Today’s vans offer a range of practical solutions for fleets.
Delivery Vans have always been vital to fleets, and especially now that consumers are increasingly depending on delivery for their purchases. There are several choices in the full-size van segment, including some that run entirely on electricity and could be a good fuel-free choice for fleets that can charge them during their down time. Depending on the vehicle and your location, these all-electric van models could be eligible for federal or provincial “green” rebates against their purchase price or lease.
While full-size vans are still a viable segment, most of the automakers plan to stop selling their compact and midsize vans in Canada in the near future.
BRIGHTDROP ZEVO 600
A subsidiary of General Motors, Brightdrop recently began production of its all-electric Zevo 600 at GM’s CAMI Assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario. Rather than a conventional van with its gasoline engine swapped for an electric motor, the Zevo is based on the EV-specific Ultium platform, which incorporates a modular flat battery and which will underpin all of GM’s new electric vehicles going forward. The Zevo 600’s name refers to its cargo volume at 600 cubic feet (16,992 litres). It is all-wheel drive and its body is made of composite material. Standard equipment includes a rearview camera, emergency front braking with pedestrian detection, and front and rear parking assist. Brightdrop also plans to offer integrated electric delivery carts and fleet software.
- AWD electric motors
- 300 hp/390 lb-ft torque
- Estimated range: 402 km
- Maximum cargo capacity: 16,992 litres
- Maximum payload: 2,200 lbs
CHEVROLET EXPRESS/GMC SAVANNA
These vehicles are twins with different badges, sharing their bodies and mechanical components. For 2023, a four-cylinder diesel that was previously available has been discontinued, and both offer only V6 or V8 gasoline engines. Both brands come in regular or extended wheelbase, and in 2500 or 3500 rating with rear-wheel drive. Available options include forward collision alert, blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning.
- 4.3-litre V6: 276 hp/298 lb-ft torque
- 6.6-litre V8: 401 hp/464 lb-ft torque
- Maximum cargo capacity range: 6,779 – 8,031 litres
- Maximum payload range: 3,507 – 4,501 lbs
The Transit cargo van comes with two seats, or as a crew van with an extra row of seats for up to five occupants. Both are available in regular, long, or extra-long wheelbase, with three roof heights, and with GVWR ranging from 8,670 to 11,000 lbs. All-wheel drive is available. The stock engine is a naturally-aspirated 3.5-litre V6, while a turbocharged 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 is optional, both with a ten-speed automatic transmission.
- 3.5-litre V6: 275 hp/262 lb-ft torque
- 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6: 310 horsepower/400 torque
- Maximum cargo capacity range: 6,986 – 13,800 litres
- Maximum payload range Van: 3,148 – 5,114 lbs
- Maximum payload range Crew: 2,825 – 4,278 lbs
The E-Transit is the all-electric version of the conventional Transit van, which Ford estimates will have 45% fewer scheduled maintenance costs compared to the regular Transit over five years. Its lithium-ion battery has 68 kWh of useable energy and is mounted below the floor to preserve cargo space. It comes in three lengths and with three roof heights. An available Pro Power Onboard inverter provides 2.4kW of power for running tools or equipment.
- RWD electric motor
- 266 hp (198 kW)/ 317 lb-ft torque
- Estimated range: 203 km (Low Roof); 187 km (Medium Roof); 180 km (High Roof)
- Maximum cargo capacity range: 6,986 – 13,800 litres
- Maximum payload range: 3,240 – 3,800 lbs
The Sprinter is all-new for 2023, offering only four-cylinder engines in gasoline or diesel, along with a new nine-speed automatic transmission. The base diesel engine makes more power than before, while a new high-output version is available. The Sprinter also offers a revised available all-wheel-drive system that variably distributes torque as needed to a maximum of 50/50, while the old system provided a fixed 35/65 split when set into 4×4 mode. The Sprinter comes in two wheelbase lengths and with standard or high roof, and in 2500, 3500, 3500XD (heavier-duty) and 4500 configurations. Later in 2023, Mercedes-Benz plans to offer the all-electric E-Transit in Canada.
A new connected app allows fleets to monitor vehicles remotely, including mileage and fuel, locking and unlocking, and diagnostic testing. For parcel delivery, an available Speed Delivery Door can replace the passenger-side sliding door, automatically unlocking and opening when the driver moves from the seat to the cargo compartment, and closing and relocking itself. A digital-camera rearview mirror is also available.
- 2.0-litre I4 turbocharged gasoline: 188 hp/258 lb-ft torque
- 2.0-litre I4 diesel (standard output): 168 hp/295 lb-ft torque
- 2.0-litre I4 diesel (high-output): 208 hp/332 lb-ft torque
- Maximum cargo capacity range: 9,034 – 15,100 litres
- Maximum payload: 6,812 lbs
The midsize Metris is available for the 2023 model year in Canada but will be discontinued after that. It’s the only entry in the midsize van segment in our market. It comes in two lengths with one roof height, and can be ordered with rear 180- or 270-degree doors, or with a hatchback-style liftgate. The sole engine choice is a turbocharged gasoline engine with nine-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Available features include a digital rearview mirror, blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control.
- 2.0-litre turbocharged I4: 208 hp/258 lb-ft torque
- Maximum cargo capacity range: 5,179 – 5,614 litres
- Maximum payload range: 2,612 – 2,667 lbs
For 2023, the Ram ProMaster adds a super-high roof choice alongside the existing low and high roof configurations. The new roof adds 10 inches (254 mm) of headroom over the high-roof model. Other new features include an available roll-up aluminum rear door, new telematics connectivity, and appearance packages. It’s the only van in the full-size segment with front-wheel drive, which lowers the step-in height. It comes in three wheelbase lengths and three vehicle lengths, and features a step-style modular front bumper to help with windshield cleaning or wiper blade replacement. Later in 2023, Ram will introduce a battery-electric version, with specifications to be announced.
- 3.6-litre V6: 276 hp/250 lb-ft torque
- Maximum cargo capacity range: 7,334 – 14,160 litres
- Maximum payload range: 3,760 – 4,680 lbs