to acknowledge that come 2025, electrification of some kind may be necessary to meet planned emissions regulations.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are stronger signs that electric pickups are on the way from the USA, which has a much greater number of pickup truck buyers.

Rivian R1T

Rivian R1T electric pickup truck - electric van guide (2019)

American start-up Rivian is leading the way here, with confirmed plans to build the all-electric pickup truck pictured above.

Called the Rivian R1T, this e-pickup promises some incredible performance figures, including a 400-mile driving range and 0-60mph in just 3.0 seconds. Payload looks a little light at the moment, though, at a claimed 800kg.

Sadly, it's not set to go on sale in the USA until 2021, with European sales currently planned for 2022.

And if you think it sounds a little too good to be true, consider that Ford has invested money in the company, suggesting the automotive giant thinks Rivian is onto something.

The same firm is working on an electric van, and made headlines recently when it secured a huge order for these from Amazon.

>> More information on the Rivian R1T electric pickup

Ford F-150 Electric

Ford F-150 electric pickup prototype - on sale in 2021

Ford's investment into Rivian isn't stopping the firm exploring the possibility of launching its own electric pickup, based on the enormously popular F-150 - the USA's bestselling truck for over four decades.

We understand that an F-150 Electric production model could go on sale as soon as 2021, and to underline the performance potential of such a machine, Ford's been showing off a prototype by having it tow a freight train.

Don't expect to see it on sale in the UK any time soon, though.

Bollinger B2

Bollinger B2 electric pickup truck

Another American start-up now taking deposits for an electric pickup is Bollinger, which plans to produce this huge B2 model and sell it for $125,000 (roughly £100,000 at present exchange rates).

Despite the set-square styling, it's a fascinating piece of product design, with innovations that include the option to open up the back of the cab for increased load capacity, and a storage space in the front where you'd usually expect to find the engine (the whol drivetrain is under the floor).

There's even a load-through feature that makes use of both elements to swallow items up to 16 feet long (4,876mm).

Driving range is an estimated 200 miles, while power and torque is said to be equivalent to 614hp and 922Nm. Bollinger claims it's 'the world's most capable pickup truck' - if we ever get to drive one we'll see if that's true... On sale 2020-2021.

>> More information on the Bollinger B2

Tesla Cybertruck electric pickup

Tesla Cybertruck electric pickup

Electric car gamechanger Tesla – maker of the Model SModel X and Model 3 – has also announced plans to build an electric pickup. Called the Cybertruck, the prototype revealed in November 2019 certainly raised plenty of eyebrows, not least for its angular retro-futuristic styling.

As ever with Tesla, there's a lot of hype, including some huge performance claims and some even more outrageous promises surrounding the strength of the stainless steel bodywork and so-called armoured glass (which shattered during a live demonstration at the reveal event).

If you really want to you can already pay £100 to reserve one, but UK pricing is yet to be revealed, and the thing is likely to be so heavy that driving it on a regular car licence probably won't be possible. We're... intrigued.

>> More information on the Tesla Cybertruck

Morris Commercial JE electric pickup

Morris JE electric pickup, minibus and van - coming in 2020, maybe

The latest futuristic electric pickup project to emerge comes from much closer to home. A plan to resurrect the old Morris Commercial name has already spawned a new electric van prototype, but the fledgling firm says its also working on a pickup.

Details are scarce, but if the specs are the same as the van it could be very interesting.

Also read:

>> Should you be buying an electric van? Nissan Europe’s electric vehicle boss Gareth Dunsmore gives us the lowdown

>> Study finds electric van range ‘almost halves’ with full payload – comparison testing suggests weight is particularly hard on e-vans

>> Government to invest £7.5m in workplace chargers for electric vehicles