Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life: emissions-free MPV launched

  • All-electric MPV makes its debut
  • Up to 143 mile range from 50kWh battery pack
  • Deliveries towards the end of the year

The final entry in the French PSA Group’s trio of all-electric MPVs has arrived. Following on from the recently announced Peugeot e-Traveller and Citroen e-Spacetourer is this – the Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life.

Based on the Vivaro-e electric van (and, by extension, the combustion-powered Vivaro and Vivaro Life as well) the Vivaro-e Life mirrors its sister vans mechanically, with a 136hp electric motor, 50kWh of battery capacity and a theoretical range of 143 miles on a full charge.

More info:

> Peugeot E-Traveller
> Citroen E-Spacetourer

What’s the difference between this and the Peugeot or Citroen variants?

Very little, though when pricing and full specifications are revealed the hierarchy of these three vans will become clearer. You can expect the e-Traveller to occupy the top spot, with more premium materials and specification as well as a slightly higher price tag.

2020 Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life - rear three quarter

The Citroen e-Spacetourer will likely be the cheapest of the three, leaving the Vivaro-e Life to occupy the middle rungs.

In terms of physical differences, they’re limited to the styling of the front end – unlike other Vauxhall products based on PSA platforms, the brand hasn’t altered the interior in any way.

How spacious is it?

You’ll be able to choose from a Medium or Long Vivaro-e Life, with the latter adding a whopping 35cm to the length of the van. That extra length will be keenly in the back, where passengers will enjoy luxurious levels of legroom.

Base models with fabric upholstery can seat up to nine with a double front passenger seat and twin benches in the rear. Step up to leather upholstery and you lose the double front passenger seat but can specify anywhere from three to six seats in the rear.

Top-end models will be fitted out in ‘Lounge’ trim, with four individual captain’s chairs in the back. These can swivel to face each other for the full executive experience, while in this configuration the two front seats also enjoy heating and massaging functions.

2020 Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life - interior

Of course, this is still a van, so load capacity is very impressive. Vauxhall claims up to 4,500-litres of space in the rear for luggage depending on configuration, and the folding front passenger seat allows loads of up to 3.5 metres in length to be carried. The Vivaro-e Life can even be fitted with a tow hitch, and has a towing capacity of 1,000kg.

What’s the range on a full charge?

Both sizes of Vivaro-e Life get the same 50kWh battery pack underneath the floor. This positioning means it doesn’t impact boot space or passenger room.

Vauxhall claims a maximum range of 143 miles from a full battery, which is the same as its Peugeot and Citroen siblings. That’s certainly enough to prove useful for taxis, airport shuttles or executive travel – but it may prove a sticking point for anyone considering this as a family car.

2020 Vauxhall Vivaro-e Life - interior

It’s also less than its two main competitors – the Nissan E-NV200 Combi (174 miles) and the not-yet-on sale Mercedes EQV (248 miles).

Charging to 80% takes just 30 minutes from a high-capacity, 100kW charger, while a full charge takes 5 hours from an 11kW home wallbox or 7.5 hours from a 7.4kW one, as most private owners will have installed at their homes.

Charging from a three-pin socket is theoretically possible, but at 31 hours for a full charge it’s something to be avoided wherever possible.

What this means for you

Yes, the Vivaro-e Life is almost identical to the Citroen e-Spacetourer and Peugeot e-Traveller. But more choice is very rarely a bad thing, and this broadens the brand’s offering – opening this electric MPV up to people who prefer a Vauxhall dealer or have one close to them, as well as fleets which already operate a lot of Vauxhall products.

The Vivaro-e Life will be silent, cheap to run, generously equipped (all models come with a raft of safety kit as well as a high-end infotainment system) and we reckon it’ll soon become a regular feature in taxi and airport shuttle fleets.

We’ll have more information, including pricing, when Vauxhall releases it.

Further reading:

> Vauxhall Vivaro van review

> Electric van guide

> The best seven-seater cars