Toyota launched their Proace Electric van in 2021. It’s based on the Stellantis brands medium electric van, the Vauxhall Vivaro-e, Peugeot e-Expert & Citroen e-Dispatch. To all intents & purposes, it’s the same as these. So you get a choice of two battery sizes, a driving range that will get you close to 200 miles between charges, an identical interior, the same carrying capability & identical load space.
Is there anything different ?
Yes, there are some slight differences. The Proace Electric is only offered in one size, ‘Medium,’ & one spec, ‘Icon.’ And, Toyota offers up to a 10 year warranty, whereas the Stellantis vans come with just 3 years.
Specs & prices
There are actually four Icon models that Toyota offers, all Medium sized.
Icon 50kWh, Icon 50kWh with an 11kW on board charger, Icon 75kWh battery, or Icon 75kWh with an 11kW on board charger. All qualify for the OLEV £6,000 grant and prices range from £34,630 – £39,463 on the road.
All qualify for the OLEV £6,000 grant & prices range from £34,630 – £39,463 on the road.
The Proace Electric uses the same 134hp electric motor that you’ll find not only in the Stellantis electric vans, but in their electric cars as well. The Proace Electric Icon is offered with a choice of two batteries, either 50kWh or 75kW. Under the WLTP rating, the smaller battery offers a range of 143 miles, whilst the 75kW version will take you onto 204 miles.
The 75kW battery is heavier, therefore the smaller battery versions offer the largest payload, in this case 1,226kg, whilst the 75kW battery powered models offer a 1,001 kg payload. The Proace Electric will also tow up 1,000kg.
Using a standard 7.2kW home charger, we recommend Rolec; http://www.rolecserv.com/home-charging ,the 75kW battery on our test van the Icon 75kW, takes 7 hours 30 mins to charge from empty. Choose the faster charging 11kW OBC 75kW Icon & plug into a more powerful 11kW wall box & the time is reduced to 4 hours 45 mins. It’s worth noting, that if you utilise the ToyotaApp, you can enable remote cabin pre-conditioning & pre-programme your Proace Electric to charge up at night when some energy suppliers offer a reduced tariff.
The Proace Electric is also compatible with very powerful public chargers right up to 100kW, which will give the smaller battery an 80% charge in 30 minutes, or the larger battery an 80% charge in 45 minutes.
We were testing the e-Expert 75 kW Auto Icon Medium Panel Van. From the outside, it looks just like the diesel Proace with just a couple of nods to it’s electric roots, namely the word electric on the front sides & rear door & of course, the charging port located on the left hand side front wing.
Inside, you’re greeted by a car-like set up which is finished in decent quality plastics. The dashboard is dominated by the Pro Touch 7″ Colour touchscreen, whilst the general layout of buttons, switches & steering wheel controls, are all logically located & are easy to reach. You’ll need to enter the touchscreen for most functions, but the set-up is very intuitive.
There’s a total of 49-litres of storage space around the cabin, including large door bins, two glove boxes on the passenger side & an A4 sized covered compartment on top of the dash, plus dash-top drinks holders.
Our test van featured a bulkhead with a hatch, allowing an additional 1160mm of load length to fit into the cargo area & into the front rear left passenger footwell. There was also a double-seat folding front bench with under seat storage. This is where you can store the two charging cables, which come in tidy black zip up bags.
The Proace Electric features a USB up front, as well as a12v socket. We connected our iPhone via cable to set up Apple CarPlay & utilised this to make & receive hands-free phone calls, listen to podcasts on the iPhone & access Google Maps.
All models use an auto gear change with 3 driving settings. Power, Normal & Eco, with each offering slightly different amounts of power. Power is best when you are carrying heavy load, Normal works well for every day use & Eco reduces the power output & the vans heating/cooling capability, to give you an increased battery range, perfect for a fat motorway run.
Forward or reverse movement is undertaken via push-buttons for Drive, Reverse, Park & Brake regeneration. Couple the Eco drive mode with the vans built in B regenerative braking & you can add range to your Proace Electric especially in slow moving traffic, or on roads with plenty of traffic lights & roundabouts, where the van slows down & the brake regeneration will kick in.
Theres 260Nm’s of torque on tap, so the Proace feels rapid. Top speed is limited to 80mph with a 0-62 mph time of 13.3 seconds in Power mode. The ride doesn’t feel too harsh & the battery which is located underneath the loadspace, doesn’t make the van feel cumbersome. Driving in Eco mode at up to speeds of 50mph, a return of one mile of distance travelled to one mile of battery range is infinitely possible.
However, if you drive your electric Proace at over 60 mph, with a passenger & load, then the battery range drops. In order to conserve the battery range, it’s best to stick to speeds of 60mph & make sure your utilising the B regeneration mode.
Servicing & Warranty
24 months warranty is included with every Proace Service, up to 100,000 miles or 10 years, whichever comes first, giving you a chance to relax in the knowledge that you and your vehicle are in safe hands.
With no diesel full bills, you’ll find that filling your electric Proace will cost you a quarter to a fifth as much as a diesel Proace to travel the same distance, especially if you utilise cheaper charging tariffs at night. The 205 mile range is top of the class. Electric vans also have fewer moving parts, so less maintenance & cheaper servicing is a given. Furthermore, the electric Proace offers the same load space as a diesel Proace & all Icon versions come well equipped. And of course your reducing your CO2 emissions to zero !
Cost. Our test van will set you back £39,338, so you’ll need run your electric van for a while before the extra cost levels itself out.
Range. The claimed 205 mile range, is misleading. We’d say it’s more like 180 miles & that’s if driven in Eco mode whilst utilising B regen & keeping to speeds of no more than 60mph.
Cabin. Although the cabin seats three & despite an electric hand brake, whoever draws the short straw & sits in the centre seat will find legroom tight.
As far as electric vans go in Summer 2021, the Proace Electric is currently as good as it gets. We’d suggest that operators look long & hard at their own commercial fleet, to see if all of their vans are being driven long distances all of the time. If not, then the excellent range offered by the Proace Electric, coupled to it’s tax saving zero emissions & cheaper running costs, should make the decision to change some of your vans to an electric van, that much easier.
Final Score 4/5
Payload & dimensions
Access is via twin 180 degree opening rear doors, or through right & left sliding panel doors.
Overall length 4,959 mm
Overall width 1,920 mm
Overall height 1,890 mm
Wheelbase 3,275 mm
Kerb weight 2,025-2,201 kg
Load area volume 5.8m cubed with Smart Cargo
Payload 1,000 kg
Towing 1,000 kg braked