Considering the average French household has less than 2.4 people living in it, you can be forgiven for wondering how it popularised the modern MPV. Citroën's new e-SpaceTourer can be configured to offer anywhere from five to nine seats with a corresponding change in storage space. It is the latest model in the company's move to offering a 100% electrified line-up by 2025 and WhichEV was keen to see the latest shots of this large, flexible MPV.
The technology supplied is leading edge. The central 7in touchscreen gives the driver complete control over their environment, with voice activation for navigation, telephone and music – and there's an ‘SOS' button that will alert nearby emergency services that you need help, complete with your vehicle identification and location. The car also incorporates a head-up display (HUD) for basic driving information and a series of safety features to help keep you and your passengers out of trouble.
If we tell you that the top speed is 80mph (130km/h) and that you have three performance modes available, you'd be forgiven for thinking that it all seems familiar. That's because a chunk of the core tech involved has been shared between the e-SpaceTourer and sister company Peugeot's eTraveller. The three modes are:-
Limiting power to 60kw, with limited air-con/heating, for maximum range
80kW power setting for a balanced ride
Pushes output to 100kW for a sporty feel
Within your chosen mode, you can set your regenerative braking to standard, for a smoother ride, or enhanced for ‘one pedal driving action'.
Domestic charging on a 7kW monophase will fill your 50kWh battery in just over seven hours. Access to a commercial 100kW charger means an 80% charge in 30 minutes. In case it makes a difference, the charging port is located on the front left wing. Maximum range is around 143 miles (230km).
Here in the UK, Citroën says it has a partnership with PodPoint, to supply, install and support a 7.4kW charging point. There is some mention in the literature of the Government grant, but it's not clear if the charger, installation or both are supplied free of charge.
When we met with Vincent Cobée (Citroën CEO) at the end of February, he was adamant that the company would have EV options on 100% of its vehicles within five years. The Citroën ë-Dispatch provides a commercial solution, Ami takes care of the entry level market and now the e-SpaceTourer has been added for large families, small businesses, executive transport and airport taxi drivers.
Price-wise, Citroën might be a little backed into a corner by the Mercedes eVito. If the Germans hit under the £40,000 mark for the transportation version of their new electric vehicle, then its hard to see the e-Dispatch costing much more than £37,000. The e-SpaceTourer product managers will need to factor in extra expenses like seats, but even with those additions – a price around £39,000 is still possible.
Growth in the EV market will really begin when parity is achieved between the diesel and electric versions of similar vehicles – especially when the development cost of the new French vans/MPVs can be shared over four or more models.
One quirk in our report comes from the information we were sent by Citroën – which clearly states that this is a nine-seat vehicle, whereas on the Citroën web site, it states a maximum of eight seats. Find out more directly from Citroën here.