Effective delivery of goods and materials, relies on a van's ability to handle multiple drop sites within a single trip. While we have seen a lot of clever ‘last mile' solutions over the past couple of years that involve e-bikes etc, a lot of companies and tradesmen will want a sizeable vehicle that can do all the work needed in a single drive. Vauxhall‘s new Vivaro-e promises a real-world range of almost 190 miles. WhichEV asks if that range, combined with its payload capabilities, are enough to tempt white van man.
The gallery below contains the first images of Vauxhall's first step into an all-electric future for commercial transportation and delivery. As we reported back in November, the Vivaro-e is available in two lengths, two body variants and a choice of battery sizes to suit your business. Importantly, none of these options will involve you paying a penalty for entering the Ultra Low Emission Zones for London or other cities. If you are a sole trader or running a small business, then it must be worth investigating the various grants (up to £9,500) available to help you switch across to electric vehicles.
We mentioned battery options and Vivaro-e customers can choose between two sizes, depending on their needs. The larger 75kWh unit can give you the full 188-mile WLTP range, but there is a more affordable 50kWh option, with a range of 125 miles, at a lower price. According to Vauxhall, a battery version was in planning from the start of the whole Vivaro development project, so the batteries are packaged under the loading space and do not compromise its usage. Indeed, the load capability of the Vivaro-e is only 10% less than the old diesel version. A sophisticated regenerative braking system, which recovers the energy produced under braking or deceleration, further increases efficiency.
With 100kW (136PS) and 260Nm of torque from the electric propulsion system, Vauxhall claims that the Vivaro‑e offers better performance than many of its competitors. It is limited to 81mph (130 km/h), so your goods can easily cruise at the motorway limit in the UK without unintentionally crashing past the speed limit.
So how long does it take to get up and running from a flat battery? Well, on a 100kW commercial charger, you can get an 80% charge on the smaller 50kWh battery in just 30 minutes, while the 75kWh battery will take 45 minutes to get to 80%. By our calculation, that's around 33 miles per 10 minutes of connection to the DC charger.
In terms of warranty, the battery is guaranteed for eight years or 100,000 miles and everything you need to know about the vehicle is accessible through the ‘myVauxhall' app.
At the time of writing, Vauxhall claims that the Vivaro-e is the only fully electric light commercial vehicle (LCV) that is capable of towing a trailer of up to 1 ton in weight. It is 1.9 metres tall, so is able to enter most basements of shopping centres with low-roof access.
Using the FlexCargo load-through on the front passenger side, the cargo length can be extended by 1.2 metres. With this, L1H1 (4.96m long) and L2H1 (5.30m long) can securely store ladders, conduit or piping of up to 3.67m or 4.02m in length, while the multitude of storage areas in the cockpit (which features an electric parking brake) comfortably accommodate numerous smaller items. Flexcargo also increases maximum cargo capacities to 5.8 and 6.6m3 respectively.
The Vivaro-e’s wide rear and sliding side doors give unrestricted access to the cargo area or passenger compartment. Especially practical are the electric sliding side doors that open automatically – a movement of the foot is all it takes to open the doors from outside the vehicle.
There are a number of driver assistance systems, including:-
- Lane Keep Assist
- Extended Traffic Sign Recognition
- Drowsiness Alert
- Semi-Adaptive Cruise Control
- Forward Collision Alert
- Automatic Emergency Braking
Ultrasonic sensors in the Vivaro-e’s front and rear aprons warn the driver of obstacles when parking and monitor the side blind spot. Depending on the equipment level, the 180-degree rear-view camera image appears on the seven-inch touchscreen.
The Multimedia Radio and Multimedia Navi Pro infotainment systems available in the Vivaro-e come with the large 7.0-inch touchscreen. Both feature phone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Multimedia Navi Pro additionally features European navigation with 3D view.
Vauxhall is planning to offer electric versions of all its commercial vehicles by 2024, with the Combo-e arriving next in 2021.