Citroen Berlingo Electrique to be unveiled

Electric vans appear to be in vogue at the moment.

Yesterday we wrote about the e-NV200, Nissan’s latest foray into electric van technology which is due to be launched at some point in 2014.

And now we’ve just gotten word that Citroen’s to unleash its new Berlingo Electrique van at the Commercial Vehicle show in April.

Due to be held between 9-11 April at the NEC, Citroen is promising that the Berlingo Electrique will build upon the manufacturer’s ‘unrivalled experience of electric LCVs’.

The 100 per cent electric model will make its debut alongside other Citroen LCVs including the new Dispatch L1H1 HDi 125 6-seat Crew Van, and Stop & Start equipped Relay vans.

So, why should people – business owners and fleet managers especially – be so excited about the Citroen Berlingo Electrique?

The van incorporates the best of Citroen’s latest electric vehicle technology, with the motor located under the bonnet. The battery, though, can be found underneath the van’s local deck to free up more space.

Placing the van’s technology in these key positions allows the Berlingo Electrique a load compartment of 3.7m3 and a payload of 636kg – equivalent to that of the small diesel version.

Most impressive of all for those considering the Berlingo Electrique for fleet purposes is the van’s range of up to 106 miles, thanks to the battery’s 22.5kWh capacity. The battery needs eight-and-a-half hours to fully charge, but can be charged to 80 per cent in 35 minutes.

Full specifications and pricing options will be revealed closer to the van’s debut in April, but Citroen has also let slip a few key details about what makes the van such an interesting proposition.

For instance, the Berlingo Electrique gives drivers constant information about the van’s current eco status via an energy consumption/regeneration indicator and instantaneous energy consumption gauges.

Those gauges will provide owners with key information about how secondary power usage is affecting the van’s battery, whether it’s through air-conditioning, heating and more.

Also included is a deceleration and braking energy recovery system, and an electric heating system with an eco-mode to limit energy consumption. Hill start assist is also coupled to the ESP system for further benefit when carrying heavy loads.

The Berlingo Electrique should prove to be a great option for business owners to consider in the future when they need a cost-effective van to help them carry heavy loads.

The benefits of owning a commercial electric van are numerous, and can keep Benefit-In-Kind rates reasonable, lower road tax charges, promote the brand’s green philosophy and much more besides.

The Citroen Berlingo panel van first appeared in 1996, with the second-generation appearing on the market in 2008. The Berlingo Electrique will be the first Berlingo to be entirely battery powered, but isn’t the manufacturer’s first foray into the electric market.

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The Citroen C-Zero is currently available to buy, priced from £26,216, while Citroen has also previously unveiled its Hypnos concept which offers a Zero Emission Vehicle mode.

But the Berlingo Electrique is expected to be the vehicle to put Citroen’s electric philosophy to the test, and angling it toward fleet owners appears to be a clever move.

Fleet owners will also get a glimpse at the Dispatch HDi 125 6-speed manual L1H1 1200 Crew Van at the Commercial Vehicle show.

The Dispatch range will be expanded thanks to the launch of the versatile six-seater, which is able to offer a payload of 1,084kg. Citroen highlights that people and equipment can be transported with comfort and ease with the new Dispatch.

Twin sliding rear doors provide easy access, while the van has been tested to EU Whole Vehicle Approval safety standards and ISO 27956 for load shift protection.

Citroen is also expanding the Relay range by introducing two new Stop & Start equipped vans with the Relay 30 L1H1 HDi 130 Stop & Start 6-speed manual, and the Relay 35 L3H2 HDi 130 Stop & Start 6-speed manual.

Scott Michael, Citroën’s Head of Commercial Vehicles & Business Centre Programme, comments; “With the launch of the new Berlingo Electrique, Citroën is able to offer businesses the widest range of innovative environmental transport solutions.

“When the Berlingo Electrique goes on UK sale in the second half of the year, Citroën will be able to offer businesses a unique choice of no less than five LCV driveline and fuel choices, including petrol, dual fuel (petrol/LPG), HDi diesel, e-HDi micro-hybrid and full electric.”

People interested in finding out more about Citroen’s Berlingo range can contact Perrys Citroen dealerships today.