Is an EV (Electric Vehicle) worth it commercially?

In September we purchased our electric van, since that time we have driven it all over Kent, Essex and parts of London, driving through busy traffic, motorways and country roads but we guess the question you all have on your mind is, ‘how good is its range?’ 

Before we discuss range, lets begin with the journey of finding the van- months, it took us months to find a van and the budget was exceeded substantially. One thing to note in EVs for commercial is the options, if you are thinking of getting a new van or expanding your fleet, when it comes to Diesel the options are almost limitless regardless of your budget, size requirements or features, whereas with EVs it is a case of the market decides what van you will have and what you will pay. Admittedly, there are more options if you are looking at brand new vehicle options (HP, finance, lease, etc.) when compared to buying pre-owned. 

Tip: Begin your search way ahead of needing the vehicle and be prepared to spend months searching. 

Now that we have the van and the team has been able to experience it we can all say with confidence, THE BEST DECISION EVER MADE. We wanted an EV, our mission statement is “Educating & encouraging the nation to become sustainable & environmentally friendly”, we felt that with that mission we need to be jumping ahead on new technologies that drive us towards zero emissions, in addition to our electric van, our power tools (Hedgecutters, streamers, blowers) are all battery powered, producing zero emissions. 

We know EVs are new technologies, we understand they will have their issues… you’re all thinking range we’re sure, but our theory is the more people that make the change, the more people we can convince to swap the faster the technology will evolve and we can all move towards a sustainable future. 

Reasons it has been the BEST DECISION EVER...
  • The van is silent and peaceful, 
  • Produces zero emissions
  • Can be charged overnight at HQ, no more trips to fuel stations. 
  • Cheaper to run
  • Less maintenance
  • More reliable
  • More powerful 
  • Better handling 

So we’ve established an Electric van is difficult to find with limited options, but has numerous benefits, now let’s talk about range…

Range is estimated to be around 170, when a range is stated as up to 170 in our minds we expected sticking to eco mode, using cruise control and accelerating steadily with minimal range would give maximum range, however, jump on the motorway and the range plummets, really plummets, chuck some weighty items in the back and turn the heaters on in winter and you are really in trouble, that 170 range will become 100. 

While that range is reduced on motorways, driving on smaller roads, country lanes and road to road then the range goes on and on and on and… you get the idea, on our first day with the van we drove 60 miles on motorways, yet according to the range meter it dropped 90, however the next day the van spent hours driving around a small town, barely exceeding 25mph and in that time the range dropped only a couple of miles. 

For our business, we are going from job to job all day long, sometimes going to 15 properties in a day with one round, but only traveling 20 miles in the day, so the EV is perfect- in fact it is the worst thing for diesel to be stop starting all day- so in our situation it is ideal, we were amazed to see how little the range had dropped in some days. All the team were blown away. 

If you are going to be doing a lot of mileage (exceeding 100 miles a day) with a lot of weight in the back, say 250kg plus then you will likely struggle to find an electric viable, unfortunately the technology is not there yet. But if you are doing small local journeys, are travelling with less weight then we would certainly advice swapping out the ICE for EV. 

We hope you have found this article helpful and really, really hope we have persuaded you to purchase your first EV.

Get in touch if you have any further questions or to share stories. 

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