Over the lifetime of an electric van, it's up to 25% cheaper to own than a diesel equivalent.

"The average electric van in the European Union is 25% cheaper over its lifetime than the diesel equivalent despite much higher upfront costs for zero-emission models, European campaign group Transport and Environment (T&E) said on Wednesday.

According to a survey of 745 van-owning business in the EU conducted for T&E by Dataforce, 84% of respondents would consider going electric - 36% already own one commercial electric van, 32% plan to buy one in 2022 and 16% will consider buying one in the next five years.

T&E said lower running costs and growing interest in electric bolsters the case for stronger CO2 emission reductions on diesel vans than the European Commission currently proposes.

In a study covering six countries, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom which account for 76% of the EU-plus-UK van market, T&E found an electric van costs 0.15 euros ($0.17) per kilometer (0.6 mile) to run, versus 0.2 euros for a diesel van."