Concerns about costs and range are preventing full adoption of electric vans, according to Ford’s latest Go Electric report.
The report includes the views of 500 van drivers in the UK and found considerable gaps in their knowledge of electric vans and the benefits to their businesses.
Range anxiety is seen as one of the main concerns of van drivers, with the average range of an electric van thought to be under 70 miles.
The pressures around time management continue, with almost half (44%) of van drivers believing they wouldn’t be able to fit charging time into their working schedule. This may stem from a lack of charging options available, with only 20% of respondents saying there are always charging points available at work, and over half (52%) saying they don’t have access at home. On top of this, only 42% of van drivers said they knew how to charge an electric vehicle.
Drivers of company owned electric vans were concerned about being out-of-pocket with seven-in-10 (71%) flagging they’re unsure they’d get reimbursed for electricity costs if they charged their company vehicle at home.
Cost still remains a concern among van drivers, with 31% saying the upfront cost was too much. Almost one-third (29%) of businesses stated that the initial infrastructure cost of introducing electric vans would be too much of a burden.
Despite some drivers having concerns, almost half (49%) believe electric vans will be the most common type of van on Britain’s roads within the next 10 years.
More than a third (36%) said they or their employer plan on switching to electric vans within the next four to six months and nearly two-fifths (38%) said they thought it was a smart investment.
A quarter (26%) of van drivers believed their company would be perceived more positively for driving electric vans and almost half (48%) believed if their colleagues or friends were to buy an electric vehicle, it would positively impact their work and lifestyle.
More than half (52%), also agreed with the statement that they, or their company, is planning on making the switch to an electric van because they’re “really cool”.
Mandy Dean, commercial vehicle director at Ford of Britain, said: “With the Ford Transit being the best-selling vehicle in the UK, tackling the concerns of Britain's workforce is an important task in helping the nation go green and make the switch to electric.
“Understanding people’s perceptions of electric vehicles is vital to making sure we’re all on board, including within the vital commercial vehicle segment which is so important for keeping the UK’s economy growing.
“Our research report shows while there are concerns about the switch, van drivers seem willing to embark on the journey to go green and Ford Pro has the capabilities to make the switch easier.”
Ford has introduced simplified billing and administration, via Ford Pro Charging software, which means that fleet drivers can charge at home and the energy cost will be exactly calculated and sent to their business for reimbursement.