Are we seeing a major swing away from diesel in favour of electric vans? Not yet – but with big fleets such as British Gas, Mitie and Sky all ordering battery-powered light commercials, the tipping point is now in sight.
British Gas alone announced an order for 2,000 Vauxhall Vivaro-e vans back in February after purchasing 1,000 last year. Vivaro-e shares the same basic design as Citroen’s e-Dispatch and Peugeot’s e-Expert. All three marques now form part of the recently created Stellantis along with Fiat Professional, and Toyota is marketing the same vehicle as the Proace Electric under a joint-venture agreement.
We opted to sample the e-Dispatch. Marketed with one height and the choice of three body lengths – 4.6m (XS), 4.95m (M) or 5.3m (XL) – it can be ordered with two different battery packs: 50kWh or 75kWh. The former has a claimed range of up to 148 miles on the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) cycle, while the latter offers up to 211 miles.
Three different trim levels are available: X, Enterprise or top-of-the-range Driver.
Our three-seater demonstrator was a 4.95m M model built to Driver specifications with the 75kWh pack. All we needed to do was find the charging cable and plug the e-Dispatch in.