Used Electric Vans For Sale

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Used Electric Vans For Sale

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Used electric vans for sale

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the van market, you won’t have failed to notice an influx of fully electric models in recent years. Just about every major van manufacturer now offers an electric version of one or more models in its range, and while there’s still not the variety you’ll find with diesel or petrol vans, these models can be ideal for individuals and companies who operate primarily in urban areas - where an electric van is cleaner, quieter, and easier to drive.

With a number now on sale and some for several years, they’re becoming a familiar sight in the used market too, and there are some real bargains to be found, with depreciation skimming thousands from the cost of a new van. Electric vans won’t suit everyone, but for some drivers, they’ll wonder how they ever did without one.

What is an electric van?

Just as the passenger car market is beginning to move towards electrification, so too is the van market. While diesel power will still dominate for some years to come, a number of van manufacturers have recently introduced fully electric variants of their familiar models, giving buyers another powertrain option to potentially better suit their needs.

Some small enterprising companies have imported city-capable electric vans from places like France and China for many years, but now just about every big manufacturer sells one too, some with more than one offering in different size classes. These range from compact city-biased models to large high-roofed fans - as well as stylish car-based vans like the Volkswagen ID.Buzz Cargo.

What are the advantages of an electric van over a diesel van?

Electric vans have a few advantages over more traditional diesel and petrol vans. The biggest advantage in theory is running costs, with a full charge, getting you more than a hundred miles or significantly more than that in some vans, costing a fraction that of filling up a large tank of diesel. This does depend on tariffs and times of day, and fast-charging out and about can be expensive, but in most cases, ‘filling up’ will be a lot cheaper.

Servicing too should be less expensive without the need for maintaining all the parts you’ll find in a combustion engine, and the van’s performance shouldn’t deteriorate much over time - with the caveat that battery packs can lose capacity over time, so a decade-old van may not be able to go as far as it could when new. Overall range won’t be as much as you’ll get from a tank of fuel even to begin with.

From a driving perspective, electric vans are far quieter and smoother than diesel ones. They’re also generally quicker off the mark and easier to drive, thanks to instant electric torque - and if you care about your environmental impact, then it’s nice knowing you’re not producing any tailpipe emissions. Electric power also has cost advantages in cities like London, where it avoids congestion and emission zone charges.

Why buy a used electric van?

As with electric cars, electric vans can be quite expensive to buy new, even if operators can claim back the cost of VAT. Thanks to depreciation though, buying a used electric van can cut thousands from those new prices, making them much more affordable. Unlike a combustion-powered van too, you won’t have any worries about skipped servicing or thrashed engines with an electric model, and newer ones shouldn’t have lost too many miles from their potential range yet either.

How do I choose the ideal used electric van?

If you’re looking for a used electric van you still don’t have a huge number to choose from, but in some ways this might make finding the ideal van easier. Most manufacturers typically offer only one electric drivetrain in a given size of van, rather than multiple power outputs, load ratings, and body styles as they do with the typical diesel van. So once you’ve chosen a size of van that suits your needs, it’s a case of either going for the EV, or going for something else.

It is however worth looking at what range and performance a manufacturer claims for its vans. While range figures are increasing, most electric vans will still lag behind the distance a diesel will go between fills, so if you regularly cover long distances an EV may not be suitable. Likewise, some electric models may lack the payload capacity of more heavy-duty combustion variants, so this is also a factor to consider.

Where can I find used electric vans for sale?

Electric vans are still relatively uncommon compared to their petrol and diesel counterparts, but they shouldn’t be too difficult to find. Most used vehicle search websites will let you narrow down a search by both vehicle type and fuel type, allowing you to restrict your search to electric vans. As most models have been introduced relatively recently, a lot of electric vans will still be in the main dealer network, though it’s worth keeping an eye out for models coming out of large fleets, as an operator replaces several of their vans at once.

Basic used electric van checks

Checking a used electric van will be much like checking any other van - if there’s a major difference, it’s that you won’t need to poke and prod around under the bonnet much, with the usual fluid, filter and belt checks more or less absent. Electric vans still have the brakes, tyres, springs, bushes, and other wear-and-tear parts of other vans though, so you’ll still want evidence it’s been looked after and properly serviced.