The all-electric Peugeot e-Expert 75kWh Van has a payload of 1,000kg, an electric driving range of 211 miles and a much better – and cleaner – driving experience than a diesel van.
With the existing and forthcoming Clean Air Zones and other initiatives around the UK, businesses that operate diesel vans are likely to be paying a lot of money to drive into city centres, but thankfully there’s a solution: the all-electric Peugeot e-Expert 75kWh Van.
The Peugeot e-Expert 75kWh Van has a 75kWh lithium-ion battery with a 136 bhp (100KW) electric motor, automatic transmission and front-wheel drive.
It’s 4959mm long, 2204mm wide including mirrors, and 1899mm high – these dimensions mean that despite its 1,000kg payload it’s a relatively compact van, and it should be able to go many places that cars can go.
Maximum load width is 1628mm, maximum load height is 1397mm, maximum payload is 1000kg, with 5.3m3 load volume. The Vivaro-e has two passenger seats next to the driver’s seat.
There’s a storage compartment under the front two passenger seats, which offers convenient storage for the two charging cables, so freeing up load space.
The only cup holders, which are quite small, are high up on top of either end of the dashboard, or there’s space for bottles very low down in the door pockets.
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There was a time when a van would stand no chance against a hot hatch at the traffic lights grand prix. Not any more. There’s instant response from standstill from the Peugeot e-Expert’s electric powertrain, with linear acceleration, no gear changes or need for a clutch thanks to the automatic transmission, and all in near-silence, and of course with zero tailpipe emissions.
Even the handling is better than a diesel van, thanks to the floor-mounted battery resulting in a low centre of gravity.
Steering is light (it becomes heavier when the van is loaded), and ride quality is good (it becomes less bouncy when loaded). It’s easy to drive around town, and it’s comfortable and quiet on the motorway.
There are three drive modes: Normal, Eco and Power. Eco dials back the throttle response, and also the heating. The response in Power mode is much better.
Rather than the traditional large gear lever that you would expect in a van, there’s a small switch, which, when you put it into reverse, sometimes you’ll find that reverse doesn’t become engaged; you need to hold it in place for a couple of seconds to ensure the gear is selected. You also have the option of selecting ‘B’ mode, to capture more brake regeneration (although we’d suggest that this should be the default option).
There are six shortcut buttons around the central 7-inch colour touchscreen, which helps to avoid lots of excessive button-pressing on the screen, and there are separate heating controls. The infotainment system includes Apple CarPlay and satnav. The satnav mapping graphics aren’t great, and at night the map background is dark grey with mid-grey roads, so it’s not very clear. It’s also difficult to zoom out of the map. There’s a reversing camera, which is really helpful with such a long vehicle, and there’s a start/stop button.
Two key items of equipment that are really needed are a heated driver’s seat and heated steering wheel, as these would help to minimise the amount of cabin heating that’s needed, which is a big drain on the battery.
The official WLTP electric driving range (WLTP) for the Peugeot e-Expert Van is 211 miles. The predicted range during our week test of the van was typically displayed as 188 miles, although the actual real-world range – with a mix of the van being empty and half-full loads – fell short of this by around 40 miles. To maximise your driving range you need to select Eco drive mode, keep the cabin temperature down, don’t go much above 60mph, and avoid carrying lots of heavy loads – the latter obviously being a potential challenge with a van.
Charging times for the Peugeot e-Expert Van (which has a 7.4kW on-board charger) are 11 hours 20 minutes for 0-100% battery capacity using a (single phase) 32A wallbox (7.4kW); 7 hours for 0-100% battery capacity using a three phase (workplace) 16A wallbox (11kW); and 45 minutes for a 15-80% charge using a 100kW DC rapid charger.
How to charge link
The Peugeot e-Expert 75kWh costs £45,661 after the Government Plug In Van Grant which now pays for 35% of the purchase price up to a maximum of £6,000.
Although the all-electric e-Expert is more expensive than the diesel Expert in terms of outright purchase cost, you need to compare the total cost of ownership. The e-Expert can cost 2.1p per mile to run, compared to the Diesel version costing 10.3p per mile.
You can also choose a Peugeot e-Expert with a 50kWh battery with a range of 143 miles.
There’s an 8 year/100,000 miles @ 70% capacity battery warranty.
The increasing numbers of Clean Air Zones around the UK will force many businesses to consider electric vans. This is a good thing, as the Peugeot e-Expert is better to drive than a diesel van, as well as having no tailpipe emissions that have a negative impact on local air quality and climate change. The initial purchase price might be higher than that of a diesel equivalent, but with much lower running costs, the total cost of ownership is likely to be lower for many operators. The Peugeot e-Expert 75kWh gains a Green Car Guide rating of 8 out of 10.