Thanks to Covid 19, you may have missed the news that LDV changed their name in April 2020 to Maxus. Maxus is owned by the Chinese SAIC corporation & is distributed in Europe by the Harris Group in Ireland. Whilst Maxus is still making diesel vans – they recently launched a new large panel van the Deliver 9 – it is in the electric van sector that they are ahead of the game.
First announced at the 2019 CV Show, the Maxus eDeliver 3 is the brands all-new medium sized electric van. Where the Chinese came late to the combustion engine party, they were pretty much the first in with electric powertrains, as the larger LDV EV80 can attest.
From launch, customers can select either a SWB or LWB version, the latter also being offered as a chassis cab, paired with the more powerful battery. Talking of which, there are two battery packs to choose from. A 35kWh battery, offering a city range of 141 miles & a combined range of 99 miles & the larger 55kWh battery, which increases the city range to 213 miles & the combined to 151 miles. A rapid 45 minute DC charge with both batteries, will top up your battery to 80% of range, whilst using the most common Type 2 AC charger with the 35kWh battery, will take 6 hours & for the 55kWh battery, this increases to 8 hours.
Payload is competitive with the 35kWh SWB van offering 865kg. The larger SWB van coupled with the 55kWh battery 905kg. The larger LWB van fitted with the 35kWh battery will carry 990kg & with the larger 55kWh battery, 1020kg. The chassis cab fitted with the larger 55kWh battery offers a 1202kg payload, which isn’t too shabby either.
The SWB van measures 4.55m long, with a 4.8m cubed capacity, whilst the LWB version is 5.15 m in length, with a 6.3m cubed capacity. The maximum cargo space height is 1330mm, maximum width is 1665mm &it measures 1220mm between the wheel arches. The cargo length is 2180mm in the SWB van & 2770mm in the LWB version.
The access at the rear, comes courtesy of a 60:40 split doors, which are 1.25m high & 1.25m wide. The side door is 710mm wide due to bulkhead intrusion & 1230mm high.
Standard equipment includes, arm rests, air-con, SatNav, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, twin USB’s, Bluetooth connectivity, a drivers airbag, a reversing camera, rear parking sensors & cruise control.
The van is light thanks to the inclusion of aluminium & high strength steel, which aids both range & payload.
Whilst the exterior of eDeliver 3 bears an uncanny resemblance to the Nissan e-NV200, inside, it’s more modern than the Nissan, with the dash located touchscreen the highlight. The cabin build quality is okay, with some decent plastic & finishes & on the steering wheel, but it’s not as good as the quality you’ll find in the larger Maxus diesel Deliver 9. In comparison, it feels more modern inside than the interiors of the Nissan e-NV200 or Renault Kangoo, which are both beginning to show their age.
Uo front, there are two front seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, a drive mode selector dial, which frees up cabin space, with plenty of useful storage in the doors, between the front seats with two drinks holders & an open glove box.
Courtesy of Chadderton Motor Company our local Maxus dealer, we took to the road in the SWB 35kWh version of the eDeliver 3. It’s incredibly easy to drive & even offered up some decent speed when pushed, hitting 60mph in about 8 seconds. Top speed is 75 mph, which is more than adequate for the motorway.
Utilising the regeneration & the ECO button, we made our way around Manchester driving approximately 30 miles, but only using 20 miles of range, which was good. ECO means you’re top speed is limited to around 65mph, but if you switch it off, swifter progress can be made. The regeneration switch can be set to low, medium or high, dependent on what type of driving you are doing. Generally, motorway would be low, urban medium & city high regeneration.
On the motorway at speed, the van did feel a little front heavy, especially when steering from lane to lane & when you’re in traffic, there’s also some battery noise when you slow down, that takes a bit of getting used to. The van panels are not the stiffest on sale & the rear doors don’t close with as much of a thud as we’d like. These though are our only criticisms. Overall, the ride is good, it generally handles well & the cabin is quiet. The on board tech is easy to use & works well & it’s very well equipped.
If you’re still not sure about electric vans for your business because of range, it’s worth noting that the eDeliver 3 fitted with the larger battery, offers the best range of any electric van. It’s also competitively priced, with an entry level cost of £36,000 including vat, before the OLEV grant of £8000 is taken into account.
Competition comes in the form of the smaller Nissan e-NV200, which offers a payload of 705kg & a range of 124 miles, or the larger PSA group’s Citroen e-Dispatch, Vauxhall Vivaro-e & Peugeot e-Expert, which have payloads from 1262kg’s & a range of 143 miles on the WLTP cycle. Price wise, the Nissan e-NV200 starts at £31,468 & the Citroen e-Dispatch at £38,099 including vat & before the OLEV grant.
With a name change & two new electric vans -the larger eDeliver 9 will arrive shortly- the future looks bright for Maxus, as the Chinese owned company aims high in the European van market. With a decent geographical spread of UK dealerships, there’s also a Maxus van centre located near you. If you haven’t tried an electric van yet, there’s no excuse not to pop in & try one.