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  • Writer's pictureS Potter

Electric V's Diesel Van

What is the cost benefits/penalties of electric cars verses Petrol Hybrid cars. The same statistics can be applied to commercial vans as the smaller vans are CDV (car derived van) and the larger vans, Mercedes Vito, for example offer both diesel and electric options.

Taking figures from a leasing company who are offering these cars today. They are typical headline figures they quote rather than a personalised quote which is usually higher, but it is reasonable for comparing like for like.

I’ve not included the cost of recharging the electric vehicles as that cost varies depending if you’re charging at home/office or at a service station etc., but it further loads the electric vehicle running costs.

My conclusion is that it does not yet pay to get an electric vehicle as the differential cost is far too high. Of course you may be happy to pay the extra for in theory saving the planet, but that’s an individual decision.

Kia Niro 4 year lease 5000 mpa

In addition of course you will need to add in, in most cases a high speed charging point at home/office, which is likely to add another £1500 or so as a one off cost.

Range anxiety: This is a very real issue and not easily solved. The typical van has a real life range of around 100 - 150 miles for larger vans and a little more, say up to 200 miles for light weight vans such as a Citroen Berlingo E or Renault Kangoo E. OK if you work around town but not if you drive around the country or have 200 daily deliveries as a courier!

Let’s take an example for a medium/large van and purchase a Mercedes Vito or Vito E van.

Mercedes Vito Pure 1.6 Diesel £21495+ VAT

Mercedes Vito E Pure Electric £39895+ VAT (electric)

Now assuming that you are VAT registered and can claim that part back, you’ve still paid out £18400 more for the electric version of this Mercedes Vito Van. Let’s assume that you work your van hard and do 30,000 miles per year. The official consumption of the 1.6 diesel is 49.6mpg, which is the best in it’s class. Now again if we put that in real life situation and reduce that by 10 mpg. In one year you’ll spend about £3828 on diesel. So in 3 years you’ll have spent £11484 but that’s including VAT and assuming you are VAT registered as before that comes down to £9570. So after 3 years and 90,000 miles you’ve still got £8830 left in your pocket by not buying the electric van! Saving the planet is all good in principle but when it hits you nearly £9000 hard in the pocket you may prefer to think again?


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