Electric power in a large delivery van has been a topic of discussion for several years now, with many manufacturers exploring the possibility of replacing traditional diesel-powered vans with more environmentally friendly options. The 2023 LDV eDeliver 9 is one of the first large delivery vans to have a fully electric powertrain, making it a pioneer in this space. However, the question remains: does electric power in a large delivery van work?
The LDV eDeliver 9 is the first of its kind in Australia and boasts a loaded driving range that is only marginally reduced from its diesel-powered counterparts. The van also has a well-sorted interior and driving experience, making it a promising option for commercial use. However, there are some drawbacks to consider before making the switch to electric power.
One of the biggest downsides of the LDV eDeliver 9 is that it cannot do highway speeds, which may limit its use in certain settings. Additionally, the van’s range is not enough for a full day of driving, which could pose problems for companies with extensive delivery schedules. Moreover, the eDeliver 9 is hideously expensive compared to an internal combustion van.
The high price tag of the LDV eDeliver 9 is due in part to the cost of using rare earth materials like lithium, cobalt, and nickel, among others. With the current levels of technology, this is just the cost of doing business, but for some companies, the initial investment may be too high to justify the switch to electric power.
However, the LDV eDeliver 9 does offer a spacious interior and a range of features that make it a comfortable and practical option for commercial use. The vehicle has an overhead parcel shelf, a storage shelf in front of the passenger, and generous-sized cupholders on each end of the modern-looking dashboard. There’s also a pop-out ashtray for extra storage or smoking and eight tie-down points to secure two pallets separately.
The eDeliver 9 features a 10.1-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay, but Android Auto has not made the cut. The operating system is basic and not particularly user-friendly, but it gets the job done well enough. The van also includes six airbags, autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, and tyre pressure monitoring for safety.
The LDV eDeliver 9 has no ANCAP crash-test rating or data, but it does come with a decent array of standard safety equipment. There’s no internal combustion engine to worry about, so service intervals are doubled to every two years or 30,000km. However, insuring the vehicle is relatively expensive because of the purchase price.
Ultimately, the LDV eDeliver 9 offers a promising option for companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint and the impact of their delivery vehicles on the environment. However, the high cost and limitations of the vehicle currently make it an unrealistic option for some businesses. As technology advances, it’s likely that the cost of electric delivery vans will decrease, making them a more viable option for commercial use.