If we start from the basis that 80% of users of this type of light vans, whether they are long, short, combi or van, they do less than 200 kilometers a day, it is easy to understand that a 100% electric variant it would be even more interesting than in a conventional tourism. And is that the advantages are many, from circulating without restrictions through urban centers – beware that the limitations will be greater every day and will reach the centers of all cities – to discounts in parking lots and tolls, aid for purchase and registration costs, cheaper insurance , reduced maintenance costs -50% less in 48 months-, lower energy cost –up to 70% less than with a heat engine-, higher residual values… All this not to mention simplicity and comfort of use –no gearshift-, the greater and better connectivity, the enrichment of the standard equipment … Thus, and with the intensive use that these types of vehicles usually carry evenly, it is interesting to do numbers and discover that their higher starting price not only it wipes out in a few months, but ends up being profitable, even more so than in the case of an electric car for private use.
Peugeotand Citroënhave done their job well, their Berlingo Berlingoand Partner They are leaders in a highly competitive market and despite the complexity of a total electrification they have managed to preserve intact the values that have led them to be preferred by professionals and freelancers. The location of motors and batteries has been carried out without reducing neither capacities (up to 800 kg), nor volumes (3.8 and 4.4 m3 in the long version), nor the 750 kg that are capable of towing.
Your engine delivers 100 kW (136 CV), with a maximum torque of 260 Nm with which the 130 km/h, accelerates from 0 to 100 Km / h in 11.2 seconds and recovers from 80 to 120 km / h in just 8.9 seconds, approving an autonomy of up to 275 kilometers in WLTP cycle. Your battery has a capacity of 50 kWh and they are delivered with two types of chargers, the standard one is a 7.4 kW single-phase and optionally a 11 kW three-phase. Depending on the charging facility, it takes from 15 hours from a normal 16A plug, at 7.30 hours of a 7.4 kW charging station or the 5 hours if it is 11kW; can charge up to 100 kW in high power chargers, reaching 80% of your charge in just 30 minutes.
The differences between Citroën and Peugeot, as in the case of the variants with heat engines, they are the same as in those, more refined and with its particular i-Cockpit instrumentation –it is shown above a smaller steering wheel- in the second –it is also somewhat more expensive-, but very complete in both, with details such as its three front seats in the van versions, its rear view camera, or the generously sized central screen of the navigator.
Have three driving modes: Eco (60 kW y 190 Nm), Normal (80 kW y 210 Nm) y Power (100 kW and 260 Nm), as well as two braking modes or “gear” position: D, very similar to that of a heat engine and B –Of “Brake” or braking- which increases energy recovery when lifting the foot from the accelerator –retains more-.
In our contact we were able to verify your ease of use And as in a few kilometers we got hold of the different options available to weigh the benefits or the economy as we needed. The absence of levers -shift or parking brake-, the accessibility of the keys that replace them or the good information provided by their legible instrumentation at all times, make it something very simple and intuitive –If we combine it with the navigator, it is easy to know if we have enough autonomy to go and return to the destination or to do it faster or less as required-. its excellent handling -10.8 m of turning diameter- and touch are the same as in its combustion sisters. On the downside is the weight –It is always the weight-, no matter how low the batteries and the center of gravity have been placed, the truth is that the kilos are there and they are noticed in the curves, starts and decelerations, with greater inertia –which we will later learn to use for charging, of course- that we have to get used to. There is also the issue of suspensions, drier than usual and precisely for the same reason. In this point, long versions are smoother and more progressive than short ones, at least without load.
We thus arrive at the delicate point of price, in the case of an industrial vehicle, even more defining than in one for private use. Citroën starts its e-Berlingo at 28,900 eurose-Berlingo, a figure from which you have to deduct aid, discounts and, more than likely a very competitive financing, but as we said at the beginning, that is not the question, but the financial advantages that throughout their amortization, will make them more profitable than their homonyms with internal combustion engines, all without emissions, with the image advantages for the company that operates it or the long-suffering awareness of the autonomous on duty.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.