Arval shows real range of eLCVs

Leading UK sustainable mobility specialists Arval have published a report using on scientific research into the real world range of electric LCV vans. This is to help businesses currently using diesel vans get a clear understanding of what the capabilities are of different vehicles in different circumstances.

Arval operates 175,000 vehicles in its UK fleet. The company commissioned an independent scientific trial at the Millbrook Proving Ground to assess vans from three segments that carried half, full and zero payload on urban, rural and motorway routes in winter ambient conditions to help businesses plan around range scenarios confidently.

The outcome of the eLCV Performance Report showed that ranges varied from about 50% of manufacturer stated range to more than 100%. Such data hasn’t been available to date and this has led to hesitation on the part of fleet owners regarding buying electric vans.

David Watts, Arval UK senior consultant, explained: “Our real-world testing across small, medium and large electric vans, each assessed with three payload weights in typically cold weather, shows that to be confident the van won’t run out of electricity on a route, a figure of around 60-70% of the official range should be used.

“Obviously there are many variables so fleets will want to use this new data to see what their typical operations will mean to EV range. However there are some reassuring points that can be taken on board – namely, figures for laden eLCVs are comparable with the performance of diesel vans, faster speeds don’t necessarily reduce range and using ‘worst case’ winter performance figures should see a positive impact in warmer months.

“Banning the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles, scheduled for 2030, has thrown into sharp relief the different needs of fleet vehicles and how electric light commercial vehicles will fit in.

“Tax changes have triggered a sudden surge in electric car interest as drivers seize the opportunity to cut their monthly benefit-in-kind costs, but there’s also increased focus on fleet electrification across all vehicle segments. This has seen the spotlight shift to the very real and practical challenges of incorporating electric commercial vehicles into a fleet.”