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.
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.