Vauxhall Vivaro-e Electric Van Review
It’s safe to say that the Vauxhall Vivaro-e is an absolute game changer for the electric van market. As one of the five medium-sized electric vans released by the Stellantis group, the electric Vivaro boasts an incredible 200 miles of driving range, whilst also delivering a payload capacity that manages to rival that of its diesel competitors. This is a versatile EV that can easily suit the daily needs of many different types of businesses.
To find out more about everything that the Vauxhall Vivaro-e Van has to offer, keep reading.
Engines and Spec
Vauxhall clearly understands that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to commercial vans, which is why the electric Vivaro has plenty of options available. Firstly, there’s a choice of two battery packs – 50kWh and 75kWh – and much like its diesel counterpart, the Vivaro-e comes in standard L1 and longer L2 body sizes, as well as three trim levels: Prime, Pro and GS. Upgrading is justified cost-wise by the additional safety kit you receive, as well as a blind-sport warning system and semi-adaptive cruise control. Standard and double cab variations are also an option.
Regardless of the battery size that you opt for, the Vivaro-e is powered by a 100kW electric motor with front-wheel drive. This is roughly equivalent to 136hp, which positions it around the middle of Vauxhall’s diesel options. The top speed is limited to 81 mph, but you can reach this easily enough. Plus, the electric motor only requires a single-speed transmission, so there are no gears or clutches to worry about. Drivers are given a choice of three driving modes – Normal, Eco and Sport – helping you to balance performance alongside range, although this isn’t to say that you still can’t go a good distance even in the most powerful mode.
The Vivaro-e’s maximum driving range comes in at a whopping 205 miles. You will need the 75kWh battery for this, however, which could slightly compromise the payload capacity. If you do opt for 50kWh, you’ll still have a range of 143 miles – impressive for a mid-sized electric van.
Another key strength of the Vivaro-e is that it offers proper rapid charging, when many of its rivals don’t have this as an option. When plugging it into a public 100kW charger, the smaller battery pack will reach 80% in around 30 minutes, while the larger battery will achieve the same in around 45 minutes. A 7.4kW charging system, which is compatible with home and office wallboxes, comes as standard and will easily deliver a full charge overnight.
There are few surprises inside the electric Vivaro – a fact that could be good or bad depending on how much you like the layout of the diesel model. Minor adjustments have been made to the instrument cluster, with remaining range being displayed and a power metre replacing the typical rev counter. This tells you not only how much energy you’re using, but also how much you’re saving when you slow down.
Alongside this, there is a special gauge to show drivers how much energy the heating and ventilation system is consuming – a genuinely useful feature for optimising your driving range. Elsewhere in the cab, you’ll find an energy-flow display on the central touchscreen, push buttons for Drive, Reverse, Park and Brake and a rocker switch for the driving modes.
Despite all these handy features, drivers might find themselves having to compromise on the size of the cab – which could be described as cramped and doesn’t leave much room for three people to sit comfortably – as well as the offset driving position. This is a small sacrifice to make when you consider all of the Vivaro-e’s huge benefits.
The electric Vivaro’s maximum payload is 1,22kg – around 130kg less than what the diesel Vivaro can achieve – yet still highly competitive with many diesel van competitors. As to be expected, the biggest payload is synonymous with the smallest van fitted with the smallest battery pack, although even the heftiest of variants can carry up to 987 kg. The standard load length (between 2,512 and 2,862mm) matches any other Vivaro of its generation due to the fact that the batteries are fitted underneath the floor.
Pros & Cons
- Fantastic driving range
- Impressive payload for an electric van
- Cheap to run
- Diesel variant can carry and tow more
- Cramped cabin
- Offset driving position
The Vauxhall Vivaro-e sets a new precedent – not just for medium-sized EVs, but for electric vans in general. Yes, it suffers from the same size issue in the cab as the diesel model, but its efficiency as an electric van outweigh its cons, and make it a fantastic choice for businesses who are trying to be more environmentally conscious (or simply don’t want to worry about the cost of driving a diesel van in zero emissions zones).
The Vauxhaull Vivaro-e Van is available for contract hire or finance lease from Van Sales UK. All of our new Vauxhalls come with a manufacturer’s warranty and manufacturer’s roadside assistance, and free UK delivery is included with every purchase. For more information about our range of electric commercial vans, please get in touch.