Press release

White man van goes electric, Auto Trader figures show

The soaring cost of fuel has pushed interest in electric transit vans to an all-time high as tradespeople hunt for lower running costs, new Auto Trader research shows.

Data from the UK’s biggest online vehicle marketplace shows the highest ever volume of advert views for electric vans last month with over 207,000 views on the Auto Trader website – more the double the previous year.

The surge in interest from van drivers come as the cost of running a conventionally fuelled diesel van rockets due to war in Ukraine.

Auto Trader’s figures show that the average transit driver with an annual mileage of 13,000 a year is paying an extra £933 a year to fill a 70-litre tank, based on a typical 40 miles per gallon.

The spiralling fuel costs mean electric van drivers are saving almost £2000 a year – or £1937 – for the same annual mileage1.

More than 4m vans clocked up 55.5 billion miles on Britain’s roads in 2019, according to the latest Department for Transport figures, with the overwhelming majority - 97% - diesel fuelled.

But electric vans now account for 10% of all van advertisements on the site – up from virtually zero three years ago before the pandemic struck.

In June alone, the number of drivers looking at adverts for electric vans jumped by a quarter compared to May. The number of enquiries generated for Auto Trader’s retailer customers has also jumped by 31% since June 2021.

The surge in interest comes despite an average price premium of more than £13,000 over traditional diesel vans for new models (£44,255 vs £31,647) as tradespeople are attracted by lower running costs.

Mercedes-Benz’ Vito and Sprinter models and the Citreon SpaceTourer are proving the most popular electric vans with drivers, Auto Trader’s market data shows.

Ian Plummer, commercial director at Auto Trader, said: “Diesel vans are still the most common on British roads, but the rising interest in electric vehicles this year has been a real feature of the market as the cost-of-living crisis puts pressure on businesses and households alike.

“When fuel costs have risen so sharply it is understandable that van drivers are drawn to the big savings on offer by switching to electric models – which is a win for them and for our environment.”

  1. Based on analysis of five electric vans derivatives and their ICE equivalents over four years (diesel set at 198.94p a litre and electricity of 26.5p per KWh. July 2022)

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