Citroen e-Relay electric van on sale in 2021 with 211-mile range

  • Large electric van with large payload
  • Two battery sizes, plenty of variants
  • Promised driving range is best-in-class

Citroen e-Relay electric van, on sale in the UK in 2021

Finally, 2021 will see the Citroen e-Relay electric van available to UK buyers – and we say finally, because Citroen has been talking about an electric version of its Relay large van since 2019, when it made a surprise world debut at that year's CV Show in Birmingham. The good news is that this delay has seen the spec and capability improve substantially. Keep reading for all the official details.

There are two headline grabbers here. As with the smaller Citroen e-Dispatch, the e-Relay is promising an impressive 211-mile driving range from the larger of its two battery pack options. On the other hand, if you need to prioritise payload, chassis cab versions have up to 1,890kg of load-lugging practicality.

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Citroen e-Relay technical specs

The e-Relay is converted to electric power on Citroen’s behalf by British electric vehicle specialist BEDEO – which means it’s not just a rebadged version of the Fiat E-Ducato (which is built in-house by Fiat on the main Ducato production line). But it is technically basically identical to the Peugeot e-Boxer.

Replacing the usual 2.2-litre BlueHDi turbodiesel engine in regular Citroen Relay models is a 90kW electric motor – equivalent to 122hp. This matches the power output of the least potent diesel Relay, but is substantially down on torque, providing just 260Nm compared with 310Nm.

As an electric van it will provide full torque instantly, however, which means it should still have plenty of performance around town, if perhaps less so out on the motorway.

Available in 3.5-tonne and 4.0-tonne (3,500kg and 4,000kg) gross vehicle weight versions, the former is limited to 68mph while the latter is limited to 56mph.

All versions use a single-speed transmission, making them similar to an automatic vehicle, and come with front-wheel drive.

Battery options, driving range and charging

There are two battery pack options available for the e-Relay: 37kWh or 70kWh.

The smaller 37kWh battery is promising a 124-mile driving range per charge, while the larger 70kWh battery claims that impressive 211-mile driving range. This will vary with driving style, weather conditions and payload, but is currently the joint-best driving range of any large electric van.

‘Super-fast’ DC rapid charging at a suitably powerful public charge point will give either battery an 80% top up in an hour, while the e-Relay also supports AC charging from 3.7kW (typical home Wallbox) to 22kW.

Body sizes and variants

While we’re still waiting to see exactly what will be offered in the UK, the e-Relay is available as a panel van, chassis cab (single and double cab) and a platform cab.

It also comes in four lengths (L1-L4), three wheelbases and three heights (H1-H3) – so offers plenty of choice. The smaller battery is only available on L1 and L2 models, while the larger battery is too big to be fitted on L1 models.

The batteries are mounted under the load floor, so have no impact on load volume, which ranges from 8.0 cubic metres to 17.0 cubic metres in the panel vans.

Citroen e-Relay payload

Maximum payload is quoted as 1,890kg – but that is for the chassis cab before any bodywork is mounted.

As a panel van, the e-Relay’s maximum payload is a still impressive 1,265kg, the sweet spot in the range being the L3H2 model.

This relies on the 4.0-tonne gross vehicle weight, but as this is legal to drive on a regular UK car licence (usually restricted to 3.5 tonnes) thanks to the exception made for alternative fuel vehicles that probably isn’t too much to worry about.

Are there any similar large electric vans?

The e-Relay is essentially identical to the Peugeot e-Boxer, and built on the same platform as the Fiat E-Ducato – both of which are also on sale in 2021. As is the new Maxus eDeliver 9.

There are also established rivals in the form of the Renault Master ZE and Mercedes-Benz eSprinter, though neither of these can match the Citroen for driving range, while other large electric vans on the way include the Volkswagen e-Crafter and Ford E-Transit.

How much does the Citroen e-Relay cost and when does it go on sale?

We haven’t seen any official UK pricing data for the e-Relay yet, but will update this page as soon as it’s available. The exact UK on-sale date is also still to be confirmed.

Also read:

>> Our main Citroen Relay review

>> The Parkers guide to electric vans

>> The best electric vans you can buy now

>> Electric vans coming soon