One in five small business leaders say they do not think van fleets will ever be fully electric

Business leaders have voiced their doubts over the future of electric vans, with one in five saying they would not use them for their fleets.

The findings were uncovered by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi LCV Business survey, which spoke to over 500 small business owners and leaders across the UK.

Nineteen percent of the businesses that took part in the poll said they couldn't see their van fleets ever being fully electric, while just one in four (24 per cent) expected their vehicles to be fully electric within 10 years. 

Only 14 per cent thought their vans would become fully autonomous within the next 10 years, while a third said self driving commercial vehicles would never be adapted to UK roads.

“Costs need to come down, before small business owners will see electric vans as a realistic alternative to diesel.”

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) said the results were “not surprising” given the barriers that many business owners face when it comes to using electric vans.

“Costs need to come down, before small business owners see electric vans as a realistic alternative to diesel,” said Denise Beedell, policy manager for vans and urban transport at the FTA.

“Where they have been introduced, electric vans have been welcomed by drivers. We have seen evidence that electric van drivers have fewer days off sick and are happier at work, because the vehicles are quieter and easier to drive; however, more needs to be done to improve the charging networks.

“Small business owners tell us that they simply do not have the space to store and charge large vans on site. They need significant improvements to the electric charging network before they'll be convinced to swap their diesel vans for something powered by electricity."