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As you’re probably aware, the government is to bring forward a ban on the sale of vans powered entirely by petrol or diesel by five years, from 2035 to 2030. The move comes just nine months after the ban was initially brought forward from 2040 to 2035.

As we speak, electric vehicle sales still represent a tiny proportion of new vehicle sales each month, but growth in this sector continues to accelerate. In October 2020, battery electric vehicles had a 6.6 per cent share of the market, with plug-in hybrids at 5.5 per cent, diesel at 14.9 per cent and petrol taking 49.5 per cent.
For the first 10 months of 2020, battery electric vehicles accounted for 5.5 per cent of sales, up by 168.7 per cent from 2019. This certainly puts electric vehicle sales on an upward trajectory, and more options of vans are available than ever before.

At Ionic, we’ve carried out a small number of installs of Reach & Wash® systems into electric vehicles already, particularly for our London based customers, due to Ultra Low Emission Zones, enforcing tough new emission standards in central London. Our R&D team are currently carrying out lots of research into the different models available, and the pro’s and cons of them for the Window Cleaner.

What’s the driving range of an electric van?
Until 2017, almost every e-van on sale in the UK offered a 106-mile official range – which in reality was more like 60-80 miles, depending on how you drove, and how cold it was outside, not to mention carrying the additional weight of a water tank etc.
New versions of the Renault Kangoo ZE and Nissan e-NV200 saw big improvements on this figure from 2017, but in 2020 things really moved on and this trend is set to continue in 2021.
Some versions of the new medium electric vans from Renault, Peugeot & Vauxhall have a claimed driving range of over 200 miles. – Very impressive! So much so, British Gas has ordered 2,000 electric vans, in one of the biggest upgrades by a UK company so far.

What benefits are there?
At the moment, the Government offers the Plug-in Van Grant, which is similar to the electric car incentive, but with two major differences. Firstly, the discount is up to £8,000, which is £5,000 more than the car grant, and secondly any electric or plug-in van qualifies. That’s a useful saving, because electric vans are pricey when compared to diesel versions. In an effort to counter the high initial cost of an electric van, many manufacturers like to look at the total cost of ownership of an electric van, because while the initial outlay is high, you can save hundreds on everyday running costs, mainly in terms of fuel costs, but also in taxes.

If you’re considering an electric van, the good news is there’s plenty of choice, with most of the major manufacturers, including Peugeot, Renault and Mercedes, having contenders. And with more and more large businesses having a such a focus on sustainability and the environment, an electric vehicle could be used as a means for winning meatier contracts in the commercial world of Window Cleaning.

As always, Ionic are at the forefront with trends in our industry, and as well as installing systems in electric vehicles, we’ve also installed electric charging posts at our Swindon headquarters, and we’ve been testing a range of vehicles for their benefits from both an install and ownership point of view.

We’re not suggesting switching to electric is for every business right now, but it’s certainly a consideration for many looking to make changes to their vehicle fleet in the not too distant future. If you’d like to talk to us about our experiences in electric vans so far, give us a call on 01793 871 386.