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The Best Medium Electric Vans

Electric Vans / Electric Van Reviews / The Best Medium Electric Vans

The medium van – the staple diet of the British tradesperson. But there is change afoot, as we gradually move over to adopting zero-emission vehicles virtually all manufacturers of medium vans either have an electric version on offer now or something close to production. Here, our Van Expert Tim Cattlin takes a look at the best medium vans you can lease or buy today, or very soon…

Mercedes-Benz eVito

The Vito has never troubled the likes of the Ford Transit Custom or Vauxhall Vivaro at the top of the sales charts, but Mercedes-Benz is going all out to capture a decent share of the electric van market with the eVito. In its first incarnation, the range on a full charge wasn’t competitive, but the latest eVito offers a range of 162 miles on the WLTP Combined test cycle. I recently spent a week with one and was impressed by not only its good looks and quality interior but also the practicality. The payload available is up to 882kgs and if you opt for the longer of the two bodyshells there’s a loadspace providing 6.6 cubic metres of capacity.

Vauxhall Vivaro Electric, Peugeot e-Expert, Fiat E-Scudo, Citroen e-Dispatch, Toyota Proace Electric

As ever, these platform sharing vehicles are bundled together as, apart from some external and trim spec differences between them, they’re fundamentally the same. The Vivaro has been the UK’s top selling electric van for some time now, finding favour with fleets and small businesses alike. The big selling points? A class leading payload of up to 1226kgs, depending on the model you opt for, a load volume of 6.1 cubic metres on the L2 model which has a very handy load length of 2862mm, but the number that’s so important to many, the range on a single charge? That’s unlikely to disappoint at around 196 miles on that official test cycle with the optional 75kWh battery pack fitted. Read more about the Toyota Proace Electric here.

Maxus eDeliver 7

Maxus has got form for ‘disrupting’ the van market with some excellent products which have taken the more established players by surprise. None more so than the eDeliver 7 medium van, first shown at the 2023 Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham. It’s quite a looker too. It’s available in two body lengths and heights, and if you opt for the largest van, you’ll benefit from a load volume of 8.7 cubic metres and a load length of 2913mm. The payload in the L1H1 (shortest and lowest) van is 1125kgs and there’s a handy towing capacity of 1500kg.

There’s a choice of battery packs (the smaller giving the optimum payload figures) with the larger, 88kWh version offering a provisional WLTP Combined cycle range of an excellent 230 miles. Maxus hasn’t been shy when it comes to the standard equipment level, the van having plenty of the latest safety and driver aid technology you might have to pay extra for on competitor vans, and there’s a 12” multimedia screen with Apple Carplay and Android Auto smartphone integration. This van is definitely one to watch…

Renault Trafic E-Tech

Here’s the first in our ‘coming soon’ category. The Trafic, which still uses the same, practical and popular bodyshell originally shared with Vauxhall is now available to order in a fully electric guise. There’s a choice of two lengths and heights, offering a load volume of up to 8.9 cubic metres. Payloads of up to 1100kg are on offer together with a 750kg towing capacity. The 52kWh battery pack provides an official range of up to 149 miles and the electric motor is rated at a decent 122PS. Just a note, some of these figures from the manufacturer are provisional and may change prior to the vans hitting the roads.

Don’t think that the Trafic is in any way dated. It still wins industry awards and when I tested the diesel version soon after a facelift a year or so ago, I was really impressed with the build quality and personally, I think it’s a great looking van, too.

Ford E-Transit Custom

Although diesel versions of the all new Transit Custom are now with the first customers, we’re having to wait a little longer for the all-electric van. But, I’m pretty sure it’ll be worth the wait in the same way the E-Transit pretty much blew away the competition when it eventually arrived. Full details of the zero-emission Custom are still sketchy, but Ford has stated that the van will offer payloads of up to 1100kg, a towing capacity of an unprecedented 2000kg and a range of up to 236 miles on a full charge. You’ll have a choice of two power outputs, a competitive 134hp and a racy 215hp version driving the rear wheels.

New for this van which users of the previous Custom might notice? Independent rear suspension which should make a laden driving experience more pleasurable, and a cab interior which is designed to double up as a mobile office including an optional ‘fold flat’ steering wheel allowing a laptop to be positioned directly in front of the driver. Ford has probably upped the game here, but I’d expect other manufacturers to be working on their own upgrades right now…

So, who is missing?

Probably the most notable manufacturer not featured in our list is Volkswagen. The funky ID Buzz Cargo has been included in our best electric small vans feature due to its modest loadspace and payload, and when it comes to the Transporter, there’s a story to be told…

The ABT e-Transporter, based on the current T6.2 van is a conversion marketed through the main dealer network, but it hasn’t sold well due to poor range and payload. The next generation T7 Transporter is waiting in the wings, and you can expect it to bear more than a passing resemblance to the new E-Transit Custom due to the platform sharing arrangement between the two companies.