Vauxhall's first electric van beats diesel for costs and performance

New Vivaro-e has 1.25 tonne carrying capacity, 188 mile all-electric range and can be charged in 45 minutes.

Ginny Buckley


Vauxhall has delivered the first pictures and details of its first electric van – and it looks like an impressive package. The Vivaro-e has an official range of 188 miles and is able to carry up to 1,226kg – that’s 130kg less than a diesel Vivaro but more than the plug-in hybrid version of Ford’s Transit or the full-electric Nissan e-NV200

The Vivaro is the first of a long line of electric cars and vans which are due from Vauxhall. The next electric commercial vehicle, the Combo-e, will arrive in 2021 and Vauxhall has promised to offer an electrified version of every car and van in its range by 2024.

Grey Peugeot Vivaro E front driving over bridge

To keep costs low, the battery packs and motors will be shared between all of these vehicles and those of Vauxhall’s partners Peugeot/Citroen. The Vivaro-e’s 135bhp electric motor is borrowed from the Corsa-e, for example, and should give the better acceleration than the diesel models. 

Two sizes of battery will be available with the smaller, cheaper version using the Corsa-e’s 50kWh battery to give a range of up to 125 miles – on par with its Nissan rival – while a bigger 75kWh unit takes the total range up to 188 miles. Both are covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile guarantee and are packaged under the load space so the carrying capacity is not affected. 

Like the Corsa, the Vivaro-e is capable of accepting a 100kW DC feed from a rapid charger to take the 50kWh battery to 80 per cent in around 30 minutes, while the 75kWh version takes 45 minutes. A built-in cooling system allows repeated rapid charging without the risk of overheating the batteries. For slower charging, a 7.4kW charger is standard which will take either 7.5 hours or 9 hours depending on the battery size. An 11kW capability is offered as an option which should knock about an hour and a half off those times. 

No prices have been announced yet, but expect the Vivaro-e to cost around 25% more than the equivalent diesel version. However, there are generous grants to encourage electric van use and most are bought using a lease scheme. As a result of this and the tiny fuel bills, Vauxhall are confident that the whole life cost of the Vivaro-e will be lower than a diesel for most users.  

To read more about the best electric vans for your business, read our guide here

Grey Peugeot Vivaro E gear switcher

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