Only a few years ago it was impossible to get a van with an electric drive. This year, however, the offer has exploded.
The takeover of the electric transporters manufacturer Streetscooter by the Deutsche Post DHL Group in 2014 was born out of necessity: no established manufacturer wanted to build the logistics giant the electric trucks needed to reduce CO2 emissions. So the post office workers themselves became car manufacturers. At least temporarily, because while DHL is pulling out of the street scooter adventure this year, the established manufacturers are simultaneously blowing the whistle on the electric transporters offensive. These come at the right time because of tightening CO2 regulations, the threat of bans on driving into city centres and not least for image reasons.
GLS, UPS, Amazon and the Otto Group have already defined clear goals to become climate neutral in the medium term. There are also good reasons for smaller companies to take a look at the new silent electric transporters, which can also offer cost advantages thanks to the existing premiums. These should apply to the company anyway because expensive inspection appointments and wear-and-tear repairs will be less frequent.
Electric trucks not incredibly cheap
The electric transporters are not cheap, as can be seen, for example, in the net/gross E-Ducato offered by Fiat Professional from 54,800/63,568 Euros. The Italian, which one can order as a chassis, panel van or passenger transporter, provides a 90 kW/122 hp and 100 km/h fast drive. Two battery variants with 47 or 79 kWh for 220 and 360 kilometres NEDC range are available. Direct current charging with 7, 11 or 22 kW allows charging times of 2.5 to 8 hours. 50 kW alternating current reduces the 80 per cent charge to 60 minutes.
Since the summer, the Vivaro-e has been available from Opel at prices starting at 35,650/41,354 euros (Germany). The model is available – 4.60, 4.95 or 5.30 metres long – as a panel van, double cab or estate car. A 100 kW/136 hp electric motor is responsible for propulsion, while the batteries come with a choice of 50 or 75 kWh for a range of 230 or 320 kilometres respectively. Depending on the variant, the panel van model can have a loading volume of between 4.6 and 6.6 cubic metres and a maximum payload of 1.2 tonnes. In 2021, the Opel company plans to expand its range to include E versions of the small Combo and the large Movano.
Opel parent company PSA offers several electric transporters
By the way, all three come from Opel’s parent company PSA, whose French brands Peugeot and Citroen will be offering the Movano counterpart, the e-Boxer and e-Jumper, as a panel van and chassis in three heights and four lengths with wheelbases between 3 and 4.04 metres before the end of this year. It has an engine by of 90 kW/122 hp and a range of 340 kilometres. You can already order the Vivaro sibling models e-Jumpy and e-Expert from Opel’s sister brands Citroen and Peugeot. The latter Peugeot version costs 34,690/40,240 euros. Toyota will also distribute the two smaller PSA-E-Transporter models from 2021 as Proace and as the combo counterpart Proace City.
Electric pioneer, Renault has already been offering its big Master for several years in the E-version Z.E. as a panel van in three lengths (up to 6.23 metres) and three heights as well as a chassis. The 57 kW/76 hp engine allows a maximum speed of 100 km/h, while the 33 kWh battery can carry the smallest Master for up to 180 kilometres in eco mode. Prices for the closed version start at around 60,000/69,600 euros including battery. Alternatively, Renault offers the Kangoo Z.E. in four bodies with a maximum of 4,600 litres of storage space and 650 kilometres of payload.
The 44 kW/60 hp engine can reach a speed of 130 km/h, and the 33 kWh battery provides a range of up to 230 kilometres. Prices start at 20,820/24,151 euros, excluding the battery which costs 62.18 euros net or /74.00 euros gross per month. Another veteran is Nissans as the panel van E-NV200. It has 4,200 litres of storage space or is available as the 5+2-seater “Evalia”. Both combine an 80 kW/109 hp engine with a 40 kWh battery for 275 kilometres (NEDC). Prices start here at 28,660/33,246 euros.
V.W.: E-crafter and MAN eTGE
The only Stromer from V.W. Commercial Vehicles is the e-Crafter, which is available exclusively as a 6-metre-long panel van. Its 100 kW/136 hp engine accelerates to a maximum speed of 90 km/h, while the 36 kWh battery, which you recharge in 45 minutes with 40 kW electricity, allows 115 WLTP kilometres. The e-Crafter, identical in construction to the MAN eTGE, is available for 53,900/62,524 euros. V.W.’s classic Transporter is also available electrically, but as a conversion by Abt. From 45,000/58,000 euros the electric version of the V.W. Bulli is known as a panel van, nine-seater estate or “Caravelle” car. It is driven by an 83 kW/113 P.S. strong electric motor, and the range is up to 131 kilometres (WLTP).
Mercedes: E-Sprinter and eVito as panel van
Mercedes-Benz has the e-Sprinter in its product range since 2019, with a 6.09-metre long body variant in the class up to 3.5 tonnes. It has an engine of 85 kW/116 hp for 80, 100 or 120 km/h. The battery sizes 35 or 47 kWh are also available. The maximum range is 168 kilometres. Up to 11,000 litres loading volume and 1,045 kilograms payload is possible. In Germany, prices start at 53,900/62,524 euros. Mercedes also offers the smaller eVito as a panel van with 85 kW/116 hp drive, 35 kWh battery for a maximum range of 180 kilometres and just over a tonne payload.
Finally, the 9-seater Tourer is available in two versions with a 90 kWh battery and 150 kW/204 hp electric motor for a maximum speed of 160 km/h and a range of over 400 kilometres. The price starts at 54,160/62,826 euros.
China moves with us
In the meantime, the Chinese are also getting involved in the e-vehicle scene. Maxus is the name of the young brand of the SAIC group, which recently started offering the EV80 model as a panel van, 9-seater or chassis. The van, which is around 5.80 metres long, can carry 11,600 litres of freight weighing up to 910 kilograms. It is powered by a 92 kW/125 hp engine, which allows a maximum speed of 100 km/h and, in combination with a 56 kWh battery, a range of 190 kilometres. In Germany, prices start at 52,400/60,784 euros. The price for the Maxus eDeliver 3, with 4,800 or 6,300 litres of cargo space, is in Germany 35,000/40,588. The engine provides 90 kW/122 P.S., the battery 35 or 52.5 kWh. The maximum possible range is 120 km/h and 240 kilometres.
While all the vans mentioned so far offer limited ranges, Ford Ford’s Transit Custom PHEV is the only commercial vehicle available with plug-in hybrid drive. Although it can only travel 56 kilometres electrically, its 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with 93 kW/126 hp provides a full range of 500 kilometres. Fast refuelling with petrol is also possible. Ford also promises a payload of 1,130 kilograms. It starts at 47,995/55,674 euros.
Note: all prices mentioned in this post come from the German market.
Source: Automobil Industrie, Marktübersicht Elektro-Transporter: Leise liefern
Translation & Edited: Christian Pfäffli