Renault are investing heavily in electric vans in the UK, fuelled by their belief that 10% of all cars on UK roads will be electric powered in the next five years.
Their Kangoo ZE is fuel efficient, delivering the equivalent of £0.05/mile and can travel on average 60 miles on a full charge; the full range is 106 miles, but that can be increased by regenerative braking by 20 miles but also reduced by 50 miles if you have the air-conditioning on full whack or treat it like a formula one car; either way, it should be more than enough for the average van driver’s travels in any given day.
However, further investigations into the actual costs, given that you can buy the van but Renault retain ownership of the battery, is not as cost effective on paper as it looks to the untrained eye. Not only do they retain the ownership but, as well as charging you just shy of £17k, £18k and £19k for the basic, maxi and 5-seater crew vans respectively, but you will also be charged a monthly rental fee for the battery.
This, however, is not as straight forward as it seems if you’re looking to plan your monthly budget around your vehicle costs and may not be cheap.
Renault are still not exactly sure how the electric van market is going to take off, and they want to protect the ZE brand for their current and future reputation in this field.
As such, they still need the real results from practical driving and deliveries made by commercial vehicle owners on a day-to-day basis.
Having their hands on their product that you are, in essence, market testing for them means they can assess the ongoing performance. For Renault’s part, they will take care of repairs and replacements, providing you take due care as outlined in the contract you take out when first purchasing the Kangoo.
The good news, as far as maintenance and reducing your van insurance is concerned is that, with Renault looking after the battery and the reduced top speed of the van, there is little that can go wrong, other than driver error. It may be difficult at the moment to get your electric van insured as it is still a new field but, as more brokers get knowledgeable about the range, they must realise the opportunity to offer cheap van insurance for this range, just as we do here on cheapvaninsurance.co.uk.