Vauxhall Vivaro-e electric van with 205-mile range - and it can tow a trailer

  • Full details of new Vauxhall Vivaro electric van revealed
  • Up to 205-mile driving range, with 136hp and 260Nm of torque
  • Up to 1,226kg payload; the first electric van that can tow a trailer

Vauxhall has released full technical details of its new Vivaro-e electric van. It's looking very impressive, with a substantial 205-mile driving range, payload over over one-tonne and the ability to tow a trailer - an electric van first in the UK.

As part of a PSA Group electric van family that also includes the Citroen e-Dispatch and Peugeot e-Expert, the Vivaro-e was set to make its public debut at the 2020 CV Show. But with the event cancelled due to coronavirus, Vauxhall has released the news digitally instead.

There will be an electric version of the Toyota Proace based on the same technology as well, plus an electric version of the smaller Vauxhall Combo Cargo named the Cargo-e is set to go on sale in 2021.

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Vauxhall Vivaro-e technical details

While we've known about battery capacity and the predicted driving range for a while - the latter has actually gone up considerably in the latest official stats - we now have details of the Vivaro-e's electric motor and payload.

Vauxhall Vivaro-e electric van - charging while being loaded, grey, 2020

With power output of 100kW - that's equivalent to 136hp - in combination with an instant 260Nm of torque, it's not the most potent Vivaro you can buy, but it's also far from the least powerful. It should certainly be able to cope with the van's payload rating.

Maximum speed is limited to 81mph. It is said to 'easily' reach UK motorway speeds.

What's the payload of the Vauxhall Vivaro-e?

The Vivaro electric's maximum payload is 1,226kg.

That's 130kg less than what the best diesel-powered Vivaro can manage - which really isn't a bad effort at all when you consider the weight of all the batteries it also has to carry. Although, it is also slightly less than the 1,275kg the Citroen and Peugeot equivalents can manage in their most potent electric specifications.

Vauxhall Vivaro-e electric van - rear view, grey, 2020

Still, the Vivaro is one of the most payload-capable medium vans on sale, and one and quarter tonnes of payload in an electrc van remains impressive. And like other Vivaro variants, the electric one is available with a load-through bulkhead, accommodating longer items and increasing load volume from 5.8 cubic metres to 6.6 cubic metres maximum.

For full load space details see our dedicated Vauxhall Vivaro dimensions page.

The max payload will vary, as the Vivaro-e comes with a choice of two battery sizes, two lengths and two body variants: a regular panel van and a double cab van (with a second row of seats) at launch. There's a passenger version on the way, too, called the Vivaro-e Life.

Vauxhall Vivaro-e electric van - front view, grey, being loaded, 2020

The bigger battery pack with the longest driving range will have a lower payload rating - though Vauxhall hasn't been specific about this yet. Maximum gross vehicle weight (GVW) is 3,100kg.

Can the electric Vivaro tow a trailer?

The Vivaro-e is the first electric van to be announced in the UK with the ability to tow a trailer - though its sister vans the Citroen e-Dispatch and Peugeot e-Expert will offer the same capability.

The towing capacity is limited to 1,000kg (1.0-tonne), a fair way short of the diesel models, which manage 1,400-2,500kg. But it should still be good news for many customers, who we know are concerned that electric vans won't be able to tow at all.

What’s the driving range of the Vivaro-e electric van?

This is going to be a tough electric van for rivals to beat when it comes to travelling between charges. There are two battery sizes: 50kWh and 75kWh. The smaller one is made up of 18 modules, the larger one has 27 modules. The latest Vivaro has been designed to be an electric van from the start, so in both cases the batteries are packaged neatly under the floor with no intrusion into the available load space.

The smaller 50kWh battery is set to provide a range of 143 miles (up from 125) while the larger 75kWh battery is said to be good for an outstanding 205 miles (up from 188, which is in turn up from 'more than 185 miles' previously).

The figures are calculated using the stringent new WLTP standard, too, so should be closer to what you can expect in the real world than we've seen with older electric vans. The smaller battery pack is said to be good for the typical daily driving range of 83% of the PSA Group's existing van customers, though 70% of buyers are expected to choose the larger battery pack.

Vauxhall Vivaro-e electric van - cab interior, 2020

Electric van driving range does vary quite dramatically with payload and weather (worse in the cold), but new info reveals that the Vivaro has a battery conditioning heating and cooling circuit for optimum performance.

WLTP testing takes some payload into account, but as a rule of thumb we're told that every extra 100kg you load is likely to take around 3.1 miles (5km) off the driving range.

Even so, on paper the Vivaro offers more than double the 92 miles the Mercedes-Benz eVito claims, and that's the only other medium-sized electric van currently on sale in the UK.

The Volkswagen eTransporter - also due in 2020 - is even worse for predicted range, promising just 82 miles of driving per charge..

How long does it take to charge the Vivaro-e?

If you can find a powerful 100kW public charger, the smaller 50kWh battery pack takes 30 minutes to reach an 80% charge. The larger 75kWh battery takes 45 minutes for the same, which makes mathematical sense.

Vauxhall Vivaro-e electric van - front view, charging, grey, 2020

The standard on-board charger is a 7.4kW model, which is best suited to being plugged in overnight (or whenever the van is set to be standing for hours at a time). You can option a faster 11kW on-board charger to speed this up a bit if you've got access to three-phase power, but it still won't be quick.

You can charge it using a regular three-pin plug (or at least, a 'robust' version of), but you'll only get around a 50% charge overnight using one of those.

Any more news about an electric Vivaro-e VXR?

Nothing more than we’ve already reported – which is to say we believe it’s still under consideration but not confirmed for production yet.

The concept makes sense when you consider the success of Ford Transit Custom Sport models, but it will be interesting to see if Vauxhall seriously pursues the idea of using the VXR performance brand to sex-up electric vehicles, least of all electric vans.

Will the Vivaro-e be built in Britain?

You’re probably aware that all current Vivaros sold in the UK are built at Vauxhall’s factory in Luton. This will not be the case for the electric version, at least 'not at first'.

Instead the Vivaro-e will be built in France, alongside the electric Dispatch, Expert and Proace.

Vauxhall Vivaro-e electric van - front view, charging, yellow, 2020

This may have implications for the cost, especially after Brexit. But it also saves the additional expense of further transporting the batteries, so perhaps it will all even out.

When does the Vivaro-e go on sale and how much does it cost?

The Vivaro-e will be available to order from June-July 2020, with first deliveries expected in the autumn.

No word on pricing yet, but you can expect the Vivaro-e to cost more than an equivalent diesel model, due to the expensive electrification technology.

However, Citroen has already gone on record to say it should expect the whole-life costs of the electric e-Dispatch to be reduced compared with diesel, and we see no reason why this wouldn’t also be the case of the Vivaro-e.

PSA is already suggesting that servicing should cost 30% less, for example, due to the reduced number of moving parts. The battery technology carries an eight-year / 100,000-mile warranty for added peace of mind, and there is promise of a battery certification service to reassure second-hand buyers and keep values up.

The rest of the van is covered by the same three-year warranty as a regular Vivaro.

Why is Vauxhall building an electric Vivaro?

There’s no avoiding it any more – the world is moving away from internal combustion engines as concerns grow about air quality in cities. It won’t be an overnight process, but electric vans are going to become increasingly important, and increasingly commonplace, over the next few years.

Vauxhall’s LCV director, Richard Hughes explains: ‘With emissions-free transport and deliveries becoming increasingly important in urban areas, the demand for purely electric light commercial vehicles is increasing accordingly. From small businesses to large fleets, the all-new Vauxhall Vivaro-e is set to carry British business.'

Also read:

>> The Parkers guide to electric vans

>> Vauxhall Vivaro full review

>> Vauxhall plots electric Vivaro VXR van

>> Peugeot e-Expert full details

>> Citroen e-Dispatch full details

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