More than a third of van drivers considering an electric van

  • Fiat Professional survey finds ‘white van man’ is turning green
  • 35% are thinking about going electric, 91% believe everyone should be eco-friendly
  • Meanwhile, a fifth are now vegan or vegetarian – and most of tired of stereotypes

Fiat E-Ducato electric van, 2021, charging

Electric vans – love them or hate them, there is no getting away from them. And as more of them begin to go on sale, it seems van drivers are beginning to take them seriously, as according to a new survey by Fiat Professional, more than a third of you are considering swapping to an electric van.

Fiat, you may not be surprised to learn, has prepared this survey in advance of launching its own electric van – the E-Ducato – later in 2021. But with 500 van drivers polled, and topics covered that contradict the typical ‘white van man’ image, the results make interesting reading, nonetheless.

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Van drivers are going green?

It would seem so. Not only did 35% of the those surveyed suggest they were considering a swap to an electric van, two-thirds of them support government plans to reduce vehicle emissions on the roads.

What’s more, 84% – that’s more than eight out of 10 – think companies should now be looking to have a fleet of environmentally friendly vehicles. And 91% thought it was ‘vital’ for everyone to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

So it’s ‘green van man’ now?

Fiat hasn’t gone into gender but that’s the approach it’s taking, yes. This involves squashing a few other ‘myths’ as well.

For instance, ‘almost two-thirds’ of the survey respondents were ‘offended’ by the idea that van drivers are aggressive on the road now. Similarly, 77% claimed to take pride in making sure their van is always clean and tidy, while 66% are ‘tired’ of the stereotype that van drivers ‘get by on an unhealthy diet’.

One in five – that’s 20%  – said they were vegan or vegetarian, and the majority of those asked said they were more likely to have a bagel or a cereal bar than a fry-up.

Where does the E-Ducato fit into all this?

Well, it’s looking like a highly competitive entrant into the large electric van market – especially when it comes to payload.

Rated to carry up to 1,885kg, Fiat says this is best-in-class, and we’re expecting to be impressed when we finally drive it. Which should be in spring 2021.

The E-Ducato’s driving range is also pretty handy, with the larger battery pack option claiming 175 miles in mixed driving and 230 miles in city driving – more than four times the daily average distance of the van drivers surveyed. That’s measured to WLTP standards, too.

What do other people think about electric vans?

Fiat has also conducted a wider survey of 2,000 adults, and found that three-quarters of them – 75% – want delivery companies to zero emissions vehicles (like the E-Ducato and other 100% electric vans) ‘where they can’.

More than half want to know more about the carbon footprint of delivery services and about how environmentally friendly delivery vehicles are (53% and 53%, respectively).

A spokesperson from Fiat Professional, Richard Chamberlain, commented: ‘Electric vans offer a lot of benefits for delivery companies and tradespeople. Not only are they environmentally friendly, but they are also exempt from the congestion charge and ULEZ and are available with up to a whopping £8,000 government grant.’

He added: ‘The way we buy goods has radically shifted over the past 12 months as e-commerce becomes a more and more important part of consumer behaviour.

‘Whether we’re getting our weekly groceries dropped off or a shiny new electrical device delivered, more and more people are wanting to know it’s being brought to our home by a company which is being as eco-conscious as possible.’

Also read:

>> Fiat E-Ducato electric van – full details and pricing

>> The best electric vans

>> The Parkers guide to electric vans

>> Electric vans coming soon