What are they?
Electric versions of the Citroen Berlingo and Peugeot Partner Electric, which have been refreshed and are now available in longer L2 versions.
They look the same as diesel and petrol versions, but are powered by a 67bhp electric motor, with a realistic 80-90 mile range. That might not sound a lot but it will be essential to do business in the zero emission urban centre curbs ahead and benefits start now with grants and congestion charge exemption.
- 67bhp doesn’t sound like much performance, but because all 200Nm of torque is available from the electric motor the moment you plant your foot on the accelerator, both these Citroen and Peugeot vans feel quick off the mark. Although perhaps because you’re in a van, it doesn’t feel as impressive as you’d think. At their best around town, you soon find the limits of both vans on the open road.
- Citroen and Peugeot claim a 106-mile range, which in reality is about 80-90 miles. More good news is that if you use the rear DC rapid charger flap, you can get 80% of charge from a rapid charging point in just 30 minutes.
- Despite the electric motor, both the Citroen and the Peugeot in biggest L2 form, boast a 552kg gross payload, load volume of 3.7 cubic metres and a GVW of 2,180kg, all of which are very handy. The Lithium-ion batteries are also hidden under the load floor not affecting the load area dimensions.
- Outside, both the Berlingo and Partner look identical to their petrol and diesel versions, apart from the badging. Look closer and the only difference you’ll see is the extra fuel-type flap on the front wing for the AC charger. They both look modern, although, the extra length of the L2 looks like it’s been grafted on.
- The driving position is really comfortable, as the lack of a transmission tunnel gives useful extra legroom. There’s even room for three if you specify the dual-passenger seat option – unique in this class, although one of the passengers will be uncomfortable.
- There’s no basic level, so air-conditioning is included as standard – although it also keeps the battery cool. Other standard equipment includes LED daytime running lights, Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control, Bluetooth connectivity and electric windows.
- These vans might be electrically powered, but ABS and a driver’s airbag are fitted as standard on both.
- Both the Citroen and Peugeot are eligible for the government’s Plug-in van grant and are priced identically at £22,180. Live in London, then the argument for choosing this Citroen and Peugeot get better as they also benefit from the Ultra Low Emission Discount (ULED), which provides 100% discount from the London Congestion Charge, which could add up to £2,500 savings per year. Plus, London boroughs such as Hackney also offer a 100% discount on parking permits for electric vehicles, which again could save another £1,750. Finally both vans are exempt from tax, saving another £230 per year.
- Included in the price of the van, rather than leased separately, is the battery. This comes with an eight-year or 60,000-mile guarantee.
- The steering and handling are tidy enough, but despite the torque from the electric engine, these Citroen and Peugeot vans aren’t as much fun to drive as you’d think.
- These are vans and whilst they feel sturdily made, the design looks a bit dated and the quality of plastics is disappointing.
- The lack of engine noise seems to amplify all the other noise in the cabin and load area.
- The Verdict
If you can get past the high purchase price and low range, both these vans could really appeal – especially in an urban environment, because of the savings as a result of the ULEV grant.
Neither the Berlingo or Partner do much to advance the electric van formula, but they’re okay to drive and are sure to help Citroen and Peugeot develop more future electric vans.
Lowdown on the Citroen Berlingo/Peugeot Partner Electric:
|On the road price after ULEV grant:||£22,180|
|Load width (max):||1,810mm|
|Load capacity: 3.7m3 (4.1m3 with extra front seat)||3.7m3 (4.1m3 with extra front seat)|
|Towing Capacity braked/unbraked:||n/a|
|Engine:||Permanent magnet synchronous electric motor|
|Economy (claimed range):||106 miles|