The Citroën e-Dispatch, along with the electric medium vans that share its platform, the Peugeot e-Expert, Vauxhall Vivaro-e and Toyota Proace Electric, are in the vanguard of LCVs bringing plug-in technology into the mainstream, as was exemplified by the four models scooping the What Van? Medium Van of the Year Award for 2022. The previous year, the Stellantis group trio captured the overall Van of the Year prize as well as the Electric Van of the Year Award before Toyota joined the platform.

In February this year sales of electric vans accounted for just over 10% of the total new market so, although there remains a good deal of progress to be made in ensuring the charging infrastructure is fit for purpose, the direction of travel is clear.

All these plug-in vans are based on internal combustion-engined (ICE) vans that have already proven their quality and practicality under real-world conditions; indeed, the Dispatch and Expert won What Van?’s LCV of the Year prize for 2017, shortly before Vauxhall joined the then PSA Group fold.

The electric versions stand shoulder to shoulder with their diesel stablemates, not only through offering practical working ranges between battery charges, but also when it comes to load-lugging capability, and, of course, they are exempt from low-emission zone fees.

The e-Dispatch is available in single- and double-cab modes and in three body lengths, XS, M and XL.

Two battery sizes are available: The XS body style gets a 50kWh battery for a range of 143 miles on the WLTP cycle. The M body style can be optioned with either the standard battery, or a larger 75kWh battery, for up to 211 miles of range. The XL body style is always fitted with the larger battery. Regardless of the battery size, the van can be rapid charged at 100kW. This means the 50kWh battery can be charged to 80% in 30 minutes, rising to 45 minutes for the 75kWh battery. Power is generated by a 100Kw (136hp) electric motor with maximum torque of 260Nm.

The 50kWh battery pack allows an impressive payload of 1,275kg but the XL 75kWh driven here in Enterprise trim, which sits between X and Driver, still offers a very serviceable 1,000kg together with a generous 6.1m3 load space that rises to 6.6m3 with the under-seat Moduwork system.

With just forward and reverse gears, the e-Dispatch is smooth, quiet and relaxing to drive. If you select Power mode – which harnesses the full 100kW (136hp) available – then it is also extremely quick off the mark when unladen. This is the mode to choose if you are carrying a heavy load on uphill stretches, but beware, it will also eat ravenously into the battery range.

Normal mode uses up to 80kW (109hp) and is most suitable for carrying a moderate load while retaining decent performance. ECO mode enlists up to 60kW (82hp) It optimises energy consumption by reducing the output of the heating and air conditioning without shutting them off completely. This setting feels markedly sluggish compared to the others but is the one to opt for to conserve energy when lightly laden or when returning to base at the end of the day with an empty load box. 

The Enterprise cabin is reasonably well specified with a 7in touchscreen, DAB radio, Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity. Storage is decent with closed upper and lower gloveboxes and 1.5L bottle holders in the door bins. A full-steel solid bulkhead protects the cab from the load bed (which houses eight tie-down hooks) and, sensibly, the redundant rear view mirror has been removed.

There are no steering wheel mounted controls in Enterprise grade, for the multi-function steering wheel you need to step up to Driver level. 

All e-Dispatch derivatives come with safety aids such as ESC with hill start assist and ABS, including emergency brake assist (EBA) and electronic brakeforce distribution (EBFD), which automatically varies the amount of force applied to each wheel based on road conditions, speed and load.

Citroën e-Dispatch Enterprise Pro XL

Price (ex VAT, inc PiVG) £33,050

Price range (ex VAT, inc PiVG) £26,450-£35,380

Insurance group 41E

Warranty 5yrs/100,000mls (battery 8yrs/100,000mls)

Service intervals 2yr/25,000mls

Load length 4,024mm

Load width (min/max) 1,258–1,628mm

Load bay height 1,397mm

Gross payload 1,002kg

Load volume 6.6m3

Engine size/power 136hp 75kW electric motor

Range 211mls

CO2 0g/km