When it comes to new vehicle launches the atmosphere is most certainly electric. Professional Builder looks at the current trends in battery powered LCVs.
The automotive industry is in the grips of the most transformative changes it has experienced since the internal combustion engine emerged, and the result is cleaner, greener vehicles. Manufacturers are now on the charge to produce electric vehicles that can match their diesel counterparts and it has sparked a storm of new launches.
Compromise on payload is not an option for builders and the Citroen E-Dispatch offers the same vital statistics as the existing diesel model. Available in three lengths, with load volumes up to 6.6m3 and payloads up to 1,262kg, there’s two operating ranges available – 148 and 211 miles, depending on the model. As with electric vehicles in general, where the E-Dispatch departs from diesel is in zero emissions and CO2, as well as dramatic running cost reductions. It can facilitate access to urban low emissions zones and, of particular appeal to builders, has a class-leading towing capacity of 1 tonne.
The Peugeot E-Expert can pack a slightly heavier punch with a payload of up to 1,275kg. If you think range anxiety will be problem then consider that nearly 80 per cent of commercial vehicle drivers travel, on average, less than 124miles (200km) per day, comfortably within the 143 to 205 miles distances across the E-Expert range.
Across its many variants the Transporter is actually the biggest selling van of all time, and that extensively portfolio now complete a full circuit with an electric option. The manufacturer promises high load capacity and fast charging, with a range of 82 miles, cargo space of up to 6.7m3, and 80 per cent charging in just 45 minutes.
Tradespeople might prick up their ears at the prospect of towing a trailer with the Vauxhall Vivaro, not to mention a 1 ¼ tonne payload, and choice of panel or double cab. The ‘myVauxhall’ app will keep you connected, with information on state of charge and charging times accessed from your smartphone. Vivaro-e customers can choose between two sizes of lithium-ion battery. A 75kWh unit provides up to 188 miles of range, while business users with smaller areas to cover in the working day can opt for a 50kWh battery with a range of up to 125 miles.
Coming in at the larger end of the panel van spectrum, the Fiat E-Ducato will keep you on the road with a single charge from 99 – 192 miles. Charging times are impressive, moving from zero to full capacity in just 2 hours and 25 minutes, whilst the 47kWh battery is available with AC or DC charging capability. As one of the bigger beasts of the sector, payload is a mammoth 1,950kg, with volumes between 10m3 and 17m3, depending on vehicle height and length.
It is one of the industry’s most iconic vehicles and can now be supplied in an L2 H2 front wheel drive electric version. Available exclusively in the Progressive trim, the eSprinter has a range of up to 96 miles, there’s a government OLEV grant of up to £8,000, eligibility under the Transport for London’s scrappage scheme and exemption from ULEZ charges. Thanks to the configuration of the batteries under the floor, the load space also remains uncompromised.