Alternatives to “niche” electric vans are needed for fleets that want or need to make their operations zero emissions in the medium term, says FleetCheck.
The fleet software specialist says that, while it is good news that more electric van models are becoming available in larger numbers in 2020, they remain relatively compromised.
Peter Golding, managing director at FleetCheck, said: “It really feels as though there is genuine momentum behind the electric car market now and a whole raft of models are finding their way to market that meet the needs of a wide range of company motorists.
“The situation with vans remains more complex, however. The inherent compromises in terms of range and payload affecting the models either available now or coming soon to market mean that they are really only suitable for almost niche operating conditions.
“If you need to carry heavy loads, to travel longer distances or any combination of those two – which means the majority of everyday van fleets – electric vans quickly fall out of contention in terms of operational practicalities. Really, there are few or no indications that this situation will change in terms of improved performance in the medium term.
“The question is – where does that leave the van sector in terms of working towards zero emissions? In a market where diesel remains largely demonised, most van fleets have little alternative but to keep buying them for the want of a viable alternative.”
He added that the assumption that non-electric vans would be used for longer distances and their electric counterparts used for last-mile delivery provided a limited solution.