Which vans are the most eco-friendly?

Earlier this year it was revealed that small businesses in the UK are driving the boom in the sale of eco-friendly vans.
 
Figures released by Funding Options in February, cited by Commercial Fleet, revealed that sales of ultra-low emission vans jumped by 21% in the past year, as more and more small companies in the UK commit to ‘going green’.
 
When these figures were released, Funding Options explained how the number of eco-friendly vans on the road had more than quadrupled since 2012.
 
“Smaller businesses are becoming more aware of the long-term benefits of being environmentally friendly, and are investing more in ‘green’ assets as a result,” said CEO Conrad Ford.
 
If it’s time to upgrade your company van, we can set you up with van insurance for a competitive price. We arrange policies to professions like couriers, scrap dealers and transporters of fragile and hazardous goods. And if you don’t think you fall into one of these categories, we’re more than happy to help you find a van insurance policy suited to your specific needs.
 

It’s easy being green!

There are many convincing reasons why you should opt for an eco-friendly van for your business. Here are some of them:
 
  • It may require a higher initial investment, but you could save a lot of money in the long term. For instance, on things like fuel, road tax, servicing and potentially the congestion charge in London (for now, at least).
 
  • If your company has green credentials, this can differentiate you from other businesses in your industry and give you a competitive edge. It could help you to appeal to customers also interested in ‘doing their bit’.
 
  • If you want to buy a new van, you may be able to get a discount through the government’s plug-in grant. The grant will pay for 20% of the purchase price for a range of low-emission models, up to a maximum of £8,000.
   
  • Last but by no means least, it’s the right thing to do! We all have a part to play in doing our bit for the environment, and opting for a more eco-friendly van will help to limit your impact on our planet.

Which vans are the most eco-friendly?

Electric vans are up there with some of the most eco-friendly vehicles around, as they don’t produce any nasty, polluting CO2 emissions. But there are also many eco-friendly options if you aren’t ready to ‘go electric’ just yet.
 
Let’s start with some of the best electric vans, shared by BuyaCar:
 

Renault Kangoo Z.E 33 (price inc. plug-in grant – £23,232)

Renault says that the Z.E would be a reasonable purchase for the 85% of current Kangoo drivers who cover less than the range of the Z.E in a day. That range is 170 miles, delivered by a 33kWh lithium-ion battery. For the average van driver, that’s enough charge to last three days.
 
The van has a load space of 3,000-4,000 litres and a payload of 605-625kg – but it’s worth noting that load will impact range (as with any other electric vehicle). If you’ve got a fast charger, the Z.E can be fully charged in six hours. But if you’ve only got access to a standard three-pin, you’ll be waiting 20 hours.
 
New prices don’t take into account the cost of the battery, as Renault leases them separately. The battery does, however, come with a lifetime guarantee for the duration of the contract.
 

Renault Master Z.E (price inc. plug-in grant – £56,440)

For couriers of bigger loads, the Renault Master Z.E is a sound choice. It’s a big van and an easy drive, just like the standard Master model, featuring an estimated load space of 8,000 – 17,000 litres and a payload of 1,000 – 1,750kg.
 
Renault says that the Z.E will cover around 75-124 miles in real-world driving on a single charge, which is slightly less than what the typical city-centre delivery driver will cover. The van also comes with a five-year/60,000 mile battery and three-year/100,000 mile warranty.
 

Nissan e-NV200 (Base price excl. VAT but inc. plug-in grant – from £20,005)

A battery upgrade to the e-NV200 in 2018 improved the official range from 106 miles to 174 miles – which could make a huge difference if you regularly deliver to customers in busy, built-up areas.
 
In a test designed to give a more accurate idea of range, motorway mileage was found to have a range of 125 miles per full charge, and city driving 188 miles. It’s got a load space of 4,300 litres and payload of 542-703kg.
 
If you want an eco-friendly van rather than a fully-electric model, some models worth considering include:
 

Mercedes-Benz Citan Tourer 111 CDI Extra-Long (OTR £25,991)

As Next Green Car explains, the Citan Tourer has an impressive, estimated real MPG of 65 miles, while CO2 emissions are a decent 115 g/km, placing it in Band C for tax.
 
As Mercedes-Benz explains, the Citan makes the most BlueEFFICIENCY technologies, designed to improve the van’s environmental impact though limiting CO2 emissions. Depending on the model, features include an ECO start/stop function, battery and alternator management, and tyres optimised for rolling resistance.
 

Ford Transit Custom (from £22,840 exc. VAT)

The new Transit Custom has been designed with efficiency in mind. Thanks to its EcoBlue 2.0 litre engine, the model meets strict Euro Stage 6 emissions standards, limiting emissions as well as running costs.
 
Other eco-friendly features include acceleration control, which could help you cut fuel consumption by up to 15%. There’s also a selective catalytic reduction system which converts NOx emissions in the exhaust gas into nitrogen and water, and particulate filter that cuts over 99% of emitted solid particulates from the exhaust.

Van insurance from the Insurance Factory

Whichever eco-friendly van you end up investing in, the Insurance Factory can set you up with a van insurance policy that suits your business needs and budget. Get a competitive quote today!