Understanding Electric Van Payloads
True or false? All-electric vans have lower payloads because they are heavier than traditional commercial vehicles.
To answer this we need to know some fundamentals about payloads, licences and also about electric vans. So, here we go!
Basics of payloads
A van's payload measurement is not how many pallets you can fit inside or the cubic space. Payload is a specific weight calculated by subtracting the van's unladen weight from the manufacturer's gross vehicle mass (GVM), sometimes also known as maximum authorised mass (MAM) or gross plated weight.
The GVM is the maximum permissible weight of the vehicle including load, passengers, fuel, and anything else carried in or on the van. The unladen weight is the weight of the van's standard structure without any passengers, goods, fuel or batteries (for electric vans), etc.
Payloads might also be calculated by some manufacturers as GVM less kerbside weight – which is the weight of the unladen van, plus fuel or battery pack.
So, as batteries for all-electric vans are currently heavier than a tank of fuel, it stands to reason that the payloads of electric vans will be lower, doesn't it? Well yes, but you should read on.
GVM and driving a light commercial vehicle in the UK
All vans will have the GVM printed on a plate or sticker attached to the vehicle's chassis. (There are other weights to be aware of including axle weights and gross train weights, but for the purpose of answering the question at the top of the page, we don't need to think about them here.)
Traditionally-fuelled light commercial vehicles (LCVs) in the UK can have a maximum GVM of 3.5 tonnes (3,500kg) and this means they can be driven on a standard cat B driving licence. Once you start looking at heavier vans with higher payload weights, you are entering the realms of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and these require advanced driving licences, operational licences, and intensive training, regulation and management.
If you need higher payloads, there's a lot more to think about, and that's why the question of LCV payload is an important one.
Rule changes for alternatively-fuelled vehicles
In the early days of electric LCVs, the maximum weight ruling meant that anyone considering buying an electric van had to settle for reduced payload amounts if they wanted to drive on a standard licence. This affected a number of industry bodies, so they lobbied the government for change.
In 2018, the rules were changed for alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AVFs) – those powered by electricity, natural gas, biogas or hydrogen – so that AVFs up to 4.25 tonnes (4,250 kg) could be driven on a standard category B licence with certain stipulations: the van cannot be used for trade or hire outside the UK, it can't tow a trailer, or be used to transport goods, and the driver must undertake 5 hours of training.
AVFs with GVM of 4.25 tonnes
So the rules changed to help all-electric van drivers keep a decent payload, yes, but what does that actually look like on paper.
Let's look at the new Ford E-Transit – the specs says the 4.25 Tonne medium height E-Transit van can carry up to 1,758 kg of cargo, whereas the traditionally-fuelled alternative which can be driven on a standard licence (the diesel 3.5 Tonne L2H2 FWD model) has a payload guidance weight of between 1379 – 1472kg.
For the Vauxhaull Vivaro and Vivaro-e (electric version), the two models have maximum payload of up to 1, 458kg and 1,226 kg respectively (3,100kg maximum GVM). Moving up to the Movano, the maximum payload available on a 3.5 tonne model is 1,790kg while maximum payload on the Movano-e (electric version) 3.5 tonne model is up to 1,150kg.
The answer to the question
So, do electric vans have lower payload weights traditionally-fuelled vans? Well, yes, but that's not the be all and end all (unless you transport heavy metals for a living), is it?
When buying an electric van instead of a diesel van, you'll need to consider what you transport, how heavy it is, how far you need to travel and the type of driving you'll be doing (multi delivery or low stop/high mileage). You might want to consider towing a trailer as well, to increase your payload.
For example, the Peugeot e-Expert has a maximum payload of up to 1,226kg and can tow an additional 1,000kg.
Electric van insurance from iVan
One last question to answer: is electric van insurance more expensive than cover for traditional vans?
Once again, there's no straightforward 'yes' or 'no' answer to this question, because with every day that goes by, electric vans are becoming more mainstream. Like all new technology, gradually the prices come down and so cheap van insurance becomes easier to find.
If you are considering buying an electric vehicle over a diesel alternative, why not give our quote engine a try to compare van insurance quotes. Alternatively, give iVan a call, we're powered by City Insurance and our team of sales advisers are experienced in providing van insurance for professionals.
Auto Express Awards - Fiat Ducato and Ford E-Transit Win Big in 2022
The votes are in, they've been counted and verified, and Auto Express has now announced the Vans of the Year for 2022.
In the traditional fuel category, the winning van is the Fiat Ducato and in the electric class, the top spot goes to the Ford E-Transit.
The awards in a nutshell
OK, so we don't know too much about the voting system or if any vote verification happened, but Auto Express is a weighty title when it comes to motor vehicle media, so when they choose a particular vehicle in their annual awards it does bestow significant kudos.
Auto Express says that the award categories across cars, SUVs, and vans are designed to reflect what UK drivers are actually buying and hopes to pinpoint the vehicles that their "exhaustive testing" identifies as best in class.
New and existing models feature in the awards and the winners have been judged on a number of criteria based on levels of comfort, quality, technology, performance and handling.
Best Van – Fiat Ducato
Auto Express says that the Fiat Ducato is a prime example of manufacturers trying to ensure their vans have all the latest tech, whilst striving to maintain payload weights and cargo volumes. They say that while the van is more or less the same as the previous model, Fiat has packed the latest one with new running and tech equipment, including car-like levels of infotainment systems and safety kit including lane assist, autonomous emergency braking with cyclist and pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, and active park assist.
The model of choice for the Auto Express team is the 2.2 Multijet 140HP 35 LH2 which can be driven on a UK car licence, but, it says, there are heavier models for those with a C or C1 licence.
Also commended in this category were the Ford Transit Custom and the Suzuki Jimny Commercial.
Best Electric Van – Ford E-Transit
The Ford E-Transit has been a late entrant to the electric van market, but it seems that it was worth the wait. Auto Express describes the Ford E-Transit as "quiet and refined" with no reduction in cargo volumes because the electric running gear has been fitted seamlessly into the Transit frame.
It also acknowledges the price point of the E-Transit being lower than many rival makes, which seems a huge plus when, they say, Ford has made a number of improvements to the standard elements of the electric van formula.
Auto Express chooses the Ford E-Transit 135kW 184PS L2 H3 Trend as its model of choice from the range, saying that the Trend models provide numerous items that improve connectivity, safety and an easy driving experience.
Also commended in the electric van category were the LEVC VN5 and the Vauxhall Vivaro-e.
Electric van insurance from iVan
Powered by City Insurance, iVan helps van drivers get the best deals on electric van insurance by working with a panel of leading UK insurance providers; including AXA, LV, Zurich, Ageas, Covea and many more.
We offer all types of electric van insurance cover, including Social (for personal trips) Own Goods (for business purposes), and Haulage (for delivery of third-party goods) and we supply fleet van insurance and any driver van insurance to suit your commercial needs. Contact iVan today to see how we could help you get the best electric van insurance for your needs.
Contact iVan today to see how we could help you get the best electric van insurance for your needs.
Staying Legal While Operating Vans in Europe and EEA
On 21 May 2022 a rule change occurred that means more fleet owners of vans and light commercial vehicles who use their vehicles for EU and International trade or hire will need to apply for an operator licence (O Licence).
Prior to this date, only vans and light goods vehicles of over 3.5 tonnes were required to apply for the licence; however, from the May deadline, all vans based in England Scotland or Wales, with a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of more than 2.5 tonnes that carry goods for hire or reward in the EU, EEA or Switzerland will need a standard international goods vehicle operator licence.
The rules will also apply to smaller commercially-trading vans and cars which tow trailers and have a gross train weight (GTW) of more than 2.5 tonnes.
How to get an O licence – Appoint a Transport Manager
Firstly, you will need a Transport Manager who can make sure the vans and drivers are operating correctly. A Transport Manager (TM) makes sure that all van drivers have valid driving licences and that they do not speed or break any other motoring laws.
The TM is also responsible for making sure the vehicles are taxed, insured, MOTd and that they receive regular maintenance. The TM must also ensure that vans are loaded safely and are not overloaded.
To become a TM you or a member of your team will need to achieve a professional qualification known as the Transport Manager Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). Alternatively, you can hire someone with the CPC.
Once you or an appointed member of staff is recognised as the Transport Manager you will be able to apply for your O Licence
Proof of Financial Standing
Another key element of gaining your O Licence is the requirement to prove a minimum amount of funds available per van. The amount as at May 2022 is £1,600 for the first van plus £800 per each additional vehicle.
When you apply for your O Licence, you will need to upload documents as evidence of your financial standing. This could include company bank or building society statements, credit card accounts, opening balances (for start-ups), details of an overdraft facility, invoice finance agreements or audited accounts
Interim Licence for immediate use
The Gov.UK website says that it can take up to nine weeks for an application to be processed. If you need to make immediate journeys abroad to trade, you can select the option for "time limited interim authority" which is effectively an interim O Licence that will cover you until you receive the full O Licence.
If you transport goods for hire or reward, or for your own business use, between a two points in the UK and the EU or EEA, you will need to make 'posting declarations'. This rule came into force in February 2022.
Posting declarations include details of each commercial journey, including registering the details of the operator, the driver, the driver's employment details, the dates of travel and the vehicle used for the journey. Drivers will need to carry a copy of the information that has been declared for the journey.
You will need to create an account on the EU portal to make the declarations.
Keeping things simple with iVan insurance
While the rules surrounding the operation of a fleet of vans in Europe just got more complex, we can safely say that by coming to iVan you will simplify how you get your fleet van insurance or any driver van insurance.
We will search our network of top insurers to find you the best deal on your commercial vehicle cover, so that you can concentrate on the other aspects of your business that take up your precious time.
Get a quote with iVan today.
Van Drivers on Smart Motorways
There has been significant bad press about the safety of smart motorways, with certain campaign groups and media outlets saying that the number of deaths per mile of smart motorways is significantly higher than on ordinary motorways.
However, the government remains committed to implementing the All Lanes Running (ALR) routes as a means to reducing congestion on some of the country's busiest highways.
A quick look at the press reporting reveals the apparent risks of smart motorways when there is no hard shoulder available to be used in the event of a breakdown or minor collision and, of course, they tell of the tragic consequences.
At this time, there seems no indication that the government is likely to halt the building of smart motorways or reinstate permanent hard shoulders onto those which have been converted, so, as van insurance providers, we feel the best thing we can do is to help spread the safety message to motorists about what smart motorways are and how to use them as safely as possible.
Staying safe on a smart motorway
Smart motorways are predominantly designed to be able to reduce traffic congestion by using variable speed limits and an extra lane of traffic (in most cases this was previously the hard shoulder). Overhead screens provide notifications for each lane about speed limits and to open and close lanes so as to control traffic and prevent the build-up of queues approaching an incident.
If you see a red cross on the screen above a lane, you must not use it. Move out of the lane as soon as it is safe to do so.
If you drive in a lane with a red cross, you are breaking the law and could be fined. A closed lane could be due to a breakdown or other incident on the road and you run the risk of a collision if you continue using it.
What to do if you break down on a smart motorway
If your vehicle is showing signs of malfunction while travelling on a smart motorway, you should safely move left across the lanes and leave at the next junction or service area.
Alternatively, you can pull into one of the yellow/orange emergency areas where you will find an emergency roadside phone (there are separate provisions for those with hearing, speech, or physical impairments who are unable to use an emergency phone).
You should exit to the left of the vehicle (furthest from the traffic) if there is a safe place to move to – get behind a safety barrier if there is one. Do not put a warning triangle out and do not attempt to fix your vehicle at the roadside. If it is dark, keep your side lights on. If there is poor visibility use your fog lights.
If you break down in a live lane of traffic and are unable to drive your vehicle off the road or make a safe exit due to traffic, you should:
- keep your seatbelt fastened;
- put on your hazard warning lights, and;
- DIAL 999 IMMEDIATELY.
You should also follow the advice above if you have suffered a collision and need to stop your vehicle to check for damage or exchange insurance details. Never stand in the live lane to check for damage or exchange details. Always move away from the lane onto a verge or stand behind the barriers.
Stopped vehicles on smart motorways
Stopped vehicles are one of the most dangerous situations on all motorways. Smart motorways include lots of technology, including radar sensors, to detect stopped vehicles and manage the traffic around them. National Highways say they detect stopped vehicles typically within 20 seconds.
The most important thing is to keep calm and assess the situation carefully before getting out of your vehicle.
If you stop in an emergency area, you should always use the phone to notify the traffic monitors. They can arrange assistance and, even if you don't require immediate help, they may need to close the closest live lane so that you can safely exit the emergency area.
Staying safe, staying protected
While we cannot prevent breakdowns and collisions, we can help you stay aware of changing driving conditions and laws via our blog.
For van insurance quotes click on the get a quote button now, or call us on 0345 646 1386 to speak to an adviser.
What is Any Driver Van Insurance?
Understanding how to get the cheapest van insurance for your business is an important factor if you want your van to be cost-effective.
Before buying an Any Driver Van Insurance policy, it is important to consider how you will run your van or vans and how to keep the cost of insurance as low as possible.
Is any driver van insurance right for my business?
Any driver van insurance offers flexibility if your van will be driven by more than four different people.
It might be the right option if you only have one van and will need it to be driven at different times by different people, or if you want to use your van for work but also want to enable other family members to drive it.
As the name suggests, you don't need to name the drivers on an 'any driver' policy, so it means that if your staff members change over the life of the policy you don't have to worry about updating your insurer with new driver details (there's usually an administration fee for this which can work out to be pretty expensive if you have high staff turnover).
Main Advantage: Ultimate driver flexibility.
What are the disadvantages of any driver van insurance?
Because you don't have to name the drivers, the insurer has no way of knowing each driver's driving history, i.e. they don't know if they have had speeding convictions in the past, have been involved in car accidents, or made claims on another van insurance policy. This means the insurer assumes a greater risk and this often makes any driver van insurance more expensive than alternative commercial vehicle cover.
Main Disadvantage: More expensive than other types of van insurance.
Can literally 'anyone' drive the van?
Most drivers will be covered as long as they have a driving licence that covers them to drive the category of van you wish to insure, however, you must check the policy for any restricting conditions. One of the main restrictions is age – most any driver van insurance policies will not allow drivers under the age of 21.
Another common restriction is that all drivers of the van must have a clean driving licence. Many insurers stipulate that each driver must have had a clean licence (no driving endorsements) for 12 months prior to driving the van.
THINK: no young drivers and no penalty points
Factors affecting the price of your any driver van insurance
A number of other factors will affect the price of your van insurance, including:
- whether you use the van for business use or personal use
- the van's size and age
- what you carry in the van
- the amount of annual mileage you cover in the van
What are the alternatives?
There are a number of alternative van insurance offers available, including:
Named driver van insurance:
Most van insurance policies will allow up to four named drivers on each policy. You will need to know the driver details of each potential van driver when taking out the policy and you will need to add or remove drivers when necessary.
Named driver van insurance can be a better deal than any driver van insurance especially if the drivers are older and have long clean licences.
Temporary van insurance:
This can be a good short-term option if you are the main driver of the van for most of the time, but might occasionally want or need to let another driver get behind the wheel. Some providers offer instant cover for a few hours only, which can be really useful in an emergency, while short-term cover can last days, weeks, or even months.
Multi-van or fleet van insurance:
If you have more than one van, you may find it more cost-effective to buy multi-van insurance or fleet van insurance. Typically, multi-van policies cover any driver in any van, so this creates ultimate flexibility for a growing business. Again, there might be certain restrictions and conditions in relation to the drivers who are able to drive, plus, the size and age of the vans and the type of business you do will affect the price of your fleet insurance.
Talk to iVan about any driver van insurance
Powered by City Insurance, iVan provides some of the best value van insurance from top insurers. We can help if you don't have a no-claims bonus and we offer loyalty discounts at renewal for existing customers.
Get a quote today or call us on 0345 6461396 to discuss your requirements.