Electric Van Range Guide 2023: Optimise Your EV
Everything you need to know about the driving range of electric vans, including which one can travel the most miles
One of the biggest concerns for van drivers who want to switch from a diesel or petrol engine to a battery-powered one is the driving range. Referred to as ‘range anxiety’, it is the misconception that a battery-powered van can’t travel very far.
However, the reality is very different as we explain in our Electric Van Range Guide 2023. Covering topics such as efficiency and performance, we explore the real world driving range of electric vans so you can discover just how far you can really travel when you go green and how can you optimise your fleet of EVs.
How is an electric battery range measured for vans?
Battery capacity is measured in kWh (kilowatt hours) to determine energy storage capabilities. As such, lithium-ion batteries can vary in size depending on the power needed.
Battery capacity can vary between 35kWh to 88.5kWh - each providing a different driving distance per full charge; the higher the battery capacity, the longer the distance capabilities.
The range of an electric van is the distance number of miles a vehicle can travel on a single charge. This can vary between models and is calculated using a system to determine both the actual range and the range of an EV in real-world settings, as we explain below.
How is the range calculated for electric cars and vans?
The range of every electric van is determined using a certified system called the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). Introduced in 2017, this process uses real-driving data to measure the performance of an EV and is the most recognised system across Europe..
Through this process, energy consumption is studied in realistic testing conditions to gauge a driving range in different situations, such as; urban city driving, suburban travel in the countryside, as well as performance on main roads and motorways. WLTP is currently the most accurate form of calculating EV range in the UK.
Another Government-backed range rating system is the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), although it is more widely used in America, so generally cars manufactured or shipped into the UK will state a WLTP distance instead. China then uses its own system called the CLTC (China Light Duty Vehicle Test Cycle), but most vehicles shipped into the UK will be given a WLTP rating instead.
On top of this, there is also the real-world range to take into consideration. The distance an electric van can actually travel depends on varying factors (explained below) which is when the ‘real-world’ driving range comes into its own. As such, the real driving range is usually lower than the WLTP range originally quoted by the manufacturer.
What factors affect the range of an electric vehicle?
While every vehicle manufacturer is required to publish a top-end driving range per van, the reality isn’t always that simple. That’s because EVs are tested by replicating the most ideal driving conditions to determine the best possible performance.
Varying factors can in fact affect the overall driving range capabilities of an electric van, including:
- Battery capacity. The size of the battery will very much depend on the real-world driving range of a van; the smaller the battery, the fewer miles are achievable, and vice versa.
- Cargo weight. It probably goes without saying, but the amount of cargo you carry in the back will also affect the range performance of the van; the heavier the load, the fewer miles can be driven.
- Weather conditions. Yes, really! The weather can indeed make a difference to how many miles you can drive in an electric van; adverse weather conditions - such as extremely cold temperatures or high winds - will require the vehicle to work harder, putting more strain on the battery and less distance achievable.
- Driving style. Are you heavy on the accelerator or sharp on the brakes? The way you drive will also affect the overall efficiency of your van; the smoother the driving style means the more miles will be achievable.
- Air conditioning. Whether you like to feel cosy in the cabin during the winter months or stay cool in the summer, overuse of the van’s air-con system will hinder the ability to reach maximum mileage.
- Tyre quality. Worn tyres or those that are underinflated can and will affect the number of miles you can drive in the van on a single charge.
How to maximise the range of electric vehicles?
Now we’ve explained what hinders you from achieving the full driving range capabilities of an EV battery, here’s how you can maximise the driving range of your electric van:
- Opt for a model with a larger size battery
- Lighten the load volume by reducing cargo weight
- Avoid travelling in the extreme heat or cold, and extra windy days too!
- Don’t drive erratically or too fast
- Limit air-con use inside the cabin
- Keep your tyres well maintained and serviced
What is range anxiety?
Range anxiety is the term used to describe the fear that battery-electric vehicles aren’t able to travel to far-reaching destinations. This is mainly due to the fact that EVs need charging and are therefore deemed less convenient. But, times are changing.
When EVs were first introduced, there was of course a real worry that a battery-powered vehicle couldn’t be recharged mid-journey, but this is now far from the truth. As of May 2023, there are 42,566 EV charging points available to drivers across the UK.
Faster charging times and an improved charging network infrastructure are going a long way in improving people’s perceptions of EVs and overcoming range anxiety. Plus, EV technology is accelerating at such a rate that long-range and range-extending models are quickly becoming the norm.
To put things in perspective, data from GRIDSERVE shows that typically, van drivers travel much fewer miles in a day than what their battery-powered vehicle is capable of. Addressing the issue of range anxiety, the sustainable energy firm has shared the following key data:
- 51% of van drivers only travel within 15 miles of their base
- 51% of van drivers travel an average of 13,000 miles a year
- 95% of vehicles actually remain idle during the working day
From this data, we can understand that range anxiety is set to be a worry of the past. The average range for an electric van is 164 miles driving distance - well above the mileage travelled by over 50% of van drivers in the UK.
When driving a van that can reach distances of 164 miles on a single charge, charging the vehicle daily during the course of a year would provide a whopping 59,860 miles. From the data, we know that over 50% of van drivers in the UK travel just 13,000 miles a year - well below the annual distances achievable by an electric van.
Van ranges by size, make and model
When it comes to choosing an electric van, you’ll want to know exactly how many miles you can drive on a single charge. This is where we are here to help you. Below, you’ll find the best electric vans on the market categorised by small, medium and large-sized commercial vehicles.
Within the tables beneath, you can compare the manufacturers WLTP figures against the real-world range, which are displayed alongside their relevant battery sizes:
Ranges for small-sized vans
Make and model
Renault Kangoo Van E-Tech
Citroën ë-Berlingo Van electric
Toyota Proace City Electric
Ranges for medium-sized vans
Make and model
MAXUS e DELIVER 3
MAXUS e DELIVER 3
Vauxhall Vivaro Electric
Vauxhall Vivaro Electric
Toyota Proace Electric
Toyota Proace Electric
Ranges for large-sized vans
Make and model
MAXUS e DELIVER 9
MAXUS e DELIVER 9
MAXUS e DELIVER 9
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Frequently Asked Questions on EV Ranges
Find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the distances electric vans can make, to discover more about the capabilities of battery-powered vehicles:
What is the average range of an electric van?
While the driving range of electric vans varies between models, the average distance that one can travel is 164 miles on a full battery charge.
How long do electric batteries last?
Van batteries are designed to last for at least 10 years, but it is possible for the life expectancy of a battery to last for up to 20 years.
Do manufacturers offer warranties on electric van batteries?
Yes, electric van manufacturers are required to offer a warranty on the battery from new. This is most likely to be an eight-year warranty or up to 100,000 miles (whichever comes first).
Which long range electric van provides the most miles?
It is the large-sized Fiat E-Ducato that can be considered a long range electric van and offers the most range from its 79kWh battery-powered model. Although this is the quoted WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) rating, the more likely real-world range is closer to 205 miles on a single charge - which is still the most miles achieved by an electric van.
Is 200k miles high for a van?
200,000 miles is high mileage for a van, but not unusual. Most commercial vehicle owners will expect to get at least 100,000 miles out of their motor. Electric vans are designed to average at least 100,000 miles before requiring the battery to be replaced.
Can you claim mileage on an electric van?
Yes, it is possible to claim mileage costs on an electric van. This is because mileage allowances are based on the distance travelled - rather than the fuel consumed. Expenses are costed at ‘pence per mile’ so electric vans offer the same benefit as diesel or petrol variants.
Can I extend the range of my EV?
Yes, you can extend the range of your EV in a number of ways. The most proactive ways to do this are:
- driving in a smoother manner
- slowing your speed
- limiting the use of in-cabin technologies (such as air-con)
- keeping your tyres inflated
- staying on top of your services
- avoiding travel in adverse weather conditions
- lightening your load
What Is An EV Range Extender?
A range extender is a power unit designed to extend the range of a van. Often used as a secondary source of power, the most common range extenders charge the van’s primary battery as you drive.
Do EV range extenders work?
Yes, range extenders work as a temporary source of power if the van’s primary battery unit is running low. However, range extenders aren’t powerful enough to run the vehicle alone, so shouldn’t be depended upon if your van completely runs out of charge.
Which electric vans use range extenders?
It is not currently commonplace for electric vans to be fitted with range extenders as a standard practice like we’re now seeing with electric cars. Therefore, at present, only the London Electric Van Company (LEVC) offers a range extender on its VN5 model.
What electric vans have the best WLTP range?
There are eight different models that offer a WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) driving range of over 200 miles on a single charge - these are in the mid-sized and large van categories.
- Citroën ë-Dispatch 75kWh and 50kWh
- Peugeot e-Expert 75kWh
- MAXUS e DELIVER 3 50.23kWh
- Vauxhall Vivaro Electric 75kWh
- Toyota Proace Electric 75kWh
- MAXUS e DELIVER 9 88.5kWh
- Fiat E-Ducato 79kWh
What electric vans have the best real-world range?
Only one electric van currently offers a real-world range of over 200 miles on a single charge. The large-sized Fiat E-Ducato van can achieve a distance of 205 miles under real-world driving conditions, which includes a tried-and-tested performance in adverse weather conditions, such as extremely cold temperatures.
Does payload have an impact on a van's range?
Weight as a whole does have an impact on the range capabilities of an electric van, but it's important not to be deterred by the payload alone. This is because the battery size and power performance will have already been accounted for in relation to the size of the van. As such, it is the weight of cargo that can have the most negative impact on the number of miles achieved from a full charge.
Electric vans for every journey and fleet at Loads of Vans
Switching to an electric van shouldn’t be a chore and at Loads of Vans, it isn’t! The good news is that we have a huge range of electric vans for sale and in stock right now, so you can avoid the long wait times at other commercial vehicle dealerships.
There are so many reasons to opt for a zero-emissions vehicle - including the reduced driving costs and environmental benefits. Why not discover our range of the most sought-after electric vans in the UK right now by visiting our dealership in Sutton which is easily accessible from south and central London.
You can also explore our stock right here on the website thanks to our online showroom facilities where you can view all of our models in more detail. Depending on your choice and needs, we have flexible van leasing offers with a fixed monthly payment and van finance deals for all UK businesses. Get in touch with us by phone or using the enquiry form and one of our team members will be happy to help you find the right option for your budget, no matter if you are looking for a large, medium or small van.
Electric van guides and top tips
We don’t only sell new, nearly new and used vans, but are here to provide you with all the information you need when it comes to battery-powered travel.
From Electric Van Costs to the Best Electric Vans of 2023, details about the Van Scrappage Scheme 2023 and how to apply for Government Grants for Electric Vans, we want to help you make an informed decision about the best battery-powered commercial van for your business. Access all of our articles and guides on this topic here.