The number of electric vans on the road has risen by 30% in just one year as more businesses seek to establish their green credentials and save money.
The number of electric vans in use in the UK has hit a record high, rising to 3,880 at the end of 2017, up 30% from 2,990 in 2016, according to research from Funding Options. The total number of electric vans in use has increased almost fivefold in under a decade.
Electric vans can be a useful tool in establishing businesses' green credentials, says Funding Options. This can help businesses, especially those using delivery vans, to win more custom because they are seen as more environmentally responsible.
However, finances are also a key issue - businesses are starting to favour modern electric vans as they are cheaper to run than older diesel alternatives. Electric vans pay zero road tax and are exempt from the London congestion charge.
The rising popularity of electric vehicles can also be attributed to the availability of Government grants. Seven different electric vans are currently eligible for a Government grant, which pays for 20% of the purchase price of the vehicle, up to a maximum of £8,000.
Funding Options says it is receiving an increasing number of requests from businesses seeking finance to help them buy electric vans.
Conrad Ford, founder of Funding Options, said: "Cheap-to-run, eco-friendly electric vehicles have now become a serious option for many businesses. Electric fleets are increasingly seen as a worthwhile investment, especially as the infrastructure around charging points improves, particularly in urban areas and motorway service stations.
"Driving an electric vehicle can demonstrate that a business has a modern approach and an environmentally-responsible ethos, which are often real selling points for customers. Businesses putting up with old models because they are worried about the lease and hire costs of new vehicles should be aware of the finance options available to them."