New ë-Dispatch and e-Expert vans provide further boost to commercial electric fleet market
The fast expanding market for electric vans has received a further boost, with two leading manufacturers debuting new all-electric models this week.
Citroën yesterday unveiled its new 100 per cent electric compact van, the ë-Dispatch, marking the latest step in its 'electrification for all' strategy which aims to deliver six new electrified models this year.
"This new 100 per cent electric version of Dispatch offers fleet and business users practical solutions to the challenges of mobility in urban environments - and in rural areas too thanks to the impressive operating range, which is sufficient for most journeys," the company said in a statement.
The van offers a 143 mile range with a 50kWh battery, rising to 205 miles for the 75kWh battery model. It is scheduled to arrive in UK showrooms during the second half of 2020 and will soon be joined in Citroën's expanding electric portfolio by a 100 per cent electric version of the company's Relay van at the end of the year and an electric Berlingo Van in 2021.
The launches are the next steps in Citroën's plans to ensure all its light commercial vehicle (LCV) range include electrified models alongside internal combustion engines.
The news was followed today by Peugeot's unveiling of its new e-Expert van, which boasts a 100 per cent electric motor, three body lengths, and payloads of up to 1,275kg.
The auto giant stressed that electric models were particularly well suited to the commercial van market. "Nearly 80 per cent of commercial vehicle drivers travel, on average, less than 124miles (200 km) per day, making the all-new Peugeot e-Expert the ideal choice," the company said in a statement. "In addition, town centres are become increasingly restricted, with some only allowing 100 per cent electric vehicle access."
The van is also the first Peugeot electric vehicle (EV) to offer two battery capacity options of 50kWh and 75kWh, which will deliver up to 143 miles and 205 miles of range, respectively.
In related news, Kia Motors this week provided an update on its electrification plans, revealing that battery EVs accounted for six per cent of the company's total European sales in the first quarter of the year.
The company said it was on track to offer 11 EVs by 2025 globally, across a range of vehicle segments.
"Many of Kia's new EVs will be offered in Europe, which is currently the focal point for EV sales growth worldwide," said Emilio Herrera, chief operating officer for Kia Motors Europe. "We are encouraged by the early sales success of our current generation of EVs, the new e-Niro and Soul EV, which have been well-received by buyers across the continent. In every one of the last five years, we have reported growing sales of Kia EVs, and our next-generation models will accelerate this trend further."
Meanwhile, new research from Nottingham Trent University today calculated that switching the UK auto fleet to electric models would cut UK emissions by almost 12 per cent, falling by 42 million tons of CO2 (MtCO2).
The analysis suggested UK emissions would fall 14 per cent from a switch to EVs, but annual emissions from the power sector would rise by just over two per cent as a result of increased electricity demand.
"These are encouraging findings and show just how much impact the switch to electric cars could have," said George Milev, from the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment. "In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are regularly seeing reports on how the environment has benefitted from the decreased use of combustion engines. If and when the UK moves exclusively to electric car usage, we will similarly see real benefits in the dramatic reduction in levels of CO2."
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