There’s no doubt electric powertrains are ideal for delivery vehicles that ply their trade in suburban and inner-city areas.
But, what happens if you run out of charge in the middle of doing your deliveries?
That thought, and the anxiety of facing that very real issue, appears to be exactly what’s stopping many van owners from making the jump from petrol or diesel to a battery-electric alternative.
In Australia, our electric van market is pretty minuscule at this time, however, in the UK there’s a whole array of different electric vans that are on offer from the mainstream manufacturers, including LDV, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Volkswagen.
But uptake is still a little behind where it potentially could be.
A new study by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in the UK might have established why.
It was found that more than half of van owners say they are discouraged from switching to an electric van due to a lack of charge point infrastructure.
57% of people who own or lease a van in the UK are worried that they wouldn’t be able to find a public charging point when they need it.
Despite electric van uptake doubling in the last year, these vehicles still account for just one in 20 new van registrations in the UK – meaning the market is currently about two years behind that of cars, where uptake of zero-emission cars is closer to one in five.
The survey also found that the vast majority of van operators (88%) say they would go electric by 2035 but a fifth of these owners say they will defer the decision for three to seven years.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said Britain needs vans to go electric.
“Britain’s businesses run on vans and if we’re to deliver the nation’s carbon emission cuts, we need them to move to electric.”
“There’s an electric van to suit every business case, but we need a ‘van plan’ to ensure zero-emission driving works for the millions of people for whom their van is their livelihood and the millions more who rely on these workhorses for the delivery of their daily needs.
“The automotive industry is getting these new technology vehicles into the showrooms – we need government and other stakeholders to match our commitments to get them out on the road.”
In the UK, laws will be introduced in 2035 that ban the sale of new vans and cars that aren’t zero-emission. Hopefully, by then, there’ll be plenty of charging points to prevent anxiety over running out of juice mid-delivery run.