Ford E-Transit Dropside vs Renault Z.E. Master Dropside
If you had to write a list of some of the best names that give some of the most reliable, quality vans on the market, then Ford and Renault would surely be up there. This reliability and quality is not lost in their more recent electric conversions, either, with both venturing into the EV sector of the van market, even producing electric vans with chassis cabs to allow for different body variants, one of which we’ll be focusing on in this review – the dropside.
First, we have the Ford E-Transit Dropside, an innovative conversion that allows it to work at an optimum level with an electric motor, whilst offering considered safety features and useful connectivity options.
Then we have the Renault Master Z.E. Dropside, which retains the features of a conventional Master chassis, all while offering the benefits you’d expect from an electric vehicle alongside plenty of space and intuitive features.
Engines and Spec
Looking first at the engine power of each of these vans, both operate using a fully electric motor powered by battery packs.
Starting with the E-Transit Dropside, this comes in two lengths (L3 or L4), both of which utilise a 68kWh battery that offers a very generous 150 miles of driving range for the L3 option and only one mile less with 149 for the L4. As for motorway driving, this is slightly reduced to 114 miles for both, however this is still impressive when compared to other electric dropside vans.
The Master Z.E. Dropside operates using a battery pack of 33kWh – over half the size smaller than that of the E-Tranist. As such, the range is significantly less, reaching a maximum of 75 miles on a full charge. This makes it much better suited to urban driving (especially when considering its maximum speed, which is limited to 62mph), for those who are looking to take their dropside into the city or live in built-up town areas.
Of course, though having a smaller battery has its drawbacks, it also has its benefits – one of such being that it allows for a reduced charging time. When using a 7.4kW AC wall charger, the Master Z.E. can reach a full charge in 6 hours. This makes this van very much capable of allowing you to complete your daily tasks on one charge, allowing you to easily recharge it overnight (with some leeway for use later into the evening or from earlier in the morning).
Using the same 7.4kW AC wall charger with the E-Transit will, unsurprisingly, take longer, reaching a full charge in 11.5 hours. Though this is still possible to charge overnight, it doesn’t allow for as much leeway if you do wish or need to use your van later into the night (which is less likely if you’re driving a dropside) or earlier in the mornings (which is more likely if needed for construction work). However, it is simultaneously less likely that you will use up all your charge in a single work day depending on how far you have to drive to work.
More charging options for the E-Transit can be found in our more extensive E-Transit Dropside review.
Both these vans offer comfort in their interiors, with the E-Transit perhaps offering more style while the Master Z.E. offers more practicality. In the E-Transit, you will find a 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system on the centre console, fitted with Sync 4 connectivity that provides navigation with advanced route planning, voice recognition and smartphone integration.
The cockpit displays the power use, charge and remaining battery of the van very clearly in a way that is easy to understand. The same can be said of the Master Z.E., where practicality is abundant. Though modern and unintrusive, the style is somewhat uninspired in the cabin area of this van, although this is forgivable given the plentiful storage space and intuitive comfort and driving features – more of which can be read about in our Master Z.E. Dropside review.
In terms of the dropside floats, these are fit for expected purpose in each van, respectively, with both offering two available lengths if you’re looking for that little bit of extra space to transport your materials and tools. Regarding payloads, the E-Transit dropside has a max payload of 1341kg for the L3 option and 1324kg for the L4.
As for the Master Z.E., their chassis cabs have a maximum payload of 1,620kg for L2 and 1,600kg for L3, however it should be noted that these weights are before conversion, so the payload is likely to be less once the dropside float is also included.
If you’re looking for a dropside van that is environmentally friendly, offers a decent payload and gets you from A to B comfortably, then both of these vans would do the job. In order to determine which may be best for you, you should reflect upon your driving habits.
For those who take their dropside van to and from work each day and predominantly use it to transport materials and tools around their jobsite or across urban areas, planning to leave it to charge at the end of the day ready for the next, then the Renault Master Z.E. Dropside would be ideal for your needs.
In contrast, the Ford E-Transit Dropside may be better suited to someone who has to travel to and from more remote areas or doesn’t necessarily take their dropside van to the same location each day, requiring more versatility and leeway in where they can take their van.
One of the downsides of any electric van is the large investment that comes with purchasing them outright, which is why you should consider Van Sales UK if either of these vans sound perfect for you. With both starting from £449 plus VAT, we can offer you these brand new dropside vans on finance.