Welfare Vans: Meeting The Needs of Their Users.

We have all been there. One too many coffees and too many miles to the next pit stop or on a job with no access to basic amenities. These are only some of the challenges faced by employees and volunteers when working off site.

In this month’s blog post we discuss welfare vans, what they are, who uses them and the benefits they can offer companies. So, let’s start with the basics… what is a welfare van?

What is a Welfare Van?

With a welfare van the clue is in the name. Often designed with a customer in mind the van can provide a WC, a kitchenette and a comfortable place to relax when access to amenities is an issue. They can usually seat up to seven passengers.

Who uses a Welfare Van?

Widely used by the construction industry, highway maintenance, utilities, media organisations and even emergency services such as search and rescue when at the scene of an incident, these vehicles are an essential mobile welfare solution for many organisations.

Electric Versus Diesel

There are a number of factors that will determine which type of engine is the most suitable and efficient option for your business. These include:

  • Access to charging infrastructure
  • How many miles you cover in a day
  • Payload requirements
  • Affordability

The biggest advantage of EV is the savings on running costs. While electric vans are usually more expensive to buy than their diesel counterparts, this initial cost can be offset by factoring in the whole life cost of the vehicle. E-Transits are more economical due to lower prices for road tax, electricity and servicing and with the added bonus of not having to worry about low-emission zone charges!

Businesses are under increasing pressure to meet the UK governments mandate by 2035 and as a result they are now looking to opt for electric vehicles which helps reduce their carbon impact. Many companies as they look at their own ESG strategy have also recognised the need to reduce their own environmental impact and reduce carbon emissions and have done so by introducing an electric fleet.

The Ford E-Transit

One manufacturer that has aggressively targeted the 3.5t electric commercial market is Ford with the launch of the new Ford E-Transit in 2022. Powered by a large 400-volt 68kW battery, the Ford E-Transit has been praised for its impressive range of up 196 miles (WLTP test results). In-service trials have demonstrated up to 160 miles on fully converted E-Transit welfare vans. In fact, the E-Transit has won multiple awards for Best Electric Van and Best Large Van since its launch in February 2022, and more recently Best Zero Emission Large Van, at the 2023 Fleet News Awards.

In a recent review by the Green Car Guide, they reported that “the Ford E-Transit is a much better drive than the diesel Ford Transit. The E-Transit is quiet with responsive acceleration, an independent rear suspension, and even the ride quality is good.” Commercial van specialist, Parkers also reported that the E-Transit is more refined with a greater low-down torque, which makes them nicer to drive.

Customised Welfare Van

If you are considering a welfare van for your business, it’s time to talk to the experts.

With depots in England and Ireland, ETRUX is a trusted expert in welfare van conversions. Our design engineers work with our customers to develop innovative conversions that meet all Type Approval regulations specifications providing a safe and robust solution without compromising on comfort.

With a number of E-Transit Welfare vans currently in build don’t hesitate to contact our team today to arrange a demo and let us help you to get your fleet on the road to zero.


Choosing The Right Lightweight Commercial Vehicle For Your Daily Needs

Lightweight commercial vehicles (LCVs) are a popular choice for businesses of all sizes. They are versatile, cost-efficient, and easy to manoeuvre, making them ideal for a variety of tasks. However, with so many different LCVs on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your needs.

In this blog, we will have a look at the different types of LCVs available, including the most popular makes and models. Unfortunately, there is no ‘one size fits all’, but hopefully armed with a little more information we can help you on your quest to find the ideal van for your business.

What is a lightweight commercial vehicle (LCV)?

Firstly, for those that are unsure what a LCV is, a LCV is a vehicle that is used for commercial purposes with a gross vehicle weight of less than 3500kgs. LCVs are typically smaller and more efficient than heavier commercial vehicles, making them ideal for businesses that need to transport goods or people in urban areas.

What size or type of van will I need?

LCVs are a diverse group of vehicles, therefore there are many different types available on the market, all offering their own unique set of features and benefits. Which we can break down into four simple categories, as follows:

Box Vans: Also referred to as a ‘Luton van’, it is a chassis cab truck with an enclosed cuboid shaped cargo area. Typically used to transport goods, this vehicle type is ideal for a removal or delivery company, often built with a tail lift for easier access with heavier goods.

Transit Vans and Mini Vans: often referred to in the industry as cargo vans, they are without a doubt one of the most popular vans on the road. Designed for ultimate productivity, they are used by many industries, that includes construction, pharmaceutical, food and beverage and couriers. Available in a range of sizes, from the larger Ford E-Transit or the Renault Trafic, to the smaller Citron Berlingo or the well-rounded Volkswagen Caddy.

High Panel Vans: High panel vans are perfect for transporting large or bulky items. They have a higher roof than standard ‘transit’ vans, which offers more space to load and unload cargo. Seen as a more versatile and spacious option, high panel vans guarantee increased cargo space and easier loading and unloading. Examples include the MAN TGE or Mercedes E-Sprinter.

Pick-up Trucks: are practical, reliable and capable workhorses that offer all the comforts of a car. Not a popular LCV in the UK, they tend to more favoured in the US, where they have seen the arrival of hybrid and electric pick-ups. The most popular pick-up trucks in the UK are the Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux and the Volkswagen Amarok.

Electric or Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)?

With environmental and societal pressures intensifying to reduce carbon emissions, there is no doubt that the future of a company fleet is electric.

From 2035 the UK government are banning the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles, followed by hybrids in 2040. Whilst going electric is becoming inevitable, there are so many benefits to EVs that include:

• Electric vehicles cost less to run compared to vehicles with internal combustion engines.
• EVs have fewer moving parts, therefore have lower service and maintenance costs.
• The production of EVs produce fewer emissions than the production of a traditional vehicle.
• They don’t have engines, which means they are very quiet and produce less noise pollution compared to traditional vehicles.
• EVs accelerate quickly and reach a high-top speed.
• They have no tailpipe emissions, therefore reduces air pollution.
• Can be powered using a renewable energy source such as solar and wind power.

To summarise, a lightweight commercial vehicle is an asset to any business. However, it is important to choose a model that aligns with the needs of your business, that maximises potential and offers longevity.

At ETRUX, our specialist team can help you to choose the right vehicle for the job. Our experienced team will carry out an in-depth feasibility study, which includes assessing operational needs, vehicle suitability, range and drive cycles, annual mileage, cost of diesel and servicing and maintenance. To find out more go to: etrux.co.uk

Latest trends in EV Van Technology

With over 43,000 electric vans on the roads in the UK it is clear that the EV industry is growing at a steady pace. In June 2023, the SMMT reported that just over 7,000 new electric vans were registered in the UK, that is an increase of 15.5% compared with the same period last year.

There’s now a wide variety of electric vans available to purchase, hire or lease, ranging from large panel vans such as the Mercedes e-Sprinter and Ford e-Transit to compact models like the Citroen e- Dispatch and Volkswagen ID Buzz Cargo. With growth comes new technological advancements, and in this blog, we investigate how the EV market is evolving and what we can expect in the future.

How Are Businesses Adapting to EV?

Where initially many companies were hesitant, it’s clear to see that the attitudes of both business owners and the wider public are changing. In the latest Volkswagen commercial vehicle annual survey, results showed that 70% of van drivers in the UK thought that an electric vehicle would be a viable alternative for their business, this is a 40% increase on previous years!

As companies come under increasing pressure to look at greener transport to meet with the UK governments net zero targets, the automotive industry must scale up and adapt to meet the increase in demand. Tesco has committed to a fully electric home delivery fleet in the UK by the end of 2028 and other large companies such as Amazon, FedEx and IKEA are all following suit and investing heavily in transitioning their fleets to electric. According to Vansdirect, electric vans now account for approximately one in 24 of all new van sales in the UK. IKEA has also joined the host of businesses who are installing EV charging points at all of their locations to make it easier for drivers to charge their vehicles.

What Are Manufacturers Doing to Improve The Performance Of EVs?

One of the primary concerns many van drivers have when it comes to switching to an EV is the mileage range and if they will reach their destination on one charge. Battery technology is advancing, and EV ranges are increasing to over 250 miles on a single charge – proving that EVs are not only environmentally friendly but economically efficient.

This extra mileage is largely down to how electric vehicles are being manufactured. With the development of innovative, lightweight and robust components vehicle manufacturers are able to maximise payload per journey and lower overall transportation costs in the process. Lightweight components are not affecting reliability with many EV owners reporting a significant decrease in service and maintenance costs required for their electric vehicles unlike their petrol or diesel equivalents. According to the RAC, electric and hybrid vehicles have proven to be some of the most reliable vehicles on the road.

Improvements in Battery Technology

Distinctively the heaviest component of an electric van is the battery. However, battery manufacturers are working on ways to make the lithium-ion batteries lighter. These new types of batteries allow for greater energy storage in tighter, lighter frames giving the vehicle a longer range and greater efficiency. Batteries are also proving to be highly reliable, with many manufacturers offering longer warranties.

Advancements In Charging

One of the main barriers to adopting electric vehicles is the preconceived idea that there is a lack of infrastructure and charging technology readily available. Whilst this may have been the case in the past, there are currently 47,737 charging points dotted across the UK, representing a 40% increase on July 2022 and with new charging points being installed in towns and cities across the UK everyday there are no signs of it slowing down. In March 2022, the UK government pledged £1.6 billion worth of funding for public chargers as part of their Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy.

A number of studies have shown that the vast majority of EV drivers would not go back to driving a petrol or diesel vehicle after making the switch to an electric vehicle, demonstrating that people are happy with their decision to move fully electric and are beginning to embrace the benefits.

To make charging vehicles easier there are a range of apps available to download onto a mobile device that will show EV drivers where charging points are located, enabling them to plan their driving routes accordingly. It is also possible to pay for charging using the app. With several apps designed specifically for business users, they will help fleet managers to manage their drivers, payment information and collaborate on the go via the app.

Companies are increasingly being encouraged to consider future proofing their fleets in line with the UK governments regulations. London is among a number of other UK cities that have announced new Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) and Low Emission Zones (LEZ) aimed at deterring drivers from driving vehicles that do not meet the minimum emission standards, and any vehicles that are not compliant will be charged a daily fee, whereas EVs that do comply will be able to drive free of charge.

Many companies and organisations are committed to ESG strategies with the aim of reducing their emissions and improving their carbon footprint. A large percentage of their plans are focused on reducing transport emissions, and the so-called ‘race to decarbonise’ has led to many businesses making the switch EV ahead of 2030.

If you’d like to join the list of businesses that have seen the benefits EVs have to offer, why not contact the team at ETRUX at info@etrux.co.uk where our team can take you through the process of transitioning your fleet and making your transport reliable, efficient, and fit for the future.


If you have any questions about our van conversions or any of our other services and solutions please do not hesitate to get in touch.