The new electric vans coming soon

Tom Webster

23 Sep 2021

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You can’t walk into a car dealership these days without bumping into an electric car or several, but the world of vans is a little further behind.

Commercial vehicles aren’t exempt from the forthcoming ban on combustion engines though, so the future, in the medium term at least, is set to be electric.

These are the electric vans that will be delivering our shopping, helping tradesmen get to jobs and moving your things when you move house in the next few years.

Citroen e-Berlingo, Peugeot e-Partner, Toyota Proace City Electric and the Vauxhall Combo-e – end of 2021

In diesel form these are some of the best small vans you can get right now, and the electric versions are promising some impressive figures too. They are powered by a 136hp motor that’s paired to a 50kWh battery and have a range of up to 171 miles. You will be able to charge them with a 7.4kW single-phase or a 11kW three-phase charger too.

They should be able to carry a fair bit too, with payloads up to 800kg. The Citroen, Peugeot and Vauxhall all come with a choice of two lengths and a crew van that can carry five, but the Toyota is likely to have a slightly smaller number of versions to pick from, if the rest of its models are anything to go by.

Mercedes eCitan – late 2022

Mercedes’s smallest van, the Citan, is set to go electric for the first time when it goes on sale late next year. The early information is that it will come with a 44kWh battery that should be good for up to 177 miles of range.

There isn’t any information on how much payload it will be able to offer at this stage, but Mercedes says it always “wants its customers to have the best payloads”. Given the diesel has a payload of 780kg, expect something similar to this.

Like the previous version, the new Citan is being developed alongside the Renault Kangoo. Speaking of which…

Renault Kangoo E-Tech – late 2022

Renault is one of the van makers that has history in the electric market, and the forthcoming Kangoo is set to be the second generation that comes with a battery-powered model.

This new model doesn’t promise a huge leap forward over the original as far as the numbers are concerned, with a range of 164 miles – the last one offered 143 miles – and a 44kWh battery versus a 33kW unit in the old one. There aren’t loads of details on the other numbers, like payload, just yet, but it’ll probably be much the same as the eCitan whatever it works out at so expect it to be in the vicinity of 700-800kg.

Some might be a little disappointed that the Kangoo won’t be as much of a trailblazer in its second iteration as it was in the first, but it still looks set to make a big leap over the original.

DFSK EC35 – 2022

The name DFSK might not mean masses to many UK buyers but it is big in the Chinese market. A new company – Innovation Automotive – is aiming to bring the brand to the UK, and will be leading with the EC35.

This small van is rather basic looking by modern standards, and is aiming to appeal to local authorities and small companies. There aren’t many details on the sort of payload and battery performance that we will be able to get from it just yet though. The same goes for price but expect it to major on value when it arrives in 2022.

Morris Commercial JE – late 2022

The Morris Commercial JE is set to be another new entrant to the UK van market, but the name might ring a few bells to those with longer memories or a keen eye on the history of vans. The Morris Commercial brand has been around since 1924 but was revived in 2017 with the electric JE drawing heavily on the styling of the original Morris J-type. It is set to go on sale in late 2022.

This quirky styling and nod to history doesn’t look set to come cheap, though, with an anticipated starting price of around £60,000. It’s a lot more high-tech than the originals, though, with hefty use of carbon fibre and a 60kWh battery. There are no confirmed details on range yet, but Morris is hoping to get more than 200 miles out of the JE. It’s also claiming a payload of 1,000kg.

Citroen e-Relay, Peugeot e-Boxer, Vauxhall Movano-e – late 2021

The Citroen Relay and Peugeot Boxer are familiar names in the large van category and have been on sale largely unchanged since 2006. The Vauxhall Movano has recently been revamped so it is now basically the same van, too.

Now the engineers have managed to electrify the trio. They will come with a choice of two batteries – a 37kWh one with a range of 72 miles and a 70kWh version with an official range of 139 miles.

Payload is set to be up to 1,150kg and there is a choice of three lengths, a window cab version and a chassis cab so you can pop different bodies on the back. Pricing starts at just under £50,000, not including VAT and after you have factored in the plug-in grant.

Ford E-Transit – spring 2022

This is the big one – the biggest name in UK vans is going electric as of spring 2022.

The Ford E-Transit promises some decent numbers, too. Although it has dropped its original estimate slightly, it still claims that it will be able to provide an official range of 196 miles from its 68kWh battery.

There is a hefty 269hp of power from the motor, too, making this the most powerful Transit on sale. You can choose a model with a payload as big as 1,758kg and there are as many as 25 different versions to pick from. It promises to be one of the more affordable big electric vans, too, with pricing starting at £42,695 (not including VAT.)

Volkswagen e-Crafter – date TBC

The Volkswagen Crafter was due to come with an electric version shortly after it was launched, but four years on there is still no sign of a right-hand drive e-Crafter.

Instead we are going to have to wait until it is facelifted. This normally happens around four or five years into a van’s life, so there shouldn’t be long to wait now. There were left-hand drive versions, which only promised a total range of 71 miles, but so far there isn’t anything for the UK just yet.

Volkswagen ID.Buzz Cargo/ID.7 – 2022

This is the electric van that could be the most exciting of the lot - the production version of the ID Buzz Cargo concept. It's set to be called the ID.7, is due to go on sale in 2022 and has been developed as an electric van from the ground up. There should be plenty of fancy features and equipment on it, with the potential for more. Think autonomous driving abilities and hopefully an impressive set of range and performance figures.

Ford E-Transit Custom – 2023

The Transit Custom is the biggest selling van in the UK, so it is a big deal that it is going electric soon – that should accelerate the uptake somewhat. The electric version is due to go on sale in 2023 but there are few details of it just yet other than the fact that it will be built alongside the conventional version in Ford’s factory in Turkey.

Arrival – 2022

Arrival is another new name for the UK, with this British-built all-electric van due to go on sale in 2022.

There will be loads of things to choose between when building your Arrival van – it comes with four battery sizes, ranging from 67kWh to 89kWh, 111kWh and 133kWh, promising a maximum range of 211 miles.

It’s a big thing, too, with a maximum payload of 1,975kg and a choice of four lengths and three heights.

Tom Webster

23 Sep 2021

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