Rumours and News

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Some pretty big news from Stellantis broke towards the end of October. Under the new ‘Pro One’ banner, the company announced some major changes to the full range of electric vans under the Citroen, Peugeot Fiat and Vauxhall brands. The smaller, Combo sized van will have a revised WLTP range of 205 miles, an improvement of 30 miles against the outgoing model, and in the cab there’s a new 10” display and additional driver assistance systems. Ranges are also increased on the medium vans which benefit from the same interior changes, and the large van such as the Peugeot e-Boxer get a nice big 110kWh battery, offering an impressive range of 261 miles.

Converting ICE vans to run purely on battery power isn’t something many will have thought viable, but according to a survey commissioned by Bedeo (the company behind the current batch of Stellantis large electric van powertrains) 20% of fleet managers would consider this as a method of (potentially) reducing the cost of transitioning to zero emissions in their van operation. I’m just wondering if the survey respondents would have the same opinion if they knew that the cost of the conversion is around the £25k mark  – there are some very competitively priced electric vans out there right now…

OK, so this final piece doesn’t just apply to BEV vans but it’s something that is worth highlighting. According to new research from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, 48% of the 1000 drivers questioned admitted that they overloaded their van, despite 89% of these apparently being aware of the available payload. The temptation to fill the back of an L4 van which, in some cases may only have the same payload as a Citroen Berlingo must be overwhelming. Perhaps time to introduce some simple on board weighing tech that is available on some of the smaller vans across all? This subject also brings into focus the challenges of payload faced by electric vans with bigger batteries for longer range meaning lower payload. A new way of thinking is needed.