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5 top business tips for electric vans with Ford Pro

If you’re thinking about adding electric vans to your fleet, here’s some simple advice to make it easy, and how Ford Pro can help you make the switch...

Ford E-Transit driving front three quarters

If you’re a small business considering your first electric van, or a big business thinking about scaling and going all-electric, there’s a lot to consider. First: “Is there an electric van that’s right for me? And can it do all the jobs my current van does?”

Well, Ford Pro™ is developing a fast-growing ever-expanding range of all-electric vans that are more than up to the job it comes to big van tasks – including the compact all-new Ford E-Transit Courier[1], All-New Ford Transit Custom plug-in hybrid, and the upcoming All-New, All-Electric Ford E-Transit Custom, as well as the capacious all-electric Ford E-Transit.

But, right now, there are probably some more pragmatic questions on your mind. Will an electric van have enough range for the jobs I do? How will I charge it? And what are the time and cost implications of charging for my business? That’s where What Car? and Ford Pro are here to help.

You can read more about Ford Pro’s™ comprehensive range of telematics, servicing and finance solutions here. But, in order to help you start thinking about how to make the electric switch, we’ve pulled together five quick easy tips that will help you rethink and reframe some of the big questions and make it all seem easy.

Learn more about Ford Pro

Ford E-Transit Custom driving front three quarters

1. Don’t stress range. Think about the miles you actually do

Range anxiety is one of the biggest concerns for any business looking to make the switch to an electric van. But a typical van actually covers fewer miles than we think. So, let’s rethink that range, and how we use it.

According to Department of Transport research[2], commercial vans used to carry tools, equipment and materials typically travel around 60 miles a day, while delivery vans cover around 80 miles.

That means one of Ford’s next-generation all-electric vans almost certainly has more than enough range for a typical day or two of work, without needing to be plugged in. Equally, 40% of businesses that operate locally will invariably be driving their vans within 15 miles of their base[2]. So, you’re never far from a cost-effective home or office charger for a top-up.

If you want to know how many miles you actually do in your vans, Ford Pro’s™ in-depth data services and telematics can undoubtedly offer an answer. For small businesses without a dedicated fleet manager, the FordPass Pro smartphone app[3] lets you track data from up to five vehicles at once. For bigger businesses, Ford Pro™ E-Telematics[4] gives you access to a full suite of data and analysis tools for multiple vehicles, tuned especially for all-electric vans.

Plus, there’s Ford Pro E-Switch Assist, a handy tool to help you understand your EV-readiness, using a quick estimate or your connected Ford vehicle data for a detailed assessment.

Ford E-Transit charging on driveway

2. Use home or office charging whenever you can

As we’ve explained, you’re probably driving your van closer to its base than you think, while many vans will invariably spend most of their time stationary at night, when electric rates are considerably cheaper than public top-up charging. That makes overnight home or office charging both cost-effective and highly practical.

The all-electric Ford E-Transit’s 68kWh battery will typically take around eight hours to charge on an 11kW wallbox – perfect for an overnight refill[5]. On a commercial electric rate of 29p per kWh that will cost around £13.80 to recharge the battery from 10% to 80%, while a typical overnight domestic rate of 14p per kWh could cost as little as £6.66. By comparison, an ultra-rapid 125kW public charger can charge up to 74.8p per kWh[6], which means a full charge will cost £35.61 or more.

So, it’s easy to see that waiting until you get back to your office or home can clearly help you cut your electric van’s charging costs considerably. It also means you’ll start your next journey with the maximum possible range in your ‘tank’.

Ford Pro Charging offers an array of business-focused charging solutions for electric vans. First, at your place of work. Understanding that every business faces a different and unique challenge when it comes to charging, the Ford Pro experts can help you identify, plan, install and run a bespoke solution that’s tailored for both your infrastructure and your business’s unique needs.

Equally, the Ford Pro experts can also help you with home charger installations for employees, giving you even more options for charging across your fleet. As a fleet manager, you can even monitor and reimburse drivers for the cost of home charging through the Ford Pro E-Telematics software.

Ford E-Transit charging

3. Fit top-up charging around your day. But be smart.

If you’re away from home and need to give your van a top-up, the best time to charge is when it’s not moving. Sounds like a joke, but there’s logic there.

The best way to think about charging is like eating. During the day, you’ll graze on snacks that fit around your working day. Then, when you’re at home you’ll have a big meal. It’s the same with electric charging: graze on-the-go; fill up at home. But, as we’ve said, always remember that public charging is almost always more expensive than home or office charging. So, be smart and use it sparingly.

For example, when you’re on a long job in the heart of town, why not park your electric van next to the growing array of roadside chargers and plug yourself in for an extended top-up while you’re working. That’s one of the more cost-effective public charging solutions and – as you’re probably going to be away from your van for a few hours – you’ll come back to a healthy boost of range.

On longer journeys, you’ll almost certainly take a break for coffee or lunch. So, while you’re refuelling yourself, why not give your electric van a top-up, too? Using an ultra-rapid charger at a service station, you’d be surprised by the number of miles you can add in the 10 minutes it takes you to buy and drink a cup of coffee. Equally, you can give yourself an even healthier boost of range during your lunch hour, while you’re checking your job sheet, catching up on emails or calling the office.

Finally, with top-ups on expensive public chargers don’t think of it as refilling the ‘tank’. Instead, just add the miles you need to get to a more cost-effective charging solution that fits your day, rather than spending extra money or wasting your time.

The FordPass Pro smartphone app lets you and your drivers pre-plan your journeys from the comfort of your desk or sofa, with live traffic and real-time charging data helping you plot the most time- and cost-efficient charging stops. You can then sync the route with the Ford Connected Navigation[7] in your vehicle, while Ford Charge Assist lets you pick the right chargers en route.

Ford Pro™ Charging also gives you and your drivers easy access to the BlueOval™ Charge Network: one of the most comprehensive collections of chargers in the UK, with access to over 25,000 charging points – including the fast-growing network of ultra-rapid IONITY chargers.

Man at desk viewing Ford Pro data on desktop

4. Use the power of live Ford Pro data to cut your costs

Whether you’re running one electric van or 100, Ford Pro can help you use the power of data to track – and cut – your running costs.

The FordPass Pro smartphone app is the perfect solution for businesses with fewer than five vans, while Ford Pro™ E-Telematics lets you track your long-term charging costs of multiple vans, with the possibility of using a unique charge card for every vehicle in your fleet – all brought together with monthly centralised billing.

The easy-to-use Ford E-Telematics dashboard also gives you access to a wealth of data about how your vans are being driven, their current charge status and how they’re being charged. You can even monitor your drivers’ behaviour to help them drive more efficiently, pick better charging solutions, or even remind them if they have forgotten to plug their vehicle in for a full overnight charge.

But it’s not just about giving your drivers a nudge. Using the FordPass Pro app, your drivers can set preferred departure times and use pre-conditioning to warm or cool the cab before they get in, while the van is still charging. That way, they get the best working environment, with the maximum range for the day ahead (at minimum cost).

Ford Pro app on smartphone

5. Running a big fleet? Get help to plan your charging

For small businesses, using a home-style charging solution could be ideal. But for big businesses running large fleets of vans from a central HQ or multiple depots, adding a comprehensive charging network for your vehicles requires serious planning. That’s when having a knowledgeable partner like Ford Pro really helps.

Ford Pro Charging offers comprehensive support for the installation of commercial grade charging solutions. The Ford Pro experts will not only help you understand how best to charge your vehicles – with options for standard AC or rapid DC chargers – they’ll also help you understand your existing infrastructure and on-site power supply, before fully managing the process from civil works to charger installation.

The team at Ford Pro will also help you train your team on how best to use the chargers.

Then, fully integrated management software that uses built-in connectivity to help you ensure charging is done in the most time-efficient and cost-efficient way, with centralised billing to help you stay on top of the costs.

Ford Pro™ Financing can also provide bespoke finance solutions for your depot charging installation – alongside financing the purchase or leasing of your electric vans – through its transparent and flexible financing solution: Ford Pro™ FinSimple [7].

Learn more about Ford Pro™

Images shown for illustration purposes and may not reflect UK specification.

[1] Available from Q4 2024.

[2] Department of Transport research (April 2021)

[3] FordPass™ Pro must be paired with FordPass Connect modem, available on selected vehicles. The on-board modem will be connected at the time of vehicle delivery. You may choose to opt in/out of certain data sharing. Data coverage and service is not available everywhere and terms of your data plan, including applicable message and data rates, may apply. FordPass™ Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy apply.

[4] Ford Pro™ E-Telematics is complimentary for 12 months from the warranty start date on E-Transit and Mustang Mach-E models, after which subscription charges apply. Eligible Fleet/business customers only. Ford Pro™ Fleet Marketplace T&Cs apply.

[5] Charge power can decrease with increasing state of charge. Actual charge times and charging speeds will vary according to the type of home or public charging station used, as well as other factors (including weather, ambient temperature, driving behaviour, driving profile, vehicle condition, age, condition and temperature of the lithium-ion battery).

[6] RAC Charge Watch research (January 2023).

[7] Electric Vehicles: complimentary with the vehicle. Internal Combustion & PHEV: 1 year free trial, followed by paid for subscription.

[8] Finance subject to status. Guarantees may be required. Exclusions apply. Ford Pro FinSimple is provided by Ford Credit, the financial arm of Ford Motor Company. Within Europe, automotive financial products and services are provided directly by FCE Bank plc and in association with external finance providers under various brands, including Ford Credit, Ford Lease and Ford Fleet Management. Actual products and services may vary due to ongoing product development and market availability and requirements. Ford Pro FinSimple will provide a one-stop financing solution for commercial customers; the availability of specific products, services and launch dates may vary by market.

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