Blog / Table Art: An Update on our Electric Van

Table Art: An Update on our Electric Van

Table Art: An Update on our Electric Van

After much contemplation regarding whether Table Art should initiate the transition to electric vehicles, we finally took the step to acquire our first fully electric van in June 2023, you may have read our previous update here.

Choosing our Electric Van

We thoroughly assessed various factors, encompassing expenses for purchase, insurance, payload capacity, and deemed it worthwhile to share our insights with other companies within the event industry. As a company that prides itself on the efficiency of its inventory and operational systems, we considered this move a valuable opportunity to evaluate its feasibility. Our equipment has consistently been designed to maximise space utilisation, but this presented a new challenge due to our events spanning across the UK.

Previously, we exclusively utilised our standard diesel Citroen Relay vans for all tasks, regardless of the job’s magnitude, which appeared inefficient. Adopting electric vehicles required additional planning and product development to optimise the new electric van’s space.

We decided that if we were going to proceed, we would make a significant statement by selecting what we believed to be the most suitable van for long distances while also being visually striking on the road. The VW I D Buzz stood out as the clear choice. Consequently, we ordered one with a glossy black exterior and a matte black top half wrap. We enhanced its appearance with 20-inch black alloy wheels and adorned it with Table Art branding.

Our Electric Van in Action

I can confirm that the vehicle’s presence has not gone unnoticed; it attracts attention wherever it goes. The range is approximately 240 miles, allowing us to reach nearly any event location. When traveling to London, we usually charge the vehicle at Beaconsfield services to ensure a late-night return. Generally, we can make it back unless there are unexpected motorway closures and diversions. Occasionally, we have encountered waits for available charging stations, underscoring the need for extended planning when using electric vans. This situation may worsen before improving.

We observed that insurance costs for our younger drivers were notably higher for the electric vans compared to the Citroens, sometimes almost double. This difference might be due to the electric vans’ speed and higher upfront cost (£47,000 plus VAT) in contrast to a Citroen 3.5-tonne long-wheelbase van (£26,000 plus VAT).

The Benefits

One significant cost-saving benefit discovered by our partners, Blue Parrot in Scotland, within the Low Emission Zones (LEZ), was the exemption from congestion charges. With London currently imposing a £15 congestion charge and an additional £12 LEZ charge, totaling £27, and other cities adopting similar policies, this is becoming increasingly relevant.

Driving the iD Buzz has reinforced the notion that this approach might offer superior benefits. The electric motor’s regenerative braking significantly reduces conventional brake usage, while also recharging the battery with kinetic energy. There appears to be less complexity in terms of potential issues, and the vehicles offer impressive acceleration for navigating busy intersections.

For local operations, contemplating this shift seems prudent. For longer-distance events, such as the ones we manage, it becomes a more intriguing prospect, provided you can accommodate necessary cargo and allocate extra time for charging. However, it might be wise to wait and assess how charging infrastructure keeps up with the surge in electric vehicle adoption.

Anticipating potential challenges during winter when demand for heating strains charging stations is reasonable.

Events from Table Art

Overall, we have found the addition of our electric van to be a real success. It enables us to provide top quality event services with a lower carbon footprint and has allowed to become more environmentally friendly.

If you’re thinking about investing in an electric van for your business, we hope you have found this review useful!

If you’re after event décor for a whole range of themes take a look at our portfolio. Contact us for more information.

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