Features
1 Oct 20

More than for the last mile

Not only e-vans, but their battery packs, too, come in various sizes nowadays. As such they either maximise their range of action or their payload to suit every business’ need. From first mile to last mile and everything in between: electric is on the move.

PSA Group

Europe’s leading van producer is pulling out the big guns in the e-LCV segment, starting with the midsized Citroën e-Jumpy (e-Dispatch; pictured on top), Opel Vivaro-e and Peugeot e-Expert. Next year, the e-Berlingo, e-Combo and e-Partner are to give the Renault Z.E. a run for its money, whereas the e-Jumper (e-Relay), e-Movano and e-Boxer – all three Fiat e-Ducato based – will conquer the large van segment.

Fiat Professional

The all-new Ducato was launched this year and comes in a variety of body types and lengths. It can carry up to 17m³ or 1,950kg of stuff and travel 300km if you opt for the 79kWh battery. Rumour has it Fiat is also working on an electric successor to the Doblo. Now that PSA and FCA are even more intertwined, the new Doblo may very well share its underpinnings with the next-gen Berlingo/Combo/Partner.

Toyota

Rather than developing its own LCV range, the Japanese OEM has closed an industrial partnership with PSA. The latter is now launching its electric midsized van range and it is a matter of time before the Toyota Proace will also come as an e-LCV with two battery sizes and three body lengths to choose from. The Berlingo/Combo/Partner-based Toyota Proace City will probably get a BEV powertrain as well.

Maxus

The sizeable Chinese manufacturer SAIC will be expanding its offer to both the small and the large van segment. The eDeliver3 (pictured below) promises to shake up the Kangoo Z.E. segment. The eDeliver9 has its eyes set on the VW eCrafter, Mercedes-Benz eSprinter and Renault Master Z.E. All Maxus needs, is a dealer network – and that is being built across Europe through private importers.

Maxus eDeliver3

Ford

The Blue Oval knows the tricks of the European LCV trade and bravely yet informedly launched the first and today still only PHEV model on the market. Next year will see the market introduction of the large Transit EV, which will be of interested to parcel deliverers and sole traders in search of a zero-emission panel van that allows them access to the heart of the city.

Iveco

It is a little known fact that Iveco has played a pioneering role in electric commercial mobility. Already in 1986 did it present the first Daily Electric. Building upon that experience, the new battery-powered Daily gets ready to conquer the market as a large delivery van. Rather interestingly, the Daily Electric is suitable for all applications up to 5.6 tonnes gross weight.

Mercedes-Benz

Whereas the eVito Tourer (minibus) borrows its 100kWh battery and 150kW motor from the EQV, the eVito van sticks to a more moderate (and affordable) 41kWh battery pack. The same pack can be had in the larger eSprinter, but you can also opt for a 55kWh model for more range. It stands to reason that Mercedes will also offer an electric version of its new (Kangoo-based) Citan next year.

Renault

The trailblazing Kangoo Z.E. has been on the market for nearly a decade. To fight off the tightening competition in the small van segment, Renault will unleash the new generation shortly, which will embrace the latest battery and charging tech. Whereas the Master Z.E. pursues a discreet career, the 2021 Trafic is likely to convince more customers with its E-Tech plug-in hybrid technology.

Nissan

If you come across an electric van today, it is likely to carry a Nissan badge. Some 10,000 e-NV200s were sold in Europe last year and the numbers will only go up with the arrival of the Voltia-developed XL version. This certified Czech conversion expands the load volume from 4.2 to 8m³. Although not confirmed, through its partnership with Renault, Nissan might get its own version of the new Kangoo Z.E. (NV250).

LEVC

The manufacturer of London’s iconic black cab also offers a range-extended electric van derivative called VN5. It has a pure EV range of 102km (63 miles), but its Volvo-sourced 1.5-litre petrol range extender can increase its range to 485 km (301 miles). Not only can it carry 2 Euro-pallets and 800 kg of payload, the vehicle also has the nimble turning circle of a London taxi.

LEVC VN5

Volkswagen Group

Thanks to its clever battery integration, both the eCrafter and its MAN clone (eTGE) offer up to 10.7m³ of volume and a loading height of 1.86metres. The moderately sized battery maintains the payload at 1.7 tonnes, but also limits the range to about 170km. In 2021, VW is expected to launch the eCaddy as well as a PHEV Transporter T7. The all-electric I.D. Buzz Cargo will follow in 2022.

Authored by: Dieter Quartier