Peugeot is expanding its commercial vehicle lineup in Europe with the new e-Partner electric van. The French brand is claimed to be one of the first carmakers to offer a full zero-emission van lineup, as this latest addition joins the larger e-Expert and e-Boxer in the range.
The e-Partner takes the petrol and diesel engines from the Citroën Berlingo-based Partner and throws them out. In their place sits the electric motor from the e-208, producing 100 kW (134 hp) and 260 Nm of torque. Performance figures include a zero-to-100 km/h acceleration time of 11.2 seconds, an electronically-limited top speed of 130 km/h and an 8.9-second sprint time from 80 to 120 km/h.
Also lifted from the e-208 is the 50 kWh lithium-ion battery, which delivers a range of up to 275 km on the WLTP cycle. It shares its heater with the passenger compartment to enable rapid recharging, optimised range and an increased service life.
Three drive modes are available, with differing motor outputs for each. In Normal mode, the e-Partner is restricted to 80 kW (107 hp) and 210 Nm, while Eco mode dials it down further to a tepid 60 kW (80 hp) and 190 Nm; only Power mode nets you the full figures. You can also increase the level of regenerative braking by pressing the B button near the gear selector.
The e-Partner is offered with either a 7.4 or 11 kW onboard charger, taking seven and a half hours and five hours respectively to charge the battery using an AC single-phase or three-phase wallbox. Don’t have one? The van can also be charged via a domestic socket, but you’ll have to wait a while – 15 hours through a reinforced 16-ampere socket and a yawning 31 hours through an eight-ampere socket. On the move, the e-Partner is able to accept up to 100 kW from a DC fast charger, charging the battery to 80% in 30 minutes.
On the outside, the e-Partner is practically unchanged from its conventionally-powered siblings, retaining the signature Peugeot “fanged” headlights and six-point grille. Inside, you get the same i-Cockpit interior design with the instrument cluster placed above the flat-topped steering wheel, plus a freestanding infotainment touchscreen as part of the navigation package.
The centre display has unique menus for displaying the workings of the electric powertrain and energy consumption statistics, as well as scheduling charging and climate control pre-conditioning times. The instrument cluster is analogue as standard, but buyers can also specify a configurable ten-inch digital display. All models come with a toggle-style gear selector and an electronic parking brake to free up space.
Speaking of which, the e-Partner offers the same amount of cargo room and practicality as the standard Partner, thanks to the underfloor positioning of the battery. It continues to be available in short- and long-wheelbase versions with either three and, on the LWB model, five seats. Cargo volume is rated at up to 3.8 m3 for the SWB and 4.4 m3 for the LWB, the same as the petrol and diesel variants. The flat floor has a length of 3.09 metres as standard and up to 3.44 m in the long version.
Also retained is the towing capacity of up to 750 kg, while the payload capacity of up to 800 kg is said to be class-leading for an electric van. An additional 500 litres of storage space can be found at the front, such as under the centre seat of the three-person front bench. A roof-mounted passenger airbag also frees up space for top and bottom glove boxes, which are cooled and hold a total of 113 litres.
Cost of ownership is a genuine concern for business owners, and while the e-Partner will be more expensive to purchase, Peugeot contends that the better resale value, financial incentives (such as government grants), and lower maintenance (around 50% less in 48 months) and energy costs (around 70% less) will more than make up for the steep initial outlay.
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