Are EV Vans Good For Business?

Sat 6th Aug 2022

A new report from the UK’s biggest supplier of commercial vans has found that British businesses are not yet ready to make the switch to electric vehicles.

Ford’s Go Electric analysis, which was published this summer has found that almost three quarters of van drivers believe that they would be out of pocket with the charging costs of a company owned van.

A whopping 29% of businesses reported that the initial infrastructure cost of introducing electric vans would be too much of a burden for themselves or their business. According to SMMT data, commercial vehicles make up 13% of all vehicles on the road (4,604,861 vehicles in total), yet only 0.3% of them are fully electric or plug-in hybrids.

Despite the fact that there are more electric vehicles on the road, the UK's knowledge of electric vans still lags behind, according to Ford's analysis. According to the report, van drivers expressed considerable barriers to electric van adoption due to a lack of familiarity with their advantages. One of the main issues with van driving is range anxiety, as the typical electric van has a range of less than 70 miles. In comparison, the E-Transit can travel up to 196 miles, offering three times the range.

Nearly half (44%) of van drivers believe they would not be able to fit charging time into their working schedule, as a result of time management pressures. This may be because of a lack of charging options, as only 20% of respondents said there are always charging points available at work, and over half (52%) said they do not have access at home. Furthermore, only 42% of van drivers said they knew how to charge an electric vehicle.

71% of van drivers using company-owned electric vehicles are worried about being out-of-pocket since seven-in-ten (71%) believe they would not be reimbursed for the electricity charges if they charged their company vehicles at home. 

With the 2030 deadline approaching, when the UK government will prohibit the sale of new combustion engine-powered vehicles, van drivers are still concerned about the cost, particularly the price of new vehicles (16%).

Nearly one-third (29%) of businesses believe that the initial infrastructure cost of introducing electric vans would be too much of a burden for themselves or their business. 

“With the Ford Transit being the best-selling vehicle in the UK, tackling the concerns of Britain's workforce is an important task in helping the nation go green and make the switch to electric,” said Mandy Dean, Commercial Vehicle Director, Ford of Britain.

“Understanding people’s perceptions of electric vehicles is vital to making sure we’re all on board, including within the vital commercial vehicle segment which is so important for keeping the UK’s economy growing. Our research report shows while there are concerns about the switch, van drivers seem willing to embark on the journey to go green and Ford Pro has the capabilities to make the switch easier”

“With concerns around being out pocket a key worry for drivers, we’ve introduced simplified billing and administration via Ford Pro Charging software which means that fleet drivers can charge at home and the energy cost will be exactly calculated and sent to their business for your reimbursement.”