Oxford’s decision to introduce a zero-emission zone embracing several streets in its centre is a harbinger of what is bound to come. The council has made no secret of its intention to expand the area, and towns and cities across the UK are sure to copy what the city of dreaming spires is doing over the next few years.

That means urban delivery will be going battery-electric, like it or not. Businesses will need to start thinking seriously about acquiring vans that will comply with this requirement.

The good news is that there is no lack of choice. All the leading light commercial manufacturers and many of the minor players now have electric models available, with global automotive behemoth Stellantis well to the fore. 

A series of mergers and takeovers means that Stellantis now owns Peugeot, Citroën, Vauxhall and Fiat Professional. One consequence is that many of the light commercials marketed by these brands are virtually identical to each other, bar their badges and some styling tweaks in order to leverage economies of scale.

Furthermore, Stellantis has developed a close working relationship with Toyota. As a consequence Toyota’s Proace City is pretty much the same as Peugeot’s Partner, Vauxhall’s Combo, and Citroën’s Berlingo; and all four are available in battery-electric as well as diesel guise.

Citroën e-Berlingo van fanciers can choose from one power pack and two lengths with a single roof height, and two different trim levels. A crew van is available on the longer platform.

As good environmentalists we opted to sample the long-wheelbase e-Berlingo Van Enterprise Pro XL. Here’s how we fared.


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Load bay

Access to the 3.8m3 load area is by means of a sliding door on each side of the body and through asymmetric twin rear doors. The narrower of the two is on the offside. 

They can be swung through 90°, and through 180° if you unlatch the easy-to-release stays.

Six floor-mounted tie-down rings are fitted plus one at waist height on each side of the cargo box.

Two more rings are attached to the full-height steel bulkhead, which separates the cab from the cargo area. It features a hatch at floor level that allows extra-long items to be pushed under the passenger seat.

The floor is protected from scratches and scrapes by a tailored hard plastic cover (an option), while plastic panels afford some protection to the sides to half their height. Deep side rubbing strips are fitted externally to help protect the body from minor damage.

An optional on-board weighing system was fitted to our demonstrator with buttons positioned just inside the back doors on the nearside. It should help ensure operators do not overload the vehicle, which is something we can only applaud.

A 12V power socket was positioned just inside the back doors on the offside; handy if your job involves the use of power tools.



Interior and equipment

An 8in colour touchscreen sits on the dashboard and controls the DAB radio and the optional satellite navigation, and features a USB point. Bluetooth compatibility is included in the deal. 

Our van was covered by a six-month Free2Move telematics subscription, which addresses everything from its location to alerts if any faults arise. The optional satnav can be specified with three-year subscriptions which covers real-time traffic updates and the presence of speed cameras.

Handy features include air-conditioning, a 12V socket close to the floor plus a 240V power point in the passenger foot-well, electric, power-folding, exterior mirrors, electric windows, reversing sensors and front fog lights. A driver’s airbag is fitted (you pay extra for the curtain, front lateral and passenger airbags that protected us) as was in our case, a reversing camera (an option, with front sensors), and cruise control with a programmable speed-limiter. Like the traction control system, the latter can be switched off. 

All the doors lock automatically at speeds above 7mph and the vehicle is protected by a Thatcham Category 1 alarm. The headlights illuminate automatically at dusk.

Storage facilities in the three-seater cab include bins in each of the doors with mouldings to hold a big bottle of water, a full-width shelf above the windscreen and a lidded, but not lockable, glove-box with a shelf beneath it. Three cup-holders are provided, and you can fold down the back of the middle seat and turn it into an impromptu desk.

That’s about all the middle seat is good for given the severely-restricted amount of legroom it offers. Featuring lumbar adjustment, the driver’s seat is height-adjustable, as is the (optionally leather-trimmed) steering wheel which plays host to the radio’s remote controls.

Onboard safety systems include ABS, Electronic Stability Control, Hill Start Assist, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Electronic Brake Assist. Disc brakes are fitted all round, and an AVAS (Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System) is installed which generates a noise to warn pedestrians and cyclists of e-Berlingo’s presence when it is being driven at low speeds around town.

Our demonstrator was additionally graced by an optional safety pack which includes Active Lane Departure Warning, Speed Limit Recognition, Active Safety Brake and Distance Alert System. Let’s see some of these items made standard.

MacPherson strut-type suspension is installed at the front and a torsion beam set-up is deployed at the back.

Decorated with plastic trims, our e-Berlingo’s 16in steel wheels were shod with Michelin Primacy 3 215/65 R16 tyres. 

An on-board monitoring system warns the driver if they start to lose pressure. Happily, a full-size spare wheel is provided rather than a sometimes-worse-than-useless inflator/sealer.


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Power comes courtesy of a 50kWh lithium-ion battery recharged through a combined CCS/Type 2 port and our e-Berlingo was equipped with a 7.4kW on-board charger. A 6m-long Mode 3 charging cable is provided with Type 2 connectors for charging from wall boxes and public charging points.

The van’s 100kW (136hp) electric motor generates 260Nm of torque. With an electric motor it is, of course, available immediately. 


No need to worry about changing gear once the electronic parking brake
is released. 

The motor drives the front wheels through what is in effect a step-less single-speed automatic transmission.

A switch gives you the simple choice of reverse, neutral or drive; so take your pick.

A button next to it lets you increase the level of regeneration so you pump some charge back into the battery every time you lift your foot off the accelerator pedal and the van decelerates. 

It slows the van noticeably without the need to resort to the brake pedal – good news for brake component life – in effect functioning as a retarder.

While it is not as nimble through bends as its short-wheelbase counterpart, the long-wheelbase e-Berlingo rides better and is much less of a puddle-jumper. 

Because electric motors are far quieter than diesels, all the other sources of noise on a van – squeaks from the suspension, rattles from the base of the bulkhead – can become more obvious; and irritating. 

Not an issue with e-Berlingo A good standard of build quality meant there was not a groan or creak to be heard.

As a consequence we were able to sit back and enjoy the van’s performance. 

When we flicked a switch that gave us the Power option the result was a firm, smooth push between the shoulder blades as e-Berlingo surged ahead. 

On the negative side your range goes down at the same time. A dashboard display tells you how much is left.

Choose the Eco setting instead and your range improves, but the van’s ability to accelerate briskly and maintain motorway speeds is alas throttled. We had expected the cab’s heating system to be turned down at the same time to reduce the power drain, but happily this did not happen.

Having sampled both options we stuck with Normal for most of our test; the default setting and a satisfactory compromise.

Citroën cites a 171-mile range between recharges according to WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) figures. We got close to 140 miles before we felt the need to find a charging point.


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A three-year/60,000-mile warranty protects e-Berlingo, with the battery separately covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty to reassure customers who may be worried about high replacement costs. Service intervals are set at two years/25,000 miles.

Citroën quotes a 31-hour charging time if you plug e-Berlingo into an 8amp domestic electric plug socket, although in our experience it does not take anywhere like as long. A display in the cab allows you to set the time when you want charging to start.

Plug your vehicle into a 32amp wallbox and it will take seven-and-a-half hours says the manufacturer. Use a rapid 100kW DC charger then you can restore your battery to 80% of its capacity in just half an hour, it adds.

Citroen e-Berlingo Van Enterprise Pro XL 50kWh

Price (ex VAT, inc. PiVG) £27,955

Price range (ex VAT, inc. PiVG) £26,755–£29,105

Gross payload 751kg

Load length 2,167mm

Load width (min/max) 1,299mm/1,527mm

Load bay height 1,200mm

Load volume 3.8m3

Loading height 548mm

Rear door aperture 1241mm x 1196mm

Side door aperture 675mm x 1072mm

Gross vehicle weight 2400kg

Braked trailer towing weight 750kg

Residual value 27.5%

Cost per mile 45.4p

Electric motor 100kW (136hp) 

Torque 260Nm

Gearbox 1sp

Range (WLTP) 171mls 

Battery 50kWh

Warranty 3yrs/60,000mls (battery 8yrs/100,000mls)

Service intervals 2yrs/25,000mls

Insurance group TBA

Price as tested £32,905

(Running costs after 48 months/20,000 miles p.a – source – KWIKcarcost)


Citroen Connect navigation package £450

Rear-view camera with parking sensors £350

Leather-trimmed steering wheel £100

Curtain, front lateral and passenger airbags £490

Safety pack £760

Load floor protection £60

Overload indicator £240


Nissan eNV200

Price (ex. VAT) £26,305–£35,035

Load volume 4.2m3

Gross payload 705kg

Electric motor 80kW

Verdict: Nissan is continuing to market the eNV200 even though it is no longer as youthful as it once was, and despite the fact that the diesel model is now no longer with us. With an impressive alleged range of up to 187mls and a respectably-sized load area, it nevertheless remains in contention.

Renault Kangoo Van E-Tech

Price (ex. VAT) £26,000–£28,100

Load volume 3–4m3

Gross payload 605-625kg

Electric motor 44kW

Verdict: The data quoted here alludes to the current and on-the-verge-of-being superseded Kangoo. Its successor arrives here this summer, and should be worth the wait. Snatching the What Van? Compact Van of the Year Award for 2022, it offers a decent payload, plenty of cargo space and an upgraded interior.

Renault Zoe Van E-Tech

Price (ex. VAT) £26,450–£28,575

Load volume 1m3

Gross payload 435-457kg

Electric motor 80kW

Verdict: We were enormously impressed by this pocket cargo shifter when we road-tested it in 2021. Admittedly it has not got the largest load area in the world or the most-generous payload capability, but at up to 245 miles its claimed range deserves to be applauded. All-in-all it makes for an ideal zero-emission urban runabout.

The Final Verdict

Design 8/10 – A well-thought-out package likely to appeal to those engaged in last-mile delivery

Cabin 5/10 – Why try to stuff three seats into a cabin that is only wide enough for two? 

Ride 8/10 – Smoother than the ride on offer from its short-wheelbase counterpart

Refinement 9/10 – Whisper-quiet, with no squeaks or groans thanks to decent build quality

Load area 9/10 – Plenty of anchorage points and easy access. Overload indicator worth investing in

Handling/performance 7/10 – Less nimble than the short wheel-base on bends but straight-line ability not an issue

Powertrain 8/10 – Smart package giving range and an easy recharge. Use the regeneration capability

Standard equipment 7/10 – Most of what you need is there, but some optional safety devices should be standard

Operating costs 8/10 – Day-to-day running expenditure looks good when considering diesel costs

What Van? subjective rating 8/10 – Well worth a look if you operate locally and want to go the zero-emission route

Overall Rating = 77/100