We’re expecting good things from these new vans in 2020 …
After giving the Vivaro – the UK’s fifth bestselling van – a facelift this year, Vauxhall announced in November that it would be launching a fully electric version of its mid-size van in 2020. Two battery sizes will be available – 50kwh and 75kwh, with ranges of around 125 miles and 185 miles respectively.
By 2025, the manufacturer aims to offer electric versions of its whole range; there’s already an electric Corsa and hybrid Grandland X, and electric versions of the Mokka X, Combo, Combo Life, Vivaro Life and Astra are planned.
Citroen Dispatch electric
Built in France on the same platform as the Vivaro and the Peugeot Expert, the electric Dispatch will come with the same two battery options and driving ranges. Citroen says its payload capacity will be similar to that of the existing Dispatch, which can carry up to 6.6 cubic metres or 1,371kg, though the extra battery weight may reduce the capacity of the larger version. Like Vauxhall, Citroen aims to offer an electric version of its whole range by 2025.
Peugeot Expert electric
The e-Expert will go on sale in the second half of the year with the same battery options and driving ranges as the Vivaro and Dispatch. Load space will again be identical to its diesel counterpart – up to 6.6 cubic metres.
Volkswagen Transporter T6.1
Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March, this is an updated version of the sixth-generation Transporter, which was introduced in 2016. And it looks different, with new headlights and alloy wheels outside and digital dashboard dials and upgraded infotainment systems inside. The latter will come with either an 8-inch or 9.2-inch touchscreen, voice control and a built-in SIM card providing internet access. A 2.0-litre TDi engine will deliver up to 196bhp. There will also be an electric version with a choice of 39kwh or 78kwh batteries, and ranges of 134 miles and 250 miles respectively, though the larger battery reduces the payload from 1,186kg to 695kg.
Toyota Proace City
Practical, agile and flexible, the Proace City will be smaller than the medium-sized Proace, built instead on the same platform as the excellent Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and Vauxhall Combo Cargo. It will be available in two lengths, with a payload capacity of up to 1,000kg or 3.9 cubic metres, and a load bay up to 2.2 metres long – even the smaller version will be able to carry two euro pallets. Opt for the smart cargo layout and load capacity will increase to 4.3 cubic metres, with a load-through bulkhead allowing you to carry items up to 3.4 metres long.
Citroen Relay electric
Unveiled at the 2019 Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham last spring, the electric version of Citroen’s largest van will be built in Italy and have two battery options: 44kwh with a range of around 141 miles, and 62kwh with a range of around 169 miles. The engine will deliver 95bhp, and payload capacity should be up to 1,215kg.
Peugeot Boxer electric
The Boxer was unveiled at the same time as the Relay, to which it is virtually identical, with the same payload capacities and ranges. The version on show was a small version, able to carry up to 8 cubic metres in a load bay 2.67m long, 1.87m wide and 1.66m high, but several sizes will be available. Standard features listed at the unveiling included a full steel bulkhead, electronic stability control, remote central deadlocking, a DAB radio with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, and electric heated mirrors.
Fiat Ducato electric
Fiat’s first fully electric van, which shares a platform with the Boxer and Relay, combines performance and flexibility and has a range of between 136 and 223 miles, depending on the battery size. Between 47kwh and 70kwh will be available – and if you go for a less powerful version and then wish you’d gone for more battery power, Fiat says you’ll be able to add it. The electric engine will deliver up to 121bhp and 207lb ft of torque and will be available in all the Ducato’s body styles, so load capacity will be between 10 and 17 cubic metres, or up to 1,950 kg.
The eSprinter will have two battery options: a 55kWh battery with a range of 93 miles and a payload of 900kg, and a 41kwh battery with a 1,040kg payload capacity but a smaller range of about 71 miles. You’ll have up to 114bhp and up to 221lb ft of torque at your disposal too. And though electric vans are known for not liking the cold, the eSprinter might cope better than most: Mercedes-Benz tested the prototypes in Sweden, close to the Arctic Circle, and put them through their paces in some pretty extreme conditions, including driving on a frozen lake.
Renault is promising new technology, more comfort, better ride quality and new engines in its third-generation Kangoo – the van is now 22 years old, and hasn’t had a major revamp since 2008. The new version, expected to go on sale in the summer, will be available in three lengths, and photos of an electric concept version released by Renault suggest a more car-like look, which the manufacturer says won’t affect cargo capacity. The photos also show the van with cameras on the sides instead of wing mirrors.
In 2018, more than half the world’s electric vehicles were sold in China – and state-owned manufacturer SAIC Motor is definitely one to watch in 2020. Under the brand name LDV – reappropriated from the defunct British van-makers – it will launch its electric-only eDeliver3 van here next year. Made of aluminium to keep it lightweight, and with a driving range of up to 200 miles, the van will come in two lengths, with payloads of 5 and 6.3 cubic metres, or 750kg and 1,000kg, respectively. There will be two battery pack sizes: 35kwh and 55kwh, with ranges of 127 miles and 200 miles respectively, and power will be around 113bhp.
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