New longer Citroen Berlingo and Peugeot Partner L2 electric vans on sale now

  • Bigger version of PSA Group electric van
  • Load space up to 4.1 cubic metres
  • Driving range still disappointing at 106 miles

Like many van makers, PSA Peugeot-Citroen has already poked a toe into the uncertain bathwater of electric vehicles – you can already buy a short-bodylength (L1) Citroen Berlingo Electric and Peugeot Partner Electric.

Now a second little piggy is testing the depths, as both brands have just announced long-bodylength (L2) electric versions of their respective small vans: namely the Citroen Berlingo Electric L2 550 SX and the Peugeot Partner SE L2 Electric.

And yes, we know the water/electricity analogy is a shockingly bad one…

Citroen Berlingo Electric L2 550 SX

(Apologies also that we've only got pictures of the Berlingo, but this is because Peugeot hasn't issued any of the largely identical Partner.)

What’s new about the L2 electric vans?

Unsurprisingly, the entire point of this exercise is to offer potential electric van customers extra space.

Citroen Berlingo Electric L2 550 SX load area

Compared to the original L1 vans, the L2 Electric variants extend load area length from 1,800mm to 2,050mm, while volume grows from 3.3 cubic metres to 3.7 cubic metres.

Add the folding passenger seat option, and you get up to 3,250mm loading length and 4.1 cubic metres. Both get twin sliding side-doors as well.

Citroen Berlingo Electric L2 550 SX

This is all in the name of attempting to compete with the Nissan e-NV200.

Europe’s best-selling electric van in 2016, the Nissan comes with 4.2 cubic metres of space as standard with a maximum load length of 2,040mm, and a 703kg payload rating.

The French duo’s payload is a modest 552kg.

What the driving range?

The rival Renault Kangoo ZE and the Nissan e-NV200 are both about to get an upgrade to their batteries and motors that will increase their official driving range from 106 miles to 168 miles.

Citroen Berlingo Electric L2 550 SX

The Peugeot and Citroen, on the other hand, remain stuck at an official 106-mile rating – which is the same on paper for the both the L1 and L2 versions, as they use the same drivetrain: a 49kW (67hp) electric motor and a 22.5kWh litium-ion battery pack.

In reality you can expect the L2 to not quite match the L1, since it’s bigger and heavier.

What’s the charging time?

The Partner and the Berlingo do benefit from a more powerful 16A Type 2 charging cable, improving charging times. Use a rapid charging point, and an 80% top-up takes just 30 minutes. Which is decent.

Use your domestic supply at home, however, and you’ll need to leave them hooked up all night. Or some other period of eight hours.

What’s the price?

Unsurprisingly – since these are essentially identical vans – both the Berlingo Electric and the Partner Electric cost the same £22,180 (excluding VAT).

Citroen Berlingo Electric L2 550 SX cab

You shouldn’t have to pay that, though, since they also qualify for the government’s Plug-in Van Grant (PiVG), which pays for 20% of the VAT-inclusive price.

This means the full on the road price is just £22,022.80.

You’ll also be exempt from the London Congestion Charge and Vehicle Excise Duty – plus you’ll get free parking in some areas as well.

Both vans are on sale now, and will get their public debut at the 2017 CV Show in April.

Read a review of the Renault Kangoo ZE on Parkers Vans

Nissan e-NV200 WORKSPACe concept on Parkers Vans

Study finds electric van range 'almost halves' with full payload