IT SEEMS the benefits of electrification haven’t fully convinced all van drivers, according to a survey conducted by van leasing broker Vansdirect.

The survey by the Newport-based broker found that 31% of respondents were ‘not likely’ to make the change with only 18% saying they were ‘highly likely’ to buy an electric van.

The research also found that:

  • Only 18% of respondents think it’s essential to test drive a new van
  • 80% cited price as the main factor when choosing a van supplier
  • Just under half were interested in all-inclusive servicing and maintenance packages
  • 40% of van owners saw their vehicle as ‘a tool to help me earn money’
  • 30% of owners with up to four vans believed that ‘it’s essential to reflect my business in the best possible light’.

Gregor Mackie, operations director of Vansdirect holding company Vertu Ventures, said:

“Most of the major manufacturers are producing electric vans but it seems there is a long way to go to convince drivers to switch.

Gregor Mackie operations director of Vertu Ventures
Gregor Mackie

“Our attitudes survey shows some reluctance for van owners to embrace the electric revolution, but I am sure that will change as the technology advances.

“Demand is also likely to be driven by the introduction of more clean air zones, such as those in Bath, Birmingham and shortly in Portsmouth. Vehicles which do not meet emissions standards could well be subject to charges to drive in these areas.

“I was surprised to find that so few buyers thought it important to test drive a new vehicle but less so that price is a major consideration when making a purchasing decision.

“Van sales have risen over the last 18 months, in part down to the rise in the number of delivery drivers recruited by courier and postal companies.

“Conducting this research has enabled us to more fully understand our customers and will help us to deliver the products and service they want.”

The reticence to change may be swayed by the current fuel situation facing drivers as well as the recent CV Show held at Birmingham’s NEC which featured a number of electric vans, including Ford’s all-new electric Transit, and global debuts for the Vauxhall Combo-e and Movano-e.

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