Could Electric Vans Be Used For Transporting Cargo In The Future?

by Rizwan Baig | Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014 | 5154 views

With a global emphasis on lowering vehicle emissions, van manufacturers are constantly looking at ways of developing eco-friendly engines that aren’t harmful to the environment. Despite diesel engines being more fuel-efficient than their petrol equivalents, not many people know that they are more toxic to the environment.

Could Electric Vans Transporting Cargo

Obviously using petrol engines in commercial vehicles are going to be out of the question, so what can van manufacturers do to make their offerings more eco-friendly? One way is to mass-produce electric vans.

Why it makes sense to produce electric vans

As with cars, there are already some electric vans being used today, albeit on a remarkably small scale. But what if all vans were electric?

It makes perfect sense to mass-produce electric vans for the following reasons:

  • Range – for the most part, van drivers will only be travelling a limited range of 100 miles a day or less. Van drivers tend to travel to local destinations, delivering parcels, going from site to site, and so forth. Long-distance driving is usually carried out in larger vehicles, such as trucks and articulated lorries;

  • Regeneration – the vans of the future could be developed to incorporate solar panels on the roof, which can help to recharge the van’s batteries whilst it is being used. This helps to reduce “recharge anxiety”, where drivers worry about finding a charging point near their location if they are running low on electricity;

  • Zero emissions – if you go out on any road, you will notice that a large amount of the vehicles that comprise the traffic are commercial vehicles such as vans. Because they will inevitably be stuck in traffic each day, vans with diesel engines will pollute the atmosphere. But with electric vans, there are zero emissions as a combustion engine is not in use!

Some people think that electric vans won’t be powerful enough to move a fully laden van around, and even up hills, for example.

However, electric vehicle technology is progressing well, and there are many electric vehicles that pack a punch. You only have to check out Tesla cars as an example!

How we can make this happen

The main disadvantage to using electric vans on a mass scale are due to two things: cost, and infrastructure.

To some people, it might seem that history is repeating itself. Electric vehicle technology is nothing new, as the technology has been around since the early 20th century.

The success of the internal combustion engine can be attributed to the facts that they are cheaper to produce, and oil is easy to come by from an extraction point of view.

There is also the question of infrastructure. According to my good friend and electric vehicle expert Jim from, we can collectively make mass electric van use reality and not a pipedream.

The way to do that would be find ways of making the technology cheaper and easier to manufacture, and offer consumers better all-electric range to combat those range anxiety blues.

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