Sister brands Peugeot and Citroen have unveiled the latest all-electric versions of their small vans at the recent Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham.
The electric Peugeot Partner and Citroen Berlingo Electric are both due to hit the market later this year, and despite appearing the same as the conventional petrol or diesel powered models on the outside, under the bonnet sits a 49kW electric motor, fed by a 22.5kWh lithium ion battery pack.
One of the main stumbling blocks for electric vehicles in the past has been their range and top speed, but with technology improving all the time, these latest models have an official range of 106 miles, and can achieve a top speed of 68mph.
Charging times are another important statistic for customers who are seriously considering an investment in vehicles powered by alternative power. The Partner and Berlingo Electric have a full charge time of 12 hours using a domestic three-pin pocket. However, there is the option to use a specific 380V three-phase terminal in quick charge mode, which achieves an 80 per cent charge in just 35 minutes.
Another debutant into the electric commercial vehicle market is the Nissan eNV200 electric van and NV200 taxi. These models will be introduced to build upon the success of the Nissan LEAF electric car, and will represent Nissan’s first purely electric commercial vehicle.
The new Nissan van is currently being tested by British Gas, which is conducting a month long trial of the eNV200, ahead of the energy supplier’s plans to make a substantial part of its 13,000 strong fleet electric by 2015.
Currently Nissan’s electric newcomer is impressing drivers and fleet managers alike with its performance and reliability. It has even undergone cold weather testing in temperatures as low as -12°C to establish its performance characteristics in real world conditions.
The NV200 taxi is the same design as the eNV200, with some slight tweaks to ensure its compliance with Transport for London regulations. With seating for five passengers, the ability to accommodate disabled occupants as well as a reduced 7.6-metre turning circle, the Nissan satisfies the legal requirements for all Hackney Carriages.
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