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Battle of the Tippers: Citroen E-Relay vs Mercedes-Benz eSprinter

March 31st, 2023

When it comes to vans, there are different body variants to suit different needs. When it comes to tradespeople, one body that is favoured in particular is the tipper van. Ideal for loading, transporting and unloading materials across a site, they must also meet additional needs of the owner, such as commuting to and from work and making any additional journeys required of them on the job.

But, can this all be done with an electric van, when range is limited? Well, when you find the right van, it certainly can be. In this review, we will be looking at and comparing the Citroen E-Relay Tipper and the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter Tipper, acknowledging how well they respectively perform as tipper vans to suit the needs of an average tradesperson.

Engines and Spec

Looking first at the eSprinter, this van operates using a 55kWh battery, 47kWh of which are usable. Now, for a large van, this doesn’t seem like a lot – it certainly doesn’t seem like enough power compared to what many would associate from the manufacturer, though it does still offer 295Nm of torque, allowing it to keep up with the acceleration traffic on the roads.

Understandably, with this battery size comes a more limited range, with a WLTP combined reading of 82-95mph. However, this is still enough to complete your daily tasks on a full charge, as Mercedes-Benz have carried out research showing that the average van driver covers only 62 miles in a day. If you find that you have used up all your charge, then there are multiple charging options available, including DC fast charging which will get you to 80% in as little as 30 minutes.

However, this smaller battery and lower range does allow for an increase in payload; you can check out our eSprinter Tipper review for more information on its loading capabilities.

Looking at the E-Relay, there is a slightly larger 75kWh battery. This, in turn, allows for a longer range of up to 154 miles, keeping busier tradespeople on the road for longer and much more ideal for those who don’t use their van exclusively on-site. This can also be charged using DC rapid charging, though it does take double the time compared to the eSprinter, reaching 80% in an hour.

As for standard AC charging at home, there is not much difference between the two. The eSprinter will take you 8 hours to reach a full charge while the E-Relay will take you 9 hours – both of which make either van ideal for charging overnight ready for the next working day.

Interior

As far as tipper vans go, both these vans alike function with the convenience that any tradesperson would expect. The eSprinter Tipper comprises a high-strength steel body frame and six recessed floor load eyes, while the E-Relay Tipper features zinc-plated corner pillars and a hard wearing ladder rack with convenient controls from the cab – which we discuss further in our E-Relay Tipper review.

When it comes to comfort features, the eSprinter certainly does begin to reflect the quality and luxury we’d expect to see from Mercedes-Benz. Not only is there a spacious cabin with a heated drivers seat, but the TEMPMATIC air conditioning can be controlled remotely to create the optimum atmosphere before entering the van. This technology is taken a step further with remote locking for the double locks, as well as GPS tracking so that you can keep track of your van on the job no matter who is driving it.

The only thing we will say is a bit underwhelming is the DAB radio with Bluetooth interface, which is somewhat lacking considering many other new electric vehicles come with a digital touchscreen infotainment system. There is, however, one of these infotainment systems in the E-Relay, though it is somewhat fiddly to use.

We will say that the interior of the E-Relay is somewhat dated, though if practicality is more at the forefront of your mind than aesthetics, then it is certainly suitable. There are plenty of storage solutions dotted around the cabin, along with a double passenger bench that offers ample leg room to the centre passenger thanks to the removal of a gear stick, which has instead been replaced with button controls.

The Verdict

Upon comparing these two vans, it cannot be said that one is ultimately better than the other, since this is dependent on your personal needs and requirements. As tipper vans, both perform exceptionally well.

If you’re looking for a stylish van with excellent loading capabilities to transport and unload materials across your worksite, then you may find the eSprinter Tipper more suited to your needs, however the E-Relay Tipper may be the choice for you if you require the van to cover longer distances whilst being convenient to drive and control.

Whichever van you are drawn to more, one thing remains the same: both are expensive to buy outright. Why not save yourself the costly investment of purchasing your van in this way? At Van Sales UK, we have both of these vans brand new and available for hire on low-rate, zero-deposit finance.

Get in touch with us today for more information regarding our electric tipper vans and the finance options we can offer you.

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