Alongside sister models from Citroen & Vauxhall, Peugeot’s e-Partner is small electric van with a range over 160 miles, that is designed to offer all van users an electric alternative to diesel. Whilst the driving range is no where near that of a diesel Partner, the electric Partner cleverly matches it’s diesel brethren for load space & capacity, whilst being miles cheaper to run. Read on to find out more.
Two body lengths are being offered – the 4.4-metre ‘Standard’ and the 4.75-metre ‘Long’ – as well as three-seat panel van and five-seat crew van configurations. Maximum towing capacity is 750kg and maximum payload is up to 800kg. The load volumes of up to 4.4 cubic metres (in the Long) and up to 3.8 cubic metres (in the Standard) is identical to those of the equivalent diesel-engined Partners.
A choice of panel van or five-seater crew van. SWB & LWB versions are offered. The ‘Standard’ models have an 800kg payload, while ‘Long’ models have a 750kg payload, but come with a larger loading area. All versions feature the same 50kWh battery, which offers a WLTP range of 171 miles. Maximum towing capacity is 750kg, maximum payload is up to 800kg. The Long has load volume of up to 4.4 cubic metres, the Standard up to 3.8 cubic metres, identical to those of the equivalent diesel-engined Partner.
The electric Partner comes with a choice of two specs; Professional Premium & Asphalt Premium. Both come well equipped. Professional Premium features air con, cruise control, multi-flex passenger seat with a load-through bulkhead, DAB radio, an 8” infotainment display with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto Step up to the Asphalt Premium & this adds 16″ alloys, automatic wipers, SatNav, front & rear parking sensors, a rear camera with blindspot view, body coloured rear bumper, side rubbing strips & exterior door handles & a 10″ digital instrument display.
You can add more safety features to your purchase. Choose from a Safety Pack, Safety Pack Plus or a Drive Assist Pack, which will add functions such as Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Driver Attention Assist & Active Safety Braking.
The 50kWh battery uses a 100kW electric motor, putting out the equivalent of 136bhp. This is good enough for a top speed of 80 mph, but it’s the instant torque that’s most impressive, making forward progress smooth, as well as silent.
Fast charging is included as standard. This means that the e-Partner can top up it’s battery from 0-80% using a 100kW rapid charger, in just 30 minutes. This of course is quite expensive so most of your e-Partner charging will take place at home, where using a 7kW charger, like our own Rolec Smart Charger, charging the 50kWh battery from 0-100% will take 7.5 hours.
If your home or business is fitted with the appropriate electricity supply, you can option a more powerful 11kW charger, which brings the time taken down to 5 hours.
By now, we will all know about increasing energy prices, so a lot of potential electric van customers may be thinking that taking the electric plunge now, may not be right for them. It’s true, electric vans come with a higher initial purchase price. What Company Car & Van can say, is that there are ways to ensure that your electric van saves you as much money as possible, so here are a few tips.
Charge your electric van at home where prices are cheapest. Switch your electric supplier & tariff to one that offers cheaper overnight electricity prices, such as Octopus Go. You can then utilise the e-Partner’s on board timer to set the charging to begin at the cheapest time. You can also do this on your Smartphone using the Peugeot companion app or in the case of our Smart Rolec Charger, using the EV Energy App, who partner Rolec. And, stay away from public chargers, which may be fast but are also expensive, up to 60p a kWh, when home charging can be as low as 7.5p a kWh.
Citroen, Vauxhall & Toyota offer their own versions of the e-Partner. Later in 2022 Renault’s new Kangoo E-Tech, Mercedes-Benz eCitan & Nissans electric Townstar will arrive & of course there’s our reigning Small Electric Van of the Year, the Maxus eDeliver 3.
We were testing the e-Partner Panel Van Asphalt Premium Standard 50kWh Auto 800, costing £34,419 after the plug-in grant of £2,500. The good news from the off, is that the electric Partner looks just like the diesel model, with just a slight nod to it’s electric roots, namely a blue ‘e’ on the rear door in front of the Partner name.
The interior has a car-like feel to it, with the dashboard dominated by the 10″ Colour touchscreen & i-Cockpit touches, lifted from the Peugeot car range. The Partner also comes with Peugeot’s small steering wheel again lifted from the passenger car range. It’s also finished in nicely textured plastics, with the grey seat fabric looking & feeling hard wearing.
I had a good look around my test van before I took it out & it featured the Multi-flex passenger seat (including load-through bulkhead), allowing a longer load length to fit into the cargo area & into the front rear left passenger footwell. There was also under passenger seat storage, two decent sized door pockets, storage between the front seats, twin drinks holder’s on the dash top & space lower down for odds & ends. The only negative is that the centre-front seat passenger won’t get much in the way of legroom.
The 10″ touchscreen offers DAB radio, MirrorScreen, Bluetooth, a USB socket, 12v socket, SatNav & aux in. It’s the same system featured in for example, Peugeots e-208 passenger car & also features rear parking sensors, a 6-way adjustable drivers seat, Peugeot Connect SatNav, tough rubber floor protection, cruise control with limiter, an alarm, 16″ alloys, a tyre pressure monitor, electrically folding mirrors with temperature sensor & a drivers airbag. A reach & rake adjustable steering wheel, makes it easy to get the right driving position.
On the road
A week behind the wheel gave me plenty of scope to drive the e-Partner on a mixture of motorway, A, B & urban roads.
What’s really appealing about e-Partner, is that it drives like a small electric family car. Steering is light & the auto gear box located just to the left of the driver is easy to operate. Here you can select from Park, Reverse, Neutral or Drive with another setting ‘B’ that adds two levels of regenerative braking to the equation. There also three drive modes; Eco, which slows everything down & turns of the heating, Normal, in which we drove all week & Power, useful if your van is heavily laden.
On the motorway I selected cruise control, adjusted this to 70mph & off I went. It’s quiet in the cab, the seats are comfortable, the full steel bulkhead keeps the heat in the cab & the load space noise at bay & when utilising the Bluetooth hands-free phone & the DAB radio, outside wind & road noise are not an issue. On the motorway, with far less slowing down, it’s more difficult to benefit from selecting the B mode.
The cabin itself is well designed & it’s easy to reach all of the switches & buttons whilst driving, an important consideration for most van users. As is the view from the front which is also excellent. I spent a week in the drivers seat & found it supportive as well as comfortable & the e-Partner’s suspension doesn’t showcase the battery weight like some other electric vehicles.
Once I had charged the e-Partner fully at home on my Rolec charger, https://www.rolecserv.com/home-charging the total battery range showing in Eco mode was was 161 miles. An 85 mile motorway round trip at a constant 70 mph, proved that when the outside temperature hovers around 7 degrees, the range suffers, with my trip using 105 miles of battery range, with an average return, of 2.5 miles per kWh, according to our vans data. The e-Partner also features within it’s touchscreen menu, a battery charge indicator, which is really useful.
Shorter, local trips at lower speeds proved more fruitful, seeing the van hitting 3 miles per kWh & the battery range dropping far slower. If you’re driving any electric van on the motorway, it’s far better to drive under the speed limit at say 62mph than drive right on it as we did on that first drive. Also, selecting the Eco drive mode, automatically turns off the heating, which wasn’t really an option in early March.
Excellent payload & internal load volume that matches the diesel Partner. It’s also relaxing & easy to drive, features top-notch cabin, on trend tech – we love Apple CarPlay – & if driven carefully expect a range of 130 miles.
Expensive to buy outright, so better to lease. Very cold weather will affect your EV’s range, so adjust your motorway speed down accordingly. The Peugeot warranty at three years or 60,000 miles, isn’t as good as the one offered with Toyota’s Proace City Electric.
Stating the blindingly obvious, if you drive the length & breadth of the UK, any electric van is not going to be for you. The range is too small & at motorway speeds, the battery drains far faster. However, if your van use is local, even regional, then a van such as the e-Partner really could be a solution. Furthermore, an electric van is plainly cleaner, you don’t need to pay vehicle excise duty, you can still claim a government plug in grant of £2500 on electric vans & EV’s are currently congestion charge exempt. And, we haven’t even mentioned the fuel savings you’ll achieve in an electric van, which will typically cut your monthly expenditure over diesel by at least 75%. Furthermore, the e-Partner is a comfortable, practical companion & currently one of the better electric vans on the market.
A very capable 4/5