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Electric vans suffer from poor residuals

Electric van residuals have taken a hit after a 3 year/30,000 mile vehicle only returned 20 per cent on original value

A forecast residual value of 20 per cent for the first fully electric van, at 3yrs/30,000 miles, reflects conservative views in the trade over the future prospects for used electric vans.

Despite the benefit of extremely low running costs – which currently include a 100% Congestion Charge discount for operators in London – electric vans face being penalised in tomorrow’s used market for a range of reasons.

The forecast for the Azure Dynamics Transit Connect is published in the latest edition of CAP Monitor – Future Residual Values for Commercial Vehicles, the independent industry benchmark for forecast used prices.

The Azure Dynamics Transit Connect, launched into the UK market this summer through a small network of selected Ford commercial dealers, is the result of collaboration between Ford and Canadian company Azure Dynamics.

With a new list price of £39,999, the van is forecast to retain a value of £8,000 after 3yrs/30,000 miles.

CAP has been at the heart of debate during the past 12 months  around the commercial issues  surrounding electric vehicles in general and has been consulted by many manufacturers and organisations around the industry seeking to make a success of their first steps into this embryonic sector.

In the light commercials market, however, CAP’s opinion has been that the commercial viability of electric vans remains fraught with uncertainty, especially for 2nd users. One of the major issues has been the still largely unknown potential for the need to replace expensive battery packs. The prospects of persuading 2nd users to pay a premium for technology that remains in its infancy remain slight, in CAP’s view.

CAP Commercial Vehicle Monitor editor, Tim Cattlin, said: “We have no wish to dampen enthusiasm for any new development in the light commercial vehicles sector but at this point the prospects for all-electric vans are fraught with difficulties, despite the clear operating advantages of using one for specific kinds of work.

“We are looking to the future and a typical trader’s willingness to risk purchasing such a vehicle for stock. At this point it seems unlikely that the risk around battery life alone will be considered reasonable until a real track record of reliability has been established, along with a clear understanding of battery longevity.

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