Delivery Vans: Maximum Utility

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BrightDrop Zevo 400. Photo General Motors

Gasoline is still a mainstay, but electricity is making its way into this segment as well.

Vans are essential to many fleets, whether they’re being used for deliveries, service trucks, or work vehicles with their spacious interiors and secure storage. All of the compact and midsize vans have been discontinued, but automakers continue to offer full-size. Some are now running completely on electricity, which may qualify them for any applicable federal or provincial “green” rebates. Here’s a roundup of what you can expect to consider for your fleet this year. Note that for electric vehicles, the battery range is given as an approximate number.

BrightDrop Zevo

BrightDrop is a subsidiary of General Motors that specializes in electric delivery vans, along with auxiliary items such as electric delivery carts and fleet software. It offers the Zevo 400 and larger Zevo 600, both with all-wheel drive and composite-material bodies. Both Zevo models were designed specifically as electric vehicles, rather than as gasoline vans with their engine swapped out, and are built at GM’s facility in Ingersoll, Ontario. Brightdrop estimates the range at approximately 402 kilometres on a charge.

The Specs

  • Power: 302 hp/390 lb-ft torque
  • Drivetrain: AWD
  • Maximum payload capacity:
    • Zevo 400: 1,800 lbs
    • Zevo 600: 1,460 lbs
  • Maximum cargo capacity:
    • Zevo 400: 11,667 litres
    • Zevo 600: 17,416 litres

Chevrolet Express

The Chevrolet Express has been around with very few changes for seemingly forever, but it still gets the job done and at a reasonable price. It comes in 2500 or 3500 configurations, both in regular or extended wheelbase, and all with a choice of V6 or V8 engine. All are rear-wheel drive. The GMC Savana is the same vehicle with different trim.

The Specs

  • Engines:
    • 4.3-litre V6: 276 hp/298 lb-ft torque
    • 6.6-litre V8: 401 hp/464 lb-ft torque
  • Drivetrain: RWD
  • Maximum towing capacity range: 7,100 – 10,000 lbs
  • Maximum payload capacity range: 2,767 – 4,792 lbs
  • Maximum cargo capacity range: 6,779 – 8,031 litres
Chevrolet Express. Photo General Motors

Ford Transit

Ford’s Transit comes in regular wheelbase, or in long-wheelbase with long or extended body length; and with low, medium or high roof. Passenger choices are two-seater, or a two-row crew van for up to five occupants. Depending on the model, the V6 engine can be naturally-aspirated or turbocharged, which Ford calls EcoBoost; and rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Configurations are T-150, T-250 and T-350, and the latter can be ordered with dual rear wheels.

The Specs

  • Engines:
    • 3.5-litre V6: 275 hp/262 lb-ft torque
    • 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6: 310 hp/400 torque
  • Drivetrain: RWD, AWD
  • Maximum cargo capacity range: 4,485 – 15,190 litres
  • Maximum towing capacity range: 4,400 – 6,600 lbs
  • Maximum payload capacity range: 2,730 – 4,550 lbs
Ford Transit. Photo Ford Motor Company

Ford E-Transit

The E-Transit is the all-electric version of Ford’s gasoline-powered van. It only seats two, without offering the crew version as the regular Transit does, but it comes in three wheelbase lengths and with low, medium, or high roof. It uses a 68-kWh lithium-ion battery mounted below the floor, and offers an available Pro Power Onboard inverter that supplies 2.4-kW of power for running electrical equipment or tools on the job. A power-operated sliding side door is also optional. The E-Transit’s range starts at approximately 203 kilometres for the low-roof model. Ford estimates 40% savings in maintenance costs over the gasoline Transit.

The Specs

  • Power: 266 hp/317 lb-ft torque
  • Drivetrain: RWD
  • Maximum cargo capacity range: 6,986 – 13,800 litres
  • Maximum payload capacity range: 3,330 – 3,880 lbs
Ford Transit E-Transit. Photo Ford Motor Company

GMC Savana

The GMC Savana is a twin to the Chevrolet Express but with different trim details. Like the Express, it’s been around for a long time without many changes, but it’s a workhorse with relatively low cost of entry. It comes in regular or extended wheelbase, in 2500 or 3500 configurations, rear-wheel drive, and with V6 or V8 engine available in all models.

The Specs

  • Engines:
    • 4.3-litre V6: 276 hp/298 lb-ft torque
    • 6.6-litre V8: 401 hp/464 lb-ft torque
  • Drivetrain: RWD
  • Maximum towing capacity range: 7,100 – 10,000 lbs
  • Maximum payload capacity range: 2,767 – 4,792 lbs
  • Maximum cargo capacity range: 6,779 – 8,031 litres
GMC Savanna. Photo General Motors

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

This was the first tall, European-style van in Canada and is still a popular choice. It was all-new for 2023 and so continues virtually unchanged into 2024. It offers two small diesel engines with standard or high-output, and with available all-wheel drive that distributes torque as needed to a maximum of 50/50 front to rear. Two-passenger vans come in 2500, 3500, 3500XD (heavier-duty) and 4500; and in two wheelbase lengths, with the longer one offering two body lengths. The five-passenger crew van comes in 2500 configuration with high roof, and with two wheelbase lengths. Both the cargo and crew vans can be ordered with all-wheel drive.

The Specs

  • Engines:
    • 2.0-litre I4 Turbodiesel Standard Output: 168 hp/295 torque
    • 2.0-litre I4 Turbodiesel High Output: 208 hp/332 torque
  • Drivetrain: RWD/AWD
  • Maximum towing capacity: 7,500 lbs
  • Maximum payload capacity: 6,812 lbs
  • Maximum cargo capacity: 15,083 litres
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Photo Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz eSprinter

The electric version of the Mercedes-Sprinter is making its way to Canada, built in plants in the U.S. and Germany. Initially it will come as a single 2500 model with long (170-inch) wheelbase and high roof, and with a 113-kWh battery that’s fitted between the axles, with more configurations coming down the pipeline. Motor choices are standard-output or high-output, and range is estimated at approximately 400 to 500 kilometres on a charge. Available features include cloud-based connectivity, digital rearview mirror, heated seat and steering wheel, and intelligent voice control for the infotainment system.

The Specs

  • Power:
    • Standard Output: 136 hp/295 lb-ft torque
    • High Output: 204 hp/295 lb-ft torque
  • Driveline: RWD
  • Maximum payload capacity: 2,624 lbs
  • Maximum cargo capacity: 13,800 litres
Mercedes-Benz eSprinter. Photo Mercedes-Benz

Ram ProMaster

For 2024, the Ram ProMaster adds an available heated steering wheel and heated windshield, park-sensing with braking, and choice of backup alarms. Vans come in 1500 or 2500 configurations, in three wheelbase lengths and low or high roof. The 3500 comes only as a cutaway. The ProMaster uses a V6 and its front-wheel drive is unique in the segment, which lowers the step-in height. Ram plans to add an all-electric version but specifications haven’t been announced.

The Specs

  • Engine: 3.6-litre V6: 276 hp/250 lb-ft torque
  • Drivetrain: FWD
  • Maximum towing capacity: 6,910 lbs
  • Maximum payload capacity: 4,680 lbs
Ram ProMaster. Photo Stellantis


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