Citroen E-SpaceTourer: The ultimate ring (road) taxi?

  • Large, electric MPV with 143 miles of range
  • Seats up to nine people in relative silence
  • Arrives in dealerships at the end of 2020

Citroen e-SpaceTourer front 2020

No, we’re not referring to the Nurburgring this time, but this Citroen e-SpaceTourer might be the one of the most silent ways of shuttling groups of people around inner-city ring roads.

Large people carriers seem to be a rare sight these days and that applies especially to those that share their origins with a van. They haven’t been forgotten though, and with the increased choice of electrified vehicles on the road, this Citroen e-SpaceTourer is the latest case in point.

With the familiar-looking Peugeot e-Traveller based on the Expert commercial van, this Citroen applies the same principle, being a passenger-friendly version of the Citroen Despatch.

The firm claims this electric version retains the same amount of interior space as before and says up to nine people can climb on board, including driver. At 4,950mm long, there’s a cavernous 2,381-litres of boot space available in five-seater mode.

Citroen e-SpaceTourer side 2020

With multiple configurations available to suit, the e-SpaceTourer has been designed to suit businesses requiring shuttles and taxis, along with clubs, associations and larger families.

The claimed 143-mile range seems increasingly modest as battery tech improves and heads beyond the 200-mile figure, but Citroen reckons this is sufficient for most journeys, as well as allowing access for low-emissions areas with reduced costs. As a business owner, how much time can you afford to charge up your battery though?

At least it’ll be quiet?

Sure enough, the absence of vibration and drone from a diesel engine will be hugely appealing for some, plus you won’t even have an automatic gearbox whirring away in the background. The immediate access to torque from the electric motor is also beneficial in stop-start traffic, but in a cabin with this much space on offer, we have reservations on the level of road noise.

Speaking of cabin space – the ability to pre-condition the cabin remotely while the vehicle is charging will be useful especially with this much space to heat or cool down.

The e-SpaceTourer is otherwise identical to the SpaceTourer in the cabin, bar its own e-Toggle gear lever and the driver’s instrument panel also showing information relating to battery consumption and charge status. The 7.0-inch touchscreen also has an Energy sub-menu with energy flow and consumption information, as well as charge settings.

Citroen e-SpaceTourer front badge 2020

Outside, you can visually spot the e-SpaceTourer by the charging port on the front passenger side wing, a couple of small ‘e’ badges on the front and back, and a blanked-off front grille.

What’s it like to drive?

We’ll find out later in the year, but we do know there are three specific driving modes called Eco, Normal and Power.

Maximum power is 136hp and 260Nm of torque, linked to a 50kW lithium-ion battery – figures that were first seen on the DS 3 Crossback e-Tense.

Just like that small SUV, how much of that power depends on the drive mode you have selected. In Normal mode, you have 108hp and 210Nm of torque available. Switch to Eco and this is dialled down to 80hp and 190Nm of torque, while Power gives you the full 136hp and 260Nm.

When it comes to slowing this people carrier down, there are two levels of regenerative braking. Standard allows you to coast, and Enhanced immediately slows the vehicle down as soon as the accelerator pedal is lifted off.

Citroen e-SpaceTourer driving 2020

Those who are spending their time behind the wheel will have plenty of options to choose from in terms of driver-assistance tech, including a head-up display, autonomous emergency braking, hill-start assist, blindspot monitoring system, driver alert monitoring and a rear-view camera.

The 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system can also encorporate Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, sat-nav and voice control.

Charging options

Home charging with a domestic socket is available with a mode 2 cable, but using the 7.4kW wallbox can charge the e-SpaceTourer’s battery from 0-100% in seven hours and 30 minutes. Fast charging at 100kW is also an option, taking 30 minutes to charge the battery up to 80%.

As with sister brand Peugeot, Citroen has partnered up with Pod Point to install a Wallbox at their home.

Specs

Two models will be available: Feel and Business.

Feel has been designed for private buyers and is offered as a five, seven or eight-seater, and the layout can be changed thanks to sliding seats and folding backrests.

Citroen e-SpaceTourer rear boot 2020

Business is appropriately named and be offered from five, up to nine seats for maximum passenger-carrying capacity.

Each passenger should find access to storage or a power point within close reach wherever they sit. Those sat in the second and third row will find seat-mounted fold-down trays, sun blinds and 220v sockets

What this means for you

If you need to ferry a large group of people locally with diesel not being a viable option, the e-SpaceTourer could make a lot of sense. The range might be the biggest limiting factor if you spend a lot of time on the road, especially on longer journeys, but if you have regular access to a charging station, this could work for you.

Question is, would you have this or the identical Peugeot e-Traveller? Check back with us as more details unfold prior to the full Parkers review.

Read more:

>>Electric Peugeot e-Traveller MPV revealed

>>The best seven-seater cars

>>Best Motability cars