The Citroen Berlingo All-Electric Commercial Van

Citroen Berlingo All Electric Commercial Van

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The Zero-Emission Commercial Van Revolution Is Well Underway And It Is Only A Matter Of Time That Polluting ICE Vans Will Be Discarded To History! 

Most, if not all of us, easily recognise the ubiquitous red coloured Royal Mail postal vans.  In fact, some of you may have already spotted the all-electric vans currently being used by the Royal Mail.  To be precise, a fleet of 100 battery electric vans are already in operation, delivering our precious cargo emission-free!  

In its commitment to zero-emission road transportation, the Royal Mail announced adding another 190 all-electric vans to its current fleet.  The vans will initially be introduced in London and the South East, but will eventually be deployed nationwide. 

Royal Mail is not the only organization with a commitment to reducing its overall carbon footprint.  In fact many other U.K. based businesses are already using pure electric vans or have announced their intention to replace polluting internal combustion engine (ICE) vans with zero-emission pure electric vans.  This is a trend gaining momentum and is positioned well to scale.  

According to the Paul Gatti, the Royal Mail Fleet Director, “Our research has shown that electric vans are a good operational fit with our business. We are delighted to be using them in our daily operations. This is good news for our customers and the towns and cities, which we serve. It also means we are on the front foot for future change in emission legislation.  Emissions are an important issue for us at Royal Mail.”  

Citroen Berlingo Electric: A Snapshot  

Citroen Berlingo  All-Electric Commercial Van
Citroen Berlingo All-Electric Commercial Van (credit: Citroen)
  • The Citroen Berlingo Electric is a battery-powered version of the Berlingo range of vans. The Berlingo pure electric van was introduced into the U.K. market in 2013. Though a new ICE Berlingo was launched last year, the all-electric remains the same.  The upgraded Berlingo Electric is not expected to hit the roads until 2021.   
  • The Berlingo Electric is not the first electric van developed by Citroen.  The Citroen Electrique was released in 2010 and 250 electric vans were supplied to the French postal service (La Poste).
  • Though the Berlingo Electric has been around for over 5 years, it has failed to rival the success of its competitors like Renault and Nissan all-electric vans.  The 106 miles (NEDC) driving range falls far short of the Renault Kangoo Z.E. 33 and the Nissan e-NV200 range performance.  In fact, depending on the ‘real world’ driving conditions the range could be as low as 60 miles.  The company has published a WLTP 65 miles all-electric range and up to 80 miles city electric range. 
  • However, an advantage that the Berlingo has over its rivals, is its ability to rapid charge (DC), with up to 80% battery charge within 30 minutes. The pure electric van has two charge ports, to also include an AC ‘standard’ charge port (charges 100% in 8 hours from a type 2 socket).
  • The electric vehicle battery is included in the price of the electric van i.e. no need to lease separately. The 80 cells battery pack is located at the rear of the van without any impact on load volume. Running costs (energy) 2-3 pence per mile. 
  • The commercial electric van has a load volume of 3.3m3 and payload of 636kg. The van comes in two body length configurations: L1 and L2. 
  • Prices start from £15,577 excluding VAT but including the U.K. government plug-in van grant up to a maximum of £8,000. 
Citroen Berlingo  All-Electric Commercial Van
Citroen Berlingo All-Electric Commercial Van (credit: Citroen)

Battery And Range 

  • Battery capacity: 22.5 kWh 
  • Battery type: lithium-ion
  • Range (NEDC): 106 miles (WLTP: up to 80 miles)
  • Maximum speed: 68 mph
  • 0-62 mph: 18.7 secs
  • Torque: 215 Nm
  • Capable of rapid charging (from 20% to 80% in 40 to 60 minutes)

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Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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