Electric vans are now cheaper overall than diesel models for all kinds of operators, according to new research by campaign group Transport & Environment (T&E).

It found that the average electric van is 25% cheaper per kilometre to own, based on analysis of six European countries, including the UK.

It found that both heavy and light electric vans were cheaper, and that while electric vans were on average more expensive to buy than diesels, this was more than compensated for by lower running costs. The study included purchase subsidies.

In the UK, it found that an average light electric van was 2p per kilometre cheaper than a diesel, while for heavy vans this rose to 5p.

The study also found that 36% of van fleets already had at least one electric vehicle, while another 32% planned to buy one this year.

However, T&E warned that limited supply of electric vans compared with electric cars could hold back adoption.

T&E freight manager James Nix said: “An electric van beats a diesel on cost and van buyers know it. But there’s nowhere near enough supply of e-vans. 

“EU lawmakers can change this at a stroke by increasing the CO2 targets which will require van makers to sell more zero-emissions vehicles.”