What Car?, who are a long-running British monthly automobile magazine and website that helps readers with buying, selling and owning vehicles, recently announced the winners in its annual awards for vans. With a wider range of zero-emission vans available its good to see the competition is stronger than ever. More importantly, it’s good to see electric vans receiving their rightful accolades, especially when they’re beating combustion engine vehicles. With the growing need to meet government emissions targets and the growth of online sales, the use of electric vans has never been more important, especially in urban areas.
The Renault Zoe Van took the Best Value for Ownership Costs in the Compact Van category. The Zoe Van starts from £24,912 including the Plug-In Van Grant (PiVG) and comes with 50 kWh battery that delivers a 245 miles range. Using a 7kW charging station it can recharge up to 25 miles (40km) of range in an hour. With the option of 50 kW DC rapid charging the Zoe can get up to 90 miles (145km) of range in just 30 minutes.
What Car? said: “One thing that is certain is that electric vans are here to stay. Early predictions for the Renault Zoe Van put its future resale prices almost 20 percent higher than those of many conventionally-engined rivals, which helps make up for its bigger purchase price.”
The Nissan eNV200 won the Best Value for Ownership Costs in the Small Van class. It’s priced at £19,950 and features a 40 kWh battery that delivers 107-horsepower and gives the eNV200 a range of 124 miles (200km).
What Car? said: “The Nissan eNV200 has been around for a while, but there’s yet to be a credible rival to this big-volume all-electric van, which offsets its higher upfront purchase or lease cost by offering far cheaper running costs and better residual values come resale time. Indeed, it’s those residuals that really set the eNV200 apart from its closest rivals.”
The Mercedes-Benz eSprinter claimed the Best to Drive title in the Electric Van category. The eSprinter costs £43,950 and offers 95 miles (155km) of range. It features several driving modes that include limiting power to extend the van’s range, varying the degree of regenerative braking between strong and gentle, and a standard mode and a super-coasting mode for maximum efficiency.
What Car? said: “Maximising your range in an electric van requires a great deal more forward-thinking than with a regular combustion-engined vehicle. You have to pay extra attention to working out how long it will take you to slow down when you can let the van coast and when you should look to harvest more energy from the braking system back into the battery. Fortunately, the Mercedes eSprinter makes that all a lot easier.”
The big winner of the day though was the Vauxhall Vivaro-e which won three awards. Firstly, it took the Best Value for Ownership Costs award in the Electric Van category. It then top honours as the Best Electric Van before winning the Van of the Year in What Car?’s 2021 awards beating many big-name players from the internal combustion engine world.
What Car? said: “Given the pace of development of vans in recent years, driven largely by the need to meet ever-tighter emissions regulations, the shortlist of potential winners was extensive.
“Ultimately, however, the winner must best represent the needs and trends of the modern world, and that’s something that the electric Vauxhall Vivaro-e does perfectly, delivering an official zero-emissions range of between 143 (230km) and 205 miles (330km), depending on battery size, that is surely enough for the needs of many van drivers today.”