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Looking For New Vans? Benefits Of Diesel Vs Electric

July 26th, 2023

When it comes to choosing a new van for your business needs, there are several factors to consider. Without question, one of the most significant decisions you’ll face is whether to opt for a diesel or electric van. Out of the four million vans currently driving on UK roads, a significant portion of this figure are diesel-powered. Diesel has historically been the preferred engine choice of drivers around the world thanks to its efficiency and power, which makes them well-suited to carrying heavy payloads whilst still delivering relatively low running costs.

However, in recent years, electric vans have become more efficient, cheap to run and, above all, environmentally friendly than ever before. With the wealth of benefits that many electric vans now boast when compared to traditional diesel models, the choice between the two engine types has never been more difficult to determine.

Both types of running gear have their own advantages and disadvantages, and understanding the key arguments for each will help you to make an informed decision. If you’re struggling to make up your mind, fear not: in this blog, we’ll explore the benefits of diesel and electric vans, helping you determine which is the best fit for your requirements.

Diesel Vans: The Trusty Workhorse

Diesel vans have long been the preferred choice for many business owners due to their reliability, power and robustness. Although mounting congestion charges might make it seem as though investing in a diesel van isn’t a smart choice in this day and age, they nevertheless have a number of benefits that electric vehicles have yet to replicate:

Power and Torque

Diesel engines are renowned for their high torque output, making them ideal for heavy-duty tasks. The robust power of a diesel van allows you to confidently transport substantial loads and tow trailers without sacrificing performance. Whether you’re delivering goods, hauling equipment or operating in industries that require frequent heavy lifting, a diesel van provides the necessary muscle to get the job done efficiently.

Extended Range

One of the significant advantages of driving a diesel van is the extended range they offer compared to electric vans. Diesel fuel has a higher energy density, allowing diesel vans to travel longer distances on a single tank. This attribute proves advantageous for businesses that frequently undertake long-haul journeys or operate in regions where charging infrastructure is limited. The ability to cover more miles without needing to refuel can enhance productivity and flexibility for your business operations.

Lower Purchase Cost

If you’re working within a budget constraint, a diesel van offers a more affordable upfront cost compared to electric vans. The lower purchase price can be a significant factor, especially for small businesses or those starting out. Additionally, the potential savings on the purchase price can be redirected towards other essential aspects of your business, such as marketing, inventory or hiring personnel. It’s important to consider the initial investment and its impact on your overall financial planning when deciding between a diesel or electric van. a tight budget, a diesel van might be a more affordable option, especially considering the potential savings on the purchase price.

Established Infrastructure

Another advantage of diesel vans is the well-established fueling infrastructure. Diesel fueling stations are widespread, providing convenience and ease of access for refuelling across the country. This extensive network of fueling stations ensures that you can find diesel readily available, enabling uninterrupted operations regardless of your location. For businesses that require frequent travel or operate in remote areas where charging stations may be limited, the availability of diesel fueling infrastructure offers a significant practical advantage.

Electric Vans: The Eco-Friendly Alternative

With the growing focus on environmental sustainability, electric vans have gained popularity among many different types of businesses. Consider the following benefits of opting for an electric van:

Zero Emissions

Electric vans contribute to a greener and more sustainable future due to the fact that they produce zero tailpipe emissions. By relying solely on electric power, these vans help reduce air pollution and combat climate change. Choosing an electric van demonstrates your business’s commitment to environmental responsibility, which can enhance your brand image and resonate positively with environmentally conscious customers. Furthermore, as governments and societies increasingly prioritise environmental sustainability, electric vans may become a requirement for certain contracts or access to certain areas, making them a future-proof choice for your business.

Lower Operating Costs

While electric vans may have a higher purchase price, they offer significant savings in operating costs. Electricity, as a fuel source, is generally cheaper than diesel fuel, resulting in substantial fueling savings over time. Additionally, electric vans require fewer maintenance expenses compared to their diesel counterparts. Electric motors have fewer moving parts, eliminating the need for frequent oil changes, and reducing the risk of mechanical failures. This not only saves you money but also minimises downtime and improves the overall reliability of your van fleet.

Government Incentives

Many governments worldwide, including the UK’s, provide various incentives to promote the adoption of electric vehicles. These incentives can include grants, tax credits or subsidies, reducing the overall cost of purchasing an electric van. By taking advantage of these incentives, you can potentially offset a significant portion of the higher initial purchase price, making electric vans a more financially viable option. It’s important to research and stay updated on the available incentives in your region to maximise the cost-saving benefits of choosing an electric van.

Quiet and Smooth Operation

Electric vans operate quietly and provide a smooth driving experience. This attribute can be particularly advantageous for businesses operating in urban areas or during nighttime deliveries. The reduced noise pollution not only contributes to a more pleasant working environment for drivers but also helps maintain positive relationships with customers and residents in noise-sensitive locations

Considerations for Finance & Maintenance

Apart from the fueling and purchase costs, it’s crucial to factor in other financial aspects when making your decision. Consider the following points:

Finance Options

When exploring your options, it’s worth considering financing a van through a finance company. They can help you spread the cost over monthly instalments, making it more manageable for your business’s cash flow. Discuss financing options with your chosen van supplier and finance company to find a suitable plan.

Van Breakdown Cover

Whether you choose a diesel or electric van, having comprehensive van breakdown cover is essential. Ensure you select a policy that covers your specific van type, offering roadside assistance, recovery, and any necessary repairs to minimise downtime. Look for breakdown cover providers that specialise in commercial vehicles and offer tailored plans to meet your needs.

Making the Right Choice for Your Business

Choosing between a diesel and electric van ultimately comes down to your specific business needs. Consider the following questions to help you make an informed decision:

  • What is the primary purpose of the van? Are you transporting heavy loads or making frequent short trips within a city? Assess your typical usage scenarios to determine the power requirements and range necessary for your business operations.
  • How far do you typically travel in a day? Will an electric van’s range meet your requirements, or do you need the extended range of a diesel van? Evaluate your daily travel distances and charging infrastructure availability to determine the practicality of an electric van.
  • What is your budget? Consider the initial purchase price, running costs and potential incentives when evaluating your financial capabilities. Conduct a cost analysis of the van’s lifecycle, including fueling, maintenance and potential savings, to make an informed financial decision.
  • Do you have access to charging infrastructure? Electric vans rely on a charging infrastructure to replenish their batteries. Evaluate the availability of charging stations in your area, both at your business location and along your regular routes, to ensure a seamless charging experience.
  • What is the make and model’s reputation and resale value? These are important factors to consider in the long-term. Some diesel vans, such as the Ford Transit Connect, have a long-standing reputation for reliability and durability. This can be advantageous when it comes to reselling the van in the future, as a well-known brand with a strong resale value can potentially provide better returns on your investment.

Seek Advice From a Reliable Van Finance Company

It’s important to carefully evaluate all the above factors and consider the specific needs of your business before making a decision. Assessing your requirements, budget, environmental concerns and long-term goals will help you determine whether a diesel van or an electric van is the right fit for your business.

Whether you choose a diesel or electric van, it’s always important to remember that partnering with a reputable commercial van finance company makes a world of difference. Not only will they leave you confident in their ability to deliver an exceptional quality of service, but you’ll also have access to flexible payment options and steadfast breakdown cover that you’re less likely to find elsewhere.

If you’re ready to explore your options, Van Sales UK is here to assist you in finding the perfect van that aligns with your requirements. Contact us today to discuss your options, explore our extensive range of vans and receive expert guidance on selecting the perfect vehicle to meet your needs. Don’t delay—take the next step toward enhancing your business’s efficiency and success with the right van choice.


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