Now they have „landed“, the electric passenger vans. And almost all renowned manufacturers are represented and are competing with the previous top dog, the Nissan eNV 200.
There are several reasons why the large „material transporters“ came onto the market first and the passenger transporters are now only gradually catching up. First of all, the box transporters are somewhat less complicated in design and more frugal in terms of range. But above all, in the transport sector, keyword last mile, the demand and thus the pressure on the manufacturers was much higher.
In terms of size, we are now mostly one class lower than before in terms of length, height and load capacity. Sure, the Mercedes Sprinter in the minibus version actually belongs here, but only in the smallest version. In this class, the EQV is the benchmark in terms of dimensions. Chinese manufacturers offer a whole range of products in the field of electric goods transporters, but there are still no passenger vans in their portfolio in this country.
The E-Ducato will soon also be available in Germany as an estate version, and with an optional range of 360 km in the top version with a 79 kWh battery, it is even the range champion in the field. However, it is also available with a 47 kWh battery and then still manages 220 kilometres, albeit calculated according to NEDC mode. Both versions can carry up to nine people, the engine has an output of 90 kW, and the top speed is capped at 100 km/h. Charging is via AC with up to 22 kW, DC with 50 kW. It is available in two lengths and only in the high-roof version. Prices start at 58,500 euros.
The French lead the field of shuttles, both in terms of time and quantity. Chronologically, Renault was in front with the Kangoo Z.E. Maxi Kombi. For many years, the „field“ of people carriers consisted only of it and the Nissan eNV 200 Evalia. Currently, a heavily revised new edition has been announced under the name „Concept“. The Kangoo Z.E., which is now available, is offered in two lengths, approx. 4.3 or 4.7 metres long. Prices (short version) start at 21,200 euros plus at least 58 euros battery rental per month (depending on annual mileage). Other key figures: 44 kW output, 130 km/h top speed, charging with AC 4.6 kW, there is no fast charging option.
Die drei Musketiere
The PSA Group has now broken the „monopolyl“ of the Kangoo as the sole representative of the Grande Nation and launched a triple on the market with the Citroën ë-Spacetourer, the Peugeot E-Traveller and the Opel Zafira Life-e, which is based on the group’s own platform and whose representatives differ only insignificantly from one another. All three use a 100 kW drive with a 50 kWh or 75 kWh battery, and the range of all models with a large battery is a good 300 kilometres. The differences between the three brothers lie in the equipment and options.
The Citroën ë-Spacetourer is available in three lengths (4.6; 4.95; 5.3 metres), while the Peugeot e-Traveller is only available in the two longer versions. Both are available in versions designed for families and as variants for professional use. These are called „Business“ and „Business Lounge“ at Citroën, and „Shuttle“ at Peugeot, again available as „Business“ and „Business VIP“ versions. Both brands still want to come onto the market in 2020. At Citroën, the fun starts at 49,597 euros (16 % VAT), at Peugeot prices start at 50,143 euros (incl. 16 % VAT).
That leaves Opel with the Zafira Life-e. It will be the last of the trio to be launched on the market, namely at the beginning of 2021, but it has been available for order for some time, for 53,800 euros, admittedly priced with 19% VAT. Here, too, there are three lengths to choose from, quite profanely called „Small“, „Medium“ and „Large“. And here, too, there are up to nine seats and also the option of the higher-quality „Lounge“ equipment, but only for the two longer versions. It is also available ex works with a hitch and a towing capacity of 1,500 kg (braked).
What is happening at Volkswagen?
It is well known that one will have to wait quite a while for the ID Buzz. In the meantime, VW Commercial Vehicles (VWN) is selling the Caddy models (in the long version) electrified by its partner Abt as an estate for a maximum of five passengers plus extra-long loading space for 31,800 plus VAT and the T 6.1, the VW bus in the long version as a midi-van Caravelle Comfortline for 56,475 euros. Common to both is the electric equipment with 83 kW drive unit and 37.3 kWh battery capacity. The top speed is 90 or optionally 120 km/h, the range is approx. 150 kilometres. Charging is AC with 7.2, DC with 50 kW.
The V-Class has long taken the place of the premium shuttle vehicle. Recently, it has also been available as a purely battery-electric model under the name EQV, in two lengths and with up to eight seats. The range is a good 400 kilometres, the top speed 160 km/h. Charging is done with 11kW AC and 110 kW DC. The entry price is just under 59,990 euros.
The „commercial vehicle derivative“, the eVito Tourer, costs several thousand euros less. The (up to) eight-seater with (up to) 90 kilowatt hours of battery and 150 kW of power can also cover 400 kilometres at a stretch before it needs to be re-powered with 11 kW AC or up to 110 kW DC. There are four variants in three lengths, starting at 45,410 euros.
Nissan eNV Station Wagon
The new eNV 200 Kombi is aimed at professionals who often transport passengers. Compared to the Evalia, the new Kombi costs almost 1,500 euros less, starting at 35,098 euros.
It is completely trimmed for efficiency and equipped with more robust materials. Five or seven seats are available, the engine has an output of 80 kW, the battery has a capacity of 40 kWh, so it is possible to drive about 250 kilometres without charging. Charging takes place with up to 50 kW at CHAdeMO charging stations, at the home wallbox with up to 7.4 kW if a type 1 connection is available.
Also worth mentioning are the two plug-in hybrid vehicles from Ford, namely the Tourneo PHEV and Transit PHEV models. Both operate with a 13.6 kWh battery and can cover around 40 kilometres purely electrically until a litre burner kicks in and supplies the battery, and if necessary also the engine, with energy.
Another PHEV model is the LEVC model derived from the well-known London Taxi Cab, which is available as a passenger van as well as a goods van.
All the vehicles presented here are eligible for funding, but the E-Ducato is not yet on the current BAFA list of eligible e-vehicles. The funding amounts consist of the state share, i.e. a maximum of 6,000 euros per vehicle, and a share borne by the manufacturer.
Text: Werner Köstle
Pictures: All images Manufacturer