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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

We're currently running a 2013 Citroen Berlingo. It has just shy of 80k on the clock and probably another 3-5 years of useful service in it. It manages 42mpg on diesel, averaged over 500 miles and a two week period.

Ideally, we'd like a slightly bigger van. Something between the Berlingo and a transit. Roof height is very important; we'd benefit from a higher roof because some of the flower arrangements are tall and only just fit at the moment.

I'm new to the van market and still have research to do. I'm aware of Nissan's E-NV200 and a quick search on Autotrader brought up some small Renaults or Citroens, if I recall. They were a few years old and seemed quite limited though.

Range is important, even though the van seldom does more than 60 miles a day, often less. The business will have very little appetite for charging because it's used to filling up with diesel every coupe of weeks and not having to think about fuel most of the time. We also have no facility to charge, so will rely on public charging facilities. The supermarket opposite has recently installed two charging points, but I have to check if they are rapids or not. Rapid charging is a must, so useful range can be added in the time it takes to buy and eat a sandwich.

I would love to see the business purchase an electric van, but there are some significant challenges to overcome; cost and practicality being foremost. Any advice or information you could provide me with would be a great help. If a compelling business case can be put forward for an EV van over a piston powered counterpart, with the constraints we have, it could help pave the way for other businesses to do the same.

Thanks for your time and consideration. I look forward to any input you may have!
 

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Range is important, even though the van seldom does more than 60 miles a day, often less. The business will have very little appetite for charging because it's used to filling up with diesel every coupe of weeks and not having to think about fuel most of the time. We also have no facility to charge, so will rely on public charging facilities.
If you don’t have onsite charging at your premises, then I wouldn’t go down the EV route. It will get annoying very quickly.

Unless you are able to make use of the Supermarket charging and you can guarantee it always works and is never blocked?

What is stopping you putting a charger in at work? Is it a high street location?
 

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Or maybe take the van home every night and charge it there?

Presumably you have to get to work somehow.

It's hard to get over the petrol concept of refuelling. Overnight charging takes zero time out of your day. You can even come down to a nice warm van on a winter morning. It's a different (and better) form of transport.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If you don’t have onsite charging at your premises, then I wouldn’t go down the EV route. It will get annoying very quickly.

Unless you are able to make use of the Supermarket charging and you can guarantee it always works and is never blocked?

What is stopping you putting a charger in at work? Is it a high street location?
You're probably right about charging becoming annoying very quickly, cah197. It can't be allowed to have any business impact either. The van needs to be available to use from 8am until 5:30 without interruption. I mentioned rapid charging because there can be opportunities for the driver to charge whilst having a short break for a bite to eat. Not guaranteed that will happen every day though. It's a busy job and sometimes a sandwich is inhaled at the shop.

The shop is on the high street, as you guessed, and there aren't any local destination chargers. Our council is very slow off the mark. The van is parked down a side street overnight. I'll use Zap Map to see if any new charging points have cropped up locally in the last couple of years since I ran a Kia Soul EV.

It's a tough challenge, but I'd like to explore it a bit more. I don't dispute what you're saying, wise words. I had to ditch the Soul EV 18 months into a two year lease because charging was too onerous. The idea may just be a non-starter, which would be a shame here in 2020!

I wonder if a short term lease might be an option? It would be good to do a trial before making a commitment.
 

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The shop is on the high street, as you guessed, and there aren't any local destination chargers. Our council is very slow off the mark. The van is parked down a side street overnight. I'll use Zap Map to see if any new charging points have cropped up locally in the last couple of years since I ran a Kia Soul EV.
Depending on the council you can see if Ubitricity would install some on-street chargers on your street?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Or maybe take the van home every night and charge it there?

Presumably you have to get to work somehow.

It's hard to get over the petrol concept of refuelling. Overnight charging takes zero time out of your day. You can even come down to a nice warm van on a winter morning. It's a different (and better) form of transport.
Ahh, sorry, I should have mentioned that the van stays near the shop overnight. We have a free part-time drivers, so a different day often means a different driver.
 

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Depending on the council you can see if Ubitricity would install some on-street chargers on your street?
Good suggestion, thanks. Only downside is that is likely to take a long time and there’s still no guaranteed charging facility. The chargers would be ICE’d most of the time. Designated EV bays would just upset the residents who would still ICE them. Just parking the current van has lead to a few nasty notes on the windscreen over the years...
 

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Good suggestion, thanks. Only downside is that is likely to take a long time and there’s still no guaranteed charging facility. The chargers would be ICE’d most of the time. Designated EV bays would just upset the residents who would still ICE them. Just parking the current van has lead to a few nasty notes on the windscreen over the years...
They usually fit at least three chargers on a street.

Combined with a long cable, you don't need to be parked next to a charger to get access.

Where do you leave the van overnight normally?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've just checked out the charger at the local Morrisons. 1x CCS, CHAdeMO & Type 2. 50p connection fee plus 30p/kWh leads to an approximate cost of £40 per 500 miles at 4 miles per kWh efficiency. That might be a little optimistic for a van and is only £20 per 500 miles cheaper than diesel in the current van.

Destination charging should be cheaper, but I'm dismayed to report that those facilities haven't changed one bit over the last two years, locally.
 

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Do you live over the shop?
Who unlocks and locks up the shop every day? Could that person take the van home?

I'd say you need overnight charging somehow to make it workable.
 

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Have a look at LDV Maxus. They have a range of EV vans I think. I know of one delivery company in Scotland using them and they are more than happy. They have a really tall one too so no height issues.

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This really pains me to say it, but what about a PHEV? The Ford Transit Custom PHEV may offer what you want:
  • Some electric range (30 miles?)
  • Petrol for when you cannot charge/run out so no range anxiety
  • Ability to plug in during the day if there is downtime say over lunch although only charging at 7kW not CCS or Chademo Rapid chargers
  • If you get lucky and find a charger at night you'll get a full charge
  • Likely to be ULEZ compliant for the future as can "self-charge"
  • "Safe" - it's a transit so no weird design to upset the drivers, wide Dealership etc.
  • Fast (may not be a plus point, but sometimes needs must etc.)
 

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Have a look at LDV Maxus. They have a range of EV vans I think
Range is quoted as 120 miles and Rapid charging is slow - nearly two hours for the 20 - 80% which seems excessive for a 56kWh battery and a long time to wait at a Supermarket not to mention the risk of "overstay" penalties. Also £60k new but I guess that you can get some deals on them.
 

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Range is quoted as 120 miles and Rapid charging is slow - nearly two hours for the 20 - 80% which seems excessive for a 56kWh battery and a long time to wait at a Supermarket not to mention the risk of "overstay" penalties. Also £60k new but I guess that you can get some deals on them.
Aren't there some new gov incentives on trucks and vans in the latest budget?

I haven't researched this properly, sorry.
 

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Range is quoted as 120 miles and Rapid charging is slow - nearly two hours for the 20 - 80% which seems excessive for a 56kWh battery and a long time to wait at a Supermarket not to mention the risk of "overstay" penalties. Also £60k new but I guess that you can get some deals on them.
Didn't claim to be an expert. Sounds like 22kw charging. Like all EV's it's down to individual useage profiles.

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Seems strangely slow to me, but there must be a reason such as the battery chemistry.
 

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E90E6E7A-071C-4034-B693-A8B9524556C6.png

This 40kWh Nissan e-NV200 van has a range of at least 120 miles meaning 2 days usage. Your local Nissan dealer has two chademo chargers which are free to use. Overnight parking at the local station is £2.70 (£2.80 for the weekend) and has free charging. That still leaves Morrison’s if you need a quick top up.
 
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I'd keep the Berlingo for now until something suitable comes along. There isn't anything that's sensible at the minute and they'd all probably cost a lot more over all. PHEV could end up being used on petrol a lot of the time as they don't do the mileage without being plugged in and the range on electric is so short you'd be plugging it in a lot more than a BEV would need.

I'd wait for a good scrappage deal to come along. There's bound to be one.

Without home or workplace charging I think it's just a non starter and you'd be as irritated with the van as the Soul ended up being.

What proportion of the flowers require the big van ceiling height?
 

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I might have missed it, but 60 miles is well withing the range of all EVs now, and the last user just has to plug in on a slow charge at night, at the company premises. Jut like any part of a parking-it-up process, like normal?

On the contrary, it will take LESS time to keep the van filled up with 'juice', rather than wasting time at a petrol station.

First of all... what am I missing?
 
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