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Citroen E-Relay Dropside vs. Volkswagen E-Crafter Dropside

March 24th, 2023

Many of us are now trying to take practical steps to reduce our carbon footprint in both our personal and professional lives. With that in mind, it seems fitting that manufacturers are now listening to customer demand and producing electric versions of their much-loved diesel vans.

The increased popularity of electric vans and the huge developments in manufacturers’ EV offerings is, of course, a step in the right direction. However, it has brought about one challenge that some of us may not have seen coming. With such a fantastic range of electric vans available nowadays, it can be far trickier to choose the right one for your needs.

If you know you want an electric dropside van but have no idea where to go from there, you’re in the right place. In this article, we take a closer look at two of the most popular electric vans on the market right now: the Citroen E-Relay Dropside and the Volkswagen E-Crafter Dropside. Both vans have much to offer, so it’s crucial that you do your research before deciding which is best for your business. Read on for the lowdown on what you can expect from each of these trusty vans.

Engines and Spec

If you’re not familiar with dropside vans, they provide a spacious loading area with foldable sides and back, allowing for higher payloads and effortless loading and unloading. If this is what you’re after, these vans won’t disappoint. The Citroen E-Relay Dropside promises a sizeable maximum payload of 1.4 tonnes, while the Volkswagen E-Crafter Dropside comes in at between 970kg and 1.72 tonnes depending on the configuration. This makes both offerings perfectly capable of meeting most businesses’ cargo requirements.

Like the rest of Citroen’s electric range, the E-Relay Dropside features a 74kWh battery pack connected to a dependable 90kWh motor. This combination means that not only is the van powerful enough to transport heavy items with minimal impact on the driving experience, but it can also offer a 154-mile range on a full charge, depending on conditions. Unlike many electric vehicles, the Citroen E-Relay can also manage a top speed of 68mph, making it ideal for those who frequently drive on dual carriageways or motorways.

The VW E-Crafter uses the same 35kW lithium-ion battery as the e-Golf, one of Volkswagen’s most popular electric car models. This does mean that it may not quite live up to the power of the Citroen E-Relay, but it has undergone plenty of testing to ensure that it is perfectly capable of transporting heavy loads.

On a full charge, this practical van can offer a maximum range of 107 miles, again depending on conditions. Many will also be pleased to hear that the E-Crafter can reach 80% charged in just 45 minutes with a 40kW DC combined charging system. Its top speed is less impressive than the Citroen model, coming in at just 56mph, but this van is a fantastic option for urban drivers who rarely drive above 40mph anyway.


The Citroen e-Relay Dropside’s interior is arguably its biggest let-down. There is plenty of space for the driver and passengers, as well as an abundance of in-cab storage, though it is lacking the smart solutions you’d see in newer or more advanced models. The cabin is comfortable enough for short journeys, but the steering wheel being angled away from the driver will soon become disagreeable if you aren’t used to that positioning.

The gearstick has been replaced with three buttons that determine the driving mode: Drive, Neutral, and Reverse. However, all the original instruments (i.e. fuel gauge, rev counter, etc.) remain despite being unusable – only the speedometer works. All other vital information is digitally displayed in the rear-view mirror to save on reprogramming the original 5-inch touchscreen. To learn more about this van’s interior or any other features, take a look at our full-length Citroen E-Relay Dropside review.

As for the VW E-Crafter, much of the van resembles its diesel counterpart, but the interior offers a few small differences. A rev counter shows when the regenerative brakes are refilling the batteries, while the instrument cluster displays the remaining charge instead of a fuel gauge. The hard-wearing plastics used feel fairly practical and traditional, which will suit many commercial customers but perhaps won’t be best suited to those who prefer a sleek, modern look.

This trusty van features a 7-inch infotainment screen, navigation system, cruise control and climate control as standard. There are also plenty of safety features, such as automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, and a rear-view camera. The van will also refuse to start until everyone’s fastened their seatbelt! All in all, for a hardy commercial van, there’s little to dislike about the E-Crafter’s interior.

The Verdict

It goes without saying that both of these vans are capable of meeting the requirements of most businesses. However, there are certain factors that may sway your decision.

The Citroen e-Relay Dropside offers an impressive driving range and fuel efficiency, and its power and payload capabilities are sure to impress. That being said, it cannot be denied that the interior is lacking compared to the VW E-Crafter Dropside, and may significantly affect the driving experience. The E-Crafter delivers a far more logical and user-friendly interior but arguably lets the side down a little when it comes to its range and speed capabilities. Ultimately, your decision will depend on which of these factors matters most to you and your business.

If either of these vans sounds like the perfect fit, secure yours with Van Sales UK today. As well as stocking countless new electric vans, we offer a range of finance options, free nationwide delivery, and fantastic customer support. For more information or to discuss your options with an expert, get in touch with us today.


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