Citroen e-Berlingo Electric Van Review
The Citroen e-Berlingo at a glance
Increased fuel prices and the growth in low-emission zones around the UK have established a new demand for electric vans. Cheaper to run than diesel vans and in accordance with emission regulations, electric vans seem to be an excellent choice for a commercial vehicle, and the Citroen e-Berlingo is one of the many e-vans currently available in what is becoming an overcrowded marketplace.
Citroen has distinguished itself from the rest, however, by claiming the e-Berlingo’s battery has a driving range of 171 miles before needing to be charged – impressive for a panel van. One might expect other features to suffer because of this, but Citroen has made an electric van which is uncompromising in its main functions. The load area is the same as the diesel version of the Berlingo, it is more powerful, and the payload is higher than many popular diesel vans such as the Volkswagen Caddy Cargo.
The e-Berlingo is expensive, and although you will recap this money back over time, high-speed driving heavily drains its battery. This makes the e-Berlingo most suitable for city or municipal driving. In this commercial context, it can save you money whilst also providing your business with the credibility that comes from being ‘green’ and sustainable.
Engines and Spec
The Citroen is fitted with a 100kW motor and a 50kwp battery park, capable of producing 136hp. With 260Nm of torque instantly available, it has a maximum payload of 800kg, making it more powerful than the e-Berlingo’s diesel counterpart. The electric motor is smooth and very responsive, with its quiet, non-disruptive engine resulting in a very enjoyable van to drive.
In terms of specifications and variations, the e-Berlingo is available at a reliable van outlet such as Van Sales UK as a small panel van with short and long wheelbases, or as a combi van with a crew cab installed.
A drawback to the e-Berlingo is the fact that the top speed of the van is a mere 81mph, making it somewhat unsuitable for long-distance driving on motorways or dual carriageways. Whatsmore, high-speed driving such as this drains the battery heavily, lasting significantly less than Citroen’s 171-mile estimation.
However, the e-Berlingo’s true capabilities are unleashed in city driving. Considering fast-charging capabilities making the van charge from 0-80% in 30 minutes, the small, manoeuvrable Citroen, with its effortlessly light steering, is an ideal vehicle for intercity/town-to-town transportation rather than regular, long motorway runs.
The e-Berlingo’s interior appears to be carried partly from Citroen’s family car range, with high-quality yet robustly textured plastics and comfy seats. The interiors might be also cramped, but I’d argue that if you need to transport a large team consistently, surely you wouldn’t consider a short-wheelbase panel van such as the e-Berlingo.
By virtue of its smooth electric motor, the interior is a quiet and relaxed place to drive, although the crew variants of the Citroen are noisier. It is also important to note that the crew models of the e-Berlingo lack windows for the rear seats, which although minimizes natural light, can increase safety and allow you to store tools or other equipment there, safely out of sight.
The Citroen has some good safety features, but, rather annoyingly, they don’t come as standard – something that can’t be said for Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen panel vans. For example, the door mirrors of the e-Berlingo are tiny, and to solve this problem, the optional Surround Rear Vision Camera System is a necessary purchase. The system works excellently and is clear to operate, but with door mirrors that small, it is slightly opportunistic to have it not be fitted as standard.
Pros & Cons
- Excellent performance from its electric motor
- Reasonable battery range with fast charging capabilities
- The payload and loading area are as good as the diesel version.
- Not ideal for high-speed driving
The Citroen e-Berlingo is a very well-made electric vehicle, with a smooth and responsive electric motor that makes it ideal for driving with or without a payload. It is a touch expensive, and the normally good battery range suffers at high-speed, with other vans being better suited for motorway driving.
This being said, it is hard to think of a better van to own in a city or town. Its status as an electric van makes it exempt from any low-emission regulations or charges, and the light steering and general manoeuvrability make it perfect for tight bends and narrow streets The e-Berlingo also balances this agility with impressive payload capabilities and a large loading space.
The Citroen might not be perfect on all fronts, and it will require some adjustment to your driving style to fully galvanise on its electric battery, but it is an excellent van for many city-based and municipal commercial uses.
If you’re interested in the Citroen e-Berlingo, or other new and used electric or diesel vans, from panel vans to Lutons, Van Sales UK has a wide range available. Get in touch with us today at 0117 205 2627 or email@example.com.