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Written by Simon Asquith

What's New in The World of Vans?

March was an exciting time for UK van manufacturing as a new commercial vehicle start-up revealed their brand new van design which will create many new jobs during its production phase. There were also some interesting new van announcements and unveilings from rather more established manufacturers, so let’s see what’s been happening in the world of vans over the last month.

New Electric Panel Van Revealed by Arrival

The Arrival Van has been unveiled by new UK-based commercial vehicle manufacturer Arrival and is intended to directly compete against the Fiat e-Ducato. The Arrival Van features a modular battery system and will have a maximum payload capacity of nearly two tonnes.

The modular battery pack has 120kW DC charging technology for every version of the Arrival Van. The power capacities of the different versions range between 67kWh to 133kWh, with the least powerful entry-level version having an estimated range of 112 miles per single charge. There are two mid-range versions with estimated single charge ranges of 149 miles and 180 miles. The high end version has an estimated range of 211 miles per single battery charge.

The exact maximum payload will be 1,975kg for the larger wheelbase versions, with the maximum capacity revealed as 14.6 cubic metres.

The new electric Arrival Van will be undergoing a trial with a select group of businesses, including global courier service UPS, in the summer. It will then head into general production at Arrival’s research and development centre in Banbury, creating around 200 new jobs in the area. It will be available to buy sometime after autumn 2022.

New Volkswagen Transporter T6.1 Sportline

March saw Volkswagen show off their upgraded version of the Transporter, with the T6.1 Sportline boasting new sport-inspired style tweaks such as illuminated side bars, roof spoiler and a red contrast grille strip running between the headlights.

New performance upgrades include more responsive handling and suspension lowered by 30cm. The interior’s improvements include heated front seats trimmedwith Nappa leather and suede. A digital display keeps the driver informed of all relevant information, plus there is now DAB radio, climate control and a touchscreen sat-nav.

The Sportline version of the Transporter will be available with either long or short wheelbases, plus there will be panel or Kombi versions as well. Prices will start from £42,940, not counting VAT.

New Renault Vans for 2021

Renault were busy during March revealing multiple van updates to their Trafic range and a brand new Kangoo.

The Trafic range will now have both a Passenger (or Combi) and a SpaceClass version. The Passenger, as the Combi is known in the UK, is for large families and businesses requiring transport for employees. With seating for up to nine people, taxi firms will also be interested in its people-carrying capabilities.

The Trafic SpaceClass is a higher end version, and there will be special specs available such as face-to-face seating, leather upholstery or even a full business-class interior. There is the option of a central table and swivelling seats, with the business shuttle market being the intended audience for this version.

The third generation Kangoo was also revealed in March and should be available to buy from the summer.

If you need a van and want the best prices available with flexible pricing options, call UK Vans Direct on 01709 717200 or email info@ukvansdirect.co.uk.

Written by Simon Asquith

LCV Registrations Increase During January

It was revealed at the beginning of February that registrations for new light commercial vehicles rose by 2% during the first month of 2021. This gives 2021’s January the highest January volume since 1990 and propels it over 10% ahead of the five-year average.

According to the latest figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a total of 24,029 vehicles were sold during the last month. Despite the promising start to the year, the SMMT is now forecasting that LCV registrations will only increase by a further 17.5% by the end of the year, which will result in a total of 343,850 vehicles. They had previously been predicting a total of 375,000 vehicles to be sold by the end of 2021, but the emergence of new and ongoing challenges has caused a rethink.

The SMMT’s Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, said: “January’s figures are welcome news, particularly after the difficult past year. Although one month’s performance does not a full recovery make, the future must involve measures that can deliver long-term changes for the sector if we are to meet ambitious targets and address both climate change and air quality goals.”

Ford Confirm Entire Van Range to be Zero Emissions by 2024

Ford has declared that their entire commercial vehicle range will be zero-emissions capable by 2024. This includes electric and plug-in hybrid, Ford predicting that two-thirds of their commercial vehicle sales will be all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030.

The declaration comes as part of Ford’s plan to sell only electric cars in Europe by the end of the decade, with all Ford cars sold in Europe to be zero-emissions capable by 2026.

Spearheading their plan will be a new fully-electric Ford Transit Custom to be launched in 2022, joining the plug-in hybrid version currently available.

Coolvan Launches New Electric Refrigerated Van 

Coolvan used February to launch their new refrigerated version of the Maxus eDeliver 3 electric van. The van uses a specially adapted fridge unit that runs off the van’s 12v battery to minimise the impact on the van’s driving range, which reaches up to 150 miles from a full charge. 

Drivers of the new van – which has a 745Kg maximum payload capacity – will be able to enter the London Ultra Low Emission Zone for free and will also be exempt from the Congestion Charge that covers vehicles in central London.

The Managing Director of Coolvan, Chris Warburton, said: “Since the introduction of the T-charge in London in 2017, we have seen a steady increase in enquiries about zero emission fridge vans. Enquiries increased again during the first lockdown as the food service and hospitality sectors rapidly recalibrated their businesses to meet a surge in retail demand and direct sales.”

If you need a van and want the best prices available with flexible pricing options, call UK Vans Direct on 01709 717200 or email info@ukvansdirect.co.uk.

Written by Simon Asquith

Vauxhall Reveal New Electric Combo

Vauxhall released pictures of their new Combo-e in January. The all new van is a fully-electric version of their established Combo van that boasts a range of up to 171 miles from a single charge. The van supports up to 100kW rapid charging and can achieve an 80% charge of the 50kW battery in just 30 minutes.

The Vauxhall Combo-e also comes with a 100kW (136hp) electric motor and will be available in two sizes. The largest of these will be the L2H1 variant which will have a maximum load volume of 4.4 cubic metres and a maximum load length of up to 3,440mm. The smaller L1H1 has a maximum load volume of 3.8 cubic metres and a maximum load length of 3,090mm. 

An interesting feature involves the placement of the battery position, which has been placed under the floor between the front and rear axles. This placement gives the van a low centre of gravity that enhances cornering and stability, including during fully loaded runs. The lithium-ion battery itself consists of up to 216 cells and 18 modules.

There will be multiple cab and passenger capabilities available, with an array of excellent features as standard including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, driver drowsiness alert, traffic sign recognition and recommendation, forward collision alert with pedestrian protection and automatic emergency braking.

The new Vauxhall Combo-e should be available to buy in the autumn.

LCV Registrations Down Despite Increased Delivery Demand

New light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations were significantly down at the end of 2020, despite the increasing demand for van deliveries due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

LCV sales in the UK were down 20.0% according to the latest figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Their data reveals there were 292,657 vehicles registered during 2020, but the month of December saw a 1% decline in registrations. SMMT noted that the decline was only in relation to the increased demand during the Covid era, and actually remains consistent with previous December figures.

SMMT’s Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, said: “Undeniably the LCV market, having shrunk by a fifth, has a lot of hurdles to overcome as we enter 2021. However, investment in fleet renewal will be key to driving recovery, and the sector’s resilience, now coupled with added clarity over UK-EU trading relations and the rollout of vaccines, offers hope for both the van market and the wider economy.”

New LDV Vans for 2021

As well as the exciting LDV EV30, LDV will also be making the new LDV V90 fully available this year. The LDV V90 is a large panel van developed primarily for Europe, and it features huge improvements on the V80 van which LDV hope will help it rival the Sprinter and Transit for comfort and refinement. 

If you need a van and want the best prices available with flexible pricing options, call UK Vans Direct on 01709 717200 or email info@ukvansdirect.co.uk.

Written by Simon Asquith

What's New In The World Of Vans?

December’s events made it clear that fleet operators in the UK have little time to lose when replacing their diesel and petrol vans, while one operator was happy to add a significant amount of new non-electric vans to their fleet anyway. There was also the announcement of the winners of the International Van of the Year.

Here’s what’s been happening in the world of vans over the last month.

New Diesel Van Ban Brought Forward 

The mission to electrify van fleets has grown a little more intense as the date of the ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol light commercial vehicles was confirmed as being brought forward to 2030. 

The original proposal came in November, but now all fleet operators have been made aware that they only have ten years remaining to swap out their diesel and petrol vans for electric. The ban is part of the phase-out of fossil fuel vehicles which involves over 20 countries and cities around the world.

The ban date being brought forward has the potential to cause problems for some fleet operators, as the decade remaining could constitute just two replacement cycles.

It has been known for some time that hybrid vans will be banned from 2035, though exactly what defines ‘hybrid’ has yet to be fully clarified by the Government. At the moment,  the Government says a hybrid van should be able to travel a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe, though they do not clarify exactly what constitutes a significant distance.

Mercedes Sprinters Join Iceland Foods Home Delivery Fleet 

One operator who doesn’t seem too concerned about the ban at this moment is Iceland Foods. They have recently increased their home delivery fleet by adding 250 new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter refrigerated vans.

The vehicles have been specially converted by Iceland Foods’ supply partner VMS Fleet Management to have an increased capacity for customer orders. Along with the Alex Original Twin Evap fridge unit, the new Sprinters also now include a triple compartment rear box which provides ambient, chill and frozen settings for different food and delivery requirements.

The Head of Delivered Sales at Iceland Foods, Kevin Tully, cited the significant increase in demand for Iceland’s online deliveries as the reason behind the acquisition of the new vans. In just one year, Tully says, Iceland’s online delivery volume has increased by over 400%.

The new Mercedes-Benz Sprinters were being delivered to Iceland sites across the UK during December and began operations just before Christmas. 

International Van of the Year Award Winner

The winner of the International Van of the Year title for 2021 has been announced, with the Peugeot e-Expert, Citroën e-Dispatch and Vauxhall Vivaro-e claiming the title. All three were jointly developed by Groupe PSA.

The three electric vans received 131 points and the majority of first preference votes from the judging panel consisting of 24 members. 

The International Van of the Year judging panel chairman, Jarlath Sweeney congratulated Groupe PSA on their ‘stringent research, development and investment on producing an excellent range of electric powered vans, that exceed expectations and without compromise.’

The Mercedes-Benz eSprinter took second place with 55 points, with the latest Vito came third with 36 points. Ford came fourth in the judging thanks to its new Transit Active and Trail models.

If you need a van and want the best prices available with flexible pricing options, call UK Vans Direct on 01709 717200 or email info@ukvansdirect.co.uk.

Written by Simon Asquith

Ford Reveal Fully-Electric E-Transit Van

Ford revealed their new fully-electric E-Transit van which is to be available in 25 configurations. The maximum range available will be an impressive 217 miles.

Due to be available in Europe in early 2022, the configurations will revolve around a van, double-cab-in-van and chassis cab body styles. Each will be available in multiple length and roof height combinations, with the gross vehicle mass range topping out at 4.25 tonnes. The payload for the van version should reach 1,616kg, with a max payload of 1,967kg for the chassis cab model.

Cargo space should be as much as 15.1 cubic metres thanks to the battery being located beneath the body of the van. The Ford E-Transit’s electric motor will have a peak output of 269PS and 430Nm of torque and will come with the option of both AC charging and DC fast-charging. The on-board charger will be 11.3kW which should enable a full charge within 8.2 hours. The 115kW DC fast-charger will boost the battery from 15% to 80% in a little over half an hour.

The new Ford E-Transit will also boast an array of new technology options such as the standard FordPass Connect modem and the optional Pro Power Onboard mobile power source for powering various equipment.

Renault Announce Next Gen Kangoo Small Van

Anyone in the market for a small van will be pleased by the news from Renault that a new generation of their Kangoo van is on the way. It will have new exterior and interior designs and a host of new infotainment and driver assistance technologies.

The new Renault range will be joined by a fully electric Kangoo ZE version, which Renault is particularly excited about as their original Kangoo ZE has been the best selling electric commercial vehicle in Europe since 2011. Both Kangoo versions will be available in two lengths with load volumes ranging between 3.3 and 3.9 cubic metres for the standard size vans. The load volumes of the longer vans will range between 4.2 and 4.9 cubic metres. 

Other new features include the Easy Link multimedia system and a permanent rear view digital interior mirror.

Mercedes-Benz Revise eVito Pricing

The pricing and trim structure of the eVito electric van has been revised by Mercedes-Benz. They have confirmed that the van will be available in two lengths and two trim levels. Some new features have also been added, similar to those recently added to the diesel version of the Vito.

The prices will now start at £40,895 for the eVito Progressive panel van, with the eVito Plus package panel van starting at £42,015.

If you need a van and want the best prices available with flexible pricing options, call UK Vans Direct on 01709 717200 or email info@ukvansdirect.co.uk.

Written by Simon Asquith

Here’s what’s been happening in the world of vans over the last month.

Ford Release Teaser Trailer for Pure-Electric E-Transit

Ford published a trailer on its social media channels teasing its new all-electric E-Transit panel van. The E-Transit is due to be fully unveiled in November before going on sale in 2021.

No technical specifications for the E-Transit have been released, but the automobile giant will be hoping to compete in the pure-electric panel van market against the popular Peugeot e-Expert as well as other main players such as the Citroen e-Dispatch, Vauxhall Vivaro-e, Fiat e-Ducato and Mercedes eVito. To compete with such esteemed rivals, we can expect the Ford E-Transit to have a range in the region of 200 miles along with a similar load capacity as the traditional Transit model.

The van glimpsed in Ford’s teaser resembles their standard short-wheelbase Transit, implying a modification to that model to incorporate an electric power-train rather than a completely new van design. 

Further speculation suggests the new Ford E-Transit will have an electric motor driving the front wheels powered by a lithium-ion battery pack probably installed beneath the van’s floor. The specifications and features will be confirmed on November 12.

UK Van Registrations Increased

October also saw the publishing of the van sales figures for September, which revealed sales of new light commercial vehicles growing by over a quarter from the same time last year. 

The figures were compiled by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and showed a total of 52,096 vans, pick-ups and 4x4s were registered during September. The year-on-year increase represents an additional 10,880 vans sold, though September of 2019 was a particularly weak month due to regulatory changes affecting the market. The number of new van registrations is still down by 3.3% compared to the same month of 2018. 

Most types of van saw significant increases, though small vans weighing 2.0 tonnes or less decreased by 2.5%, which represents a total of 74 less vans registered than in the same month last year. Sales of medium vans weighing between 2.0 and 2.5 tonnes grew 11.6%, while larger vans weighing between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes rose by nearly 50% in September 2018. 

Volkswagen Reveal Caddy Van Prices

Prices for the new fifth-generation version of the Caddy van have been announced by Volkswagen. Excluding VAT, the entry-level Caddy will start at £17,800.

There will be three trim levels available of the Volkswagen Caddy, with the mid-range models featuring electronically-controlled air con, body-coloured bumpers, rear parking sensors, a leather steering wheel and power-adjustable lumbar support for the driver’s seat. These models will start at £19,275 each.

The higher-end models will start at £22,075 and include power folding door mirrors, sat-nav, front parking sensors, LED taillights, alloy wheels and an anti-theft alarm system. The four-wheel-drive Maxi variant will cost significantly more at £26,850.

If you need a van and want the best prices available with flexible pricing options, call UK Vans Direct on 01709 717200 or email info@ukvansdirect.co.uk.