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Fully-laden vans using twice as much energy, study reveals

Wednesday 09 November 2016, By Autovolo

Fully-laden vans using twice as much energy, study reveals

Fully-laden vans using twice as much energy, study reveals

Electric vans carrying a full payload may be using almost twice the amount of energy as those that are driven while empty, new research has shown.

A study by leasing and fleet management firm Arval has found that over a 33.58-mile stretch, an electric vehicle lost 85 per cent of its range when carrying a full load, compared to the 45 per cent loss in charge suffered by an empty vehicle.

The route undertaken was created to mimic a usual van route, with a mix of urban, rural and motorway driving all encountered. The van travelled at speeds between 30 and 70mph. To make the test fair, Arval used the same driver, and conducted both runs at the same time of day with air-conditioning and all non-essential electric electrical equipment turned off.

Eddie Parker, commercial vehicle consultant at Arval UK, said: “The loss of range is significant at almost 50 per cent and shows that, if you were expecting a fully laden EV commercial vehicle to reach anywhere near the stated range, then you would be disappointed.

“The fact is that, in general use, few vans of this type would ever be fully laden. A typical load for most uses would be much nearer the 50 per cent market, where the loss of range is much less pronounced. For this reason, we believe the study shows that there is a wider application for EVs than may at first have been thought.”

However, Parker admitted that the study came as a valuable lesson for fleet operators.

“Of course, all vehicles lose range when fully laden,” he said. “A diesel van with a full payload would typically see its range reduced by around 35 per cent, for example.

“We undertook this test in response to requests from customers who were looking to gain an operational understanding of this kind of vehicle.”