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Citroen e-Relay vs Fiat E-Ducato

February 2nd, 2023

So, you want to make the switch to an electric van? That’s great! They are, afterall, paving the way for the future of all vans and other road vehicles, but which should you go for? In this review, we’ll be comparing two of the top electric versions of current dropside vans on the market for you – the Citroen e-Relay Dropside and the Fiat E-Ducato Dropside.

Though the respective diesel versions of these vans are practically identical (save a few minor differences), their electric counterparts are substantially different. This is down to the Citroen e-Relay being a third-party electric conversion by conversion specialist BEDEO, whilst the Fiat E-Ducato is manufactured by the Italian brand itself.

Keep reading below to find out more about their specifications and how they compare.

Engines and Spec

Both these vans feature two battery options. The Citroen e-Relay offers a 35kWh battery with the smallest model van, whilst the larger models feature a 75kWh battery pack. In terms of range, the 35kWh battery is capable of achieving a humble 73 miles, while the 75kWh battery can reach a more convenient 154 miles on a full charge.

In comparison, the Fiat E-Ducato offers two battery packs with slightly more energy, thus slightly higher ranges, also. The first is a three-module 47kWh battery, with a range of 88 miles, the second a five-module 79kWh battery, offering 175 miles – although, Fiat have said that these ranges may stretch to an impressive 113 and 230 miles when sticking to city driving.

In regards to charging times, each van has an advantage over the other depending on what type of charger you are using. For example, if using a 22kW AC wall charger, the e-Relay will take 5 to 9 hours to charge the respective battery packs, whilst the E-Ducato will only take 2 hours 25 minutes to 4 hours, which is more than half the time less, despite the battery packs having higher power capacities. However, when it comes to DC fast charging, the e-Relay performs better, with the 75kWh battery reaching 80% charge in an hour, whilst for the 79kWh of the E-Ducato this would take an hour and 25 minutes.

So, though the Fiat will charge more efficiently from AC chargers, the Citroen will charge faster if you’re caught in a pinch and need to stop off at a charging station.

In terms of their driving performance, both operate using automatic transmission, making for smooth handling and an equally quiet drive thanks to their fully electric motors. It must be noted, though, that whilst the e-Relay only offers a single driving mode, the E-Ducato has three. In addition to the standard mode, it boasts the options for Power or Eco modes; as the names suggest, Power allows the van to better cope with heavier payloads and getting up steep hills, while Eco extends the driving range so you can travel longer distances.

You can read more about the innovative features the e-Ducato Dropside comes with in our more in-depth review.

This is something to consider depending on the typical journeys you make using your dropside van. For example, if you often travel to various locations across the country, or work in landscaping or arboriculture and are often required to drive through rural, hilly areas, then the driving modes offered by the E-Ducato Dropside will be more beneficial to you. On the other hand, if you predominantly drive through urban areas and make more local journeys to work or only use your dropside van on site, then the e-Relay will be perfectly suitable for your driving needs.


Though the Citroen e-Relay Dropside lacks slightly in driving performance compared to the Fiat E-Ducato Dropside, it does have the advantage of being able to carry more. With a payload of 1.4 tonnes, it is ideal for transporting heavy loads of loose construction materials across building sites.

The Fiat E-Ducato Dropside manages a slightly lower payload of 1.3 tonnes (it is worth noting that this is not an official figure provided by Fiat, who do not specify a maximum payload rating for their E-Ducato chassis cab models, including the Dropside).

It is in the cabin area where the difference between the BODEO conversion and self-manufactured designs become most notably apparent. In the e-Relay, the instrument cluster has had all needles removed other than the one for speed, with the other dials being left dispensable. All the necessary information regarding the vehicle’s status is instead shown in a digital display located in the rearview mirror.

In the E-Ducato, the instrument cluster has been converted to show this information, so you will simply need to glance down in front of you to see what remaining range and charge you have left, as you will be used to doing in a regular van or any other vehicle.

Other than this, the two are almost identical in design and layout and both provide plentiful storage spaces. If you often travel with coworkers, then the e-Relay also has the added benefit of offering more leg room for whoever sits in the middle seat, due its lack of a gear stick, something we discuss in more detail in our e-Relay Dropside review.

The Verdict

With similar driving ranges (give or take a few miles), competitive charging times and sufficient payloads, both the Citroen e-Relay and the Fiat E-Ducato perform equally well as dropside vans. Determining which would work best for you, then, is determined by your driving requirements.

If you work locally and often use your dropside to transport loose materials across construction sites with your coworkers regularly in the passenger seats, then you may consider the e-Relay Dropside. If you tend to travel outside of urban areas and experience less level terrain on your journeys, then you may prefer the Fiat E-Ducato Dropside.

Whichever van works best for you, both are available on low rate, zero deposit finance from Van Sales UK. Save yourself the expense of buying your electric van outright and enquire today to see the finance packages we can offer you.


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