If there is a commercial vehicle that is going to turn business heads and convince them that battery power is the way forward, my money would be on the Renault Kangoo ZE. Ahead of an extremely competitive field at the VansA27.com awards, it not only won eco-van of the year, but also International Van of the Year. No other electric van has achieved this feat before, but if you’ve followed us on cheap van insurance for some time, you’ll be familiar with the EV’s host of awards, already.
On the shortlist for the eco-van awards were many that have qualified for the government’s plug-in grant scheme, entitling buyers into the EV market discounts of 20%, up to the value of £8,000. Add that saving on to reduced fuel costs and cheaper van insurance and you can see how investment can start to make commercial sense very quickly.
With the Kangoo ZE, the battery is not included in the base cost of the vehicle and is ultimately the lifetime responsibility of Renault. Yes, this quirk does come with a monthly rental fee, but as an integral part of the van that the insurer doesn’t have to worry about covering, plus the combination of the distance one charge can deliver (between 60-100 miles, depending upon driving conditions and load capacity), for the average daily round, this van is more than adequate.
And it is not just the electric van range that Renault have got their eye on making in roads in this year, despite the growing list of the Kangoo’s recognised industry awards. Following this latest success, Darren Payne, Fleet & Commercial Vehicle Operations director for Renault in the UK, reiterated the French company’s determination to growth their existing market share of 7% for the light commercial vehicle sector. Their New Master, with its minibus and short wheel base options, is also expected to set the LCV sector alight.
For the other electric vans that featured highly, namely the Ford Transit Connect, Vito E-Cell and Nemo, it would appear that they have yet to build up a following and achieve the admiration of the sector that the Kangoo has done, and for which Renault already have production line facilities ready to roll. There is a long way to go for this, as yet, unproven mode of transport on the UK’s roads. But, if the range can deliver the fuel savings, reduced van insurance and we can see more chargers, there may be a lot more mileage in them than they are currently being given credit for.