- Low loading at rear
- Best in class width between rear wheels
- Plenty of tie-down locations to secure cargo
- No reversing camera on standard model
- No option for adaptive cruise or lane keep assist
- Dated interior with technology a generation behind other Peugeot products
Range (WLTP): 139 miles Top Speed: 75 mph 0 to 60: N/A Cost/Mile (@14p/kWh): 6.3p
Here in the UK, the Department of Transport has been looking closely at van usage for almost 15 years and they've made some interesting discoveries, specifically to do with how long vans stay on each kind of road. As opposed to lorries, almost 80% of vans spend hardly any time at all on motorways. Instead, they are used for the ‘last mile' of a journey – typically picking up from a depot on the outskirts of a city and delivering to the final destination. In that situation, having a huge cargo area and large doors become as important as speed or pure pulling power. Peugeot is hoping to win a chunk of that market with its e-Boxer, but will the promise of a zero-emissions delivery offset a price that's nearly 100% more than its diesel equivalent?
Price and Options
With a starting price of just over £56,000 and a range of less than 140 miles, the Peugeot e-Boxer is clearly targeting a really specific kind of customer: one who is having to deal with the possibility of a significant charge-per-day to carry goods around a city centre. It's worth noting that the new e-Boxer is actually a conversion – completed by a specialist partner in Turkey. More about that later.
The first thing you have to realise is that the top-line numbers don't go together. The promise of a WLTP range of 139 miles belongs to the 70kWh battery version, while the starting price of £56,285 is for the smaller 37kWh battery pack. The model we tested was the e-Boxer Panel Van Professional L3 H2 435, which comes with the larger battery and costs £62,035 before the grant and £57,035 after the Government-backed reduction. It can be supplied as a Panel Van Professional or as a Window Van Professional. Here's a quick breakdown on the Peugeot name coding structure, because it will help you to understand what you are buying and whether or not it will fit your physical space:-
|L1||Length 2.67m||L2||Length 3.12m||L3||Length 3.705m||L4||Length 4.070m|
|H1||Height 2.254m||H2||Height 2.522m||H3||Height 2.760m|
The most basic models in Peugeot's van ranges have been designed to hit a price point, so won't include extras like air conditioning or rear parking sensors. We had the ‘Professional' model, which had both – as well as a 5in touch screen and a place to hold your tablet PC when delivering. Although there is a list of minor upgrades that can be added – including blind spot monitoring, rear traffic alert active safety braking and lane departure warning – we were really surprised to find that none of the options included adaptive cruise control.
Quite shocking was the lack of a reversing camera. Any professional will tell you that their biggest concern comes when reversing a large vehicle into a small space. The physical cost of a 4-camera CCTV surveillance system for the home is now less than £200, so it's hard to see why this was left off on a van with an on the road price tag of over £62,000.
Technically, the L3 H2 435 model we tested isn't on the list of 4 models that you will find on page 4 in Peugeot's own brochure, but that key difference is a 505kg increase in gross weight.
|Style/Trim||Version||Payload (kg)||Gross Weight (kg)||Retail After Grant|
|Panel Van Pro||e-Boxer L2 H2 435 Electric 37kWh||1,070||3,500||£62,542|
|e-Boxer L3 H2 440 Electric 75kWh||1,150||4,005||£63,874|
|e-Boxer L4 H2 440 Electric 75kWh||1,150||4,005||£64,922|
|Window Van Pro||e-Boxer L4 H2 440 Electric 75kWh||1,150||4,005||£65,516|
Included in the price are the red, white and blue colour options – moving to a more snazzy colour will cost you £700 extra. There is also an upgrade available on the wheels, but it's hard to see any company wanting to spend more for wheels with a basic delivery vehicle.
From a pure space point of view, the Peugeot is massive. As long as the loads you need to move are not that heavy, this could be an interesting choice and well worth getting your accountant to evaluate the benefits. That said, you need to be wary of the fact that this van could be loaded to 3.5 tons and yet the motor delivers only 120hp. For comparison, consider the fact that the Vauxhall Corsa-e has a gross weight of 1,920kg with a 134hp electric motor. Now imagine tackling hills with a full load. Citroen's e-Dispatch product has a Gross Vehicle Weight that is 500kg less, but that smaller Citroen van comes with a larger battery and more horsepower.
The WLTP range is 139 miles in perfect conditions, but going fast on a wet road in cold weather will take a big chunk out of that number. Still, for deliveries around town, your drivers are likely to be able to make all of their drops and still have plenty of range to get back to the chargers at HQ.
Taken as a standalone product, this conversion will tick a lot of boxes for organisations who are looking at a ULEZ bill of more than £4,600 per vehicle every year. We're expecting a huge step up in features and design by the time that Stellantis launches its second generation products around 2025. For now, add this to your Fleet Manager's short list and get a handle on whether the numbers make sense to your CFO.
This model is the fifth generation of the popular French van and offers a decent payload rating. From the outside, this electric van looks familiar enough as it shares DNA with its fossil-fuelled counterpart – the giveaway is the electric blue ‘e' badge. Access is good and the design promises ‘best in class' load width between the wheel arches and the rear sill is also one of the lowest in the market. The rear doors open wide and it's hard to see how Peugeot could improve on the ease of loading. There are custom variations available and these can be explored/priced-up by the dealer. One of the more common complaints made about its diesel-powered sibling is that it's noisy. Well that's no longer a factor, given the low-noise characteristics of electric motors.
Interior Design – Cargo Hold
The outside of the van has a decent amount of protection with the impact-resistant plastic bumpers, handles and mirrors. Protection for the wheel arches would have been a nice touch, but there is a ‘rub strip' along the side. The doors on the e-Boxer are huge and will definitely make loading easy.
The cabin is spacious but basic, as well as functional with a standard set of controls around the driver and in the doors themselves. The strangest thing is the button and display just under the right hand air vent. It is clearly an after-market fitting and we'll get to that later.
Storage and Load Carrying
As we've mentioned, e-Boxer vans come in 3 body sizes. We have the traditional panel van, but it's also available as a window van. The way that the battery packs have been fitted ensures that you retain a volume capacity between 11.5 and 15 cubic metres. There are multiple tie-points throughout the rear, so securing your load shouldn't present any challenges.
In terms of load, a Peugeot e-Boxer will take up to 1,200 kg (depending on the model). That's decent, but you need to bear in mind that this van only offers 120hp, which is 16hp less than a Peugeot e-208 city car.
The everyday driving controls, stalks etc are fairly standard. However, as soon as you look past the surface, you begin to notice some very strange things. The central screen is tiny. Commercial vans from Stellantis Group have been offering good quality 7in LED screens for ages, but the unit fitted to this e-Boxer is only a 5in model. Being so small, and far outside your natural eyeline, means that you need to take your attention completely off the road to read information. Not ideal.
Leaving the rev counter, petrol gauge and engine temperature read out in the dashboard – combined with the ‘after market buttons' for drive selection – add to the feeling that this is a cabin from a bygone era. The central drinks holder is really shallow and you'd have to think carefully about pulling away from the lights uphill, if you have a large hot drink onboard.
Peugeot's biggest challenge, when it comes to the cabin, is that the company's own commercial products (like the e-Expert) are fantastically well designed with all of the latest tech.
The biggest ‘miss' in the e-Boxer's specification has to be the lack of a reversing camera. Even the cheapest EVs from MG have them these days and the Peugeot e-Expert offers Visiopark with a 180 degree view of the rear when you're trying a tricky manoeuvre.
You're reminded of the missing reversing camera, every time you look at the rear view mirror. Normally, in a panel van like this, looking in the rear view mirror gets you a view of the cabin behind your head, but not so with the e-Boxer. They have installed a partial LED inside the mirror – giving the driver battery charge level, range in miles and a power meter etc.
What a missed opportunity!
This could have been connected to a simple camera system – giving the driver useful information both when parking and when driving on the motorway (Honda-e style).
Media options are basic, but functional.
Performance and Driving
As you might expect from a huge vehicle, you're not going to win any drag races, but you don't want that anyway. For last-mile pick-ups and delivery, the performance is fine, the driving position is good and the seats are comfortable. We prefer the Peugeot ‘rocker' for drive selection in their fresher commercial EVs, but the after-market buttons do the trick. The e-Boxer is recommended for companies that need to move physically large cargo around town, but you would have to think twice about heading up steep hills with 750kg in the rear.
Van drivers are professionals, so probably won't need to spend too much time looking for speed and directions, which is fortunate. In both cases, Citroen/Peugeot's other vans have much better dashboards and some even have heads-up displays to ensure your eyes stay on the road.
In good conditions, the e-Boxer will reach 75mph, so enough to hit the speed limit on a motorway.
Range and Charging
If you choose a model with a 37kWh battery, then the WLTP is up to 73 miles. The model we had uses a 70kWh battery that promises closer to 154 miles. Ranges are normally calculated with a 500kg load, so you will get less with a full van. Naturally, cold weather and wet roads will take their toll. The battery itself has an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty to 70%.
With the larger battery, a full charge from a 7.4kW AC charger will take 12 hours. That comes down to 9 hours with a 22kW commercial AC charger.
For serious users, the Peugeot e-Boxer will pick up 80% from a 50kW DC charger in 1 hour.
As we have said with many other electric vans and cars, it would be great if someone fitted a small LED to the flap you open when charging – so you can actually see the dark holes at night.
Peugeot's basic price for these vans (excluding VAT and on-the-road costs, but including PiVG) ranges from £56,285 for the e-Boxer 435 Electric 37kWh Auto Professional, right up to £67,930 for the e-Boxer 440 Electric 75kWh auto Window Van Professional. Our review model was £57,035 ex VAT.
As we went to press, the exact insurance groups were not showing on Peugeot's PDF brochure, but other vans in this class occupy insurance groups 38 to 44. This is something you would need to confirm when discussing your exact specification with a dealer.
The cost to fill the battery will depend on the deal you have and how the van is being used. Picking up 70kW from a public DC charger will cost you around 45p per kWh, giving a total of £31.50. If you are able to ‘charge at base' with a favourable overnight tariff, then you might average closer to 14p per kWh, giving a total of £9.80 to fill up your battery from zero.
The e-Boxer comes with the basics like ABS brakes and daytime running lights. However, blind spot monitoring, reversing camera, passenger airbag, active safety braking and a lane departure warning are all extras. We'd say that lane keep assist, reversing cameras and adaptive cruise control are really useful for large vans.
|Price:||e-Boxer Panel Van Professional L3 H2 435 with 70kWh battery – as tested – is £57,035 ex VAT and after the Government's PiVG grant|
|Range (WLTP):||73 miles with 35kWh battery (standard load)
154 miles with 70kWh battery (standard load)
|Charge time (7.4kW):||35kWh – 6 hours
70kWh – 12 hours
|Charge time (50kW, 80%):||1 hour|
|Battery:||Standard Range – 35kWh; Extended Range – 70kWh|
|On Board Charger:||7kW and 22kW AC and 50kW DC|
|Cost per mile*:||6.4p|
|Power:||120 bhp (100kW)|
|Wheels driven:||Front Wheel Drive|
|Cargo:||11.5 to 15 cubic metres|
*based on electricity costs of 14p per kWh
Discussion about this post