Citroen E-Berlingo has a practical body, poor range
Electric vehicles are starting to take hold, with early adopters of the technology faced with cars in a wider range of body styles and price points than ever before. Along with practical hatchbacks and sedans, families in need of a green-minded load-lugger can move their kids, luggage and more with the Citroen E-Berlingo Multispace.
Some companies have been reticent to embrace the electric revolution, but Citroen isn't one of them. The new Berlingo joins three other electric cars in the lineup, with that range likely to grow significantly over the next few years. With that said, more competition is on the way, with Ford and Volkswagen both working on their own battery-powered vans.
Anyone searching for Tesla (or Chevrolet)-rivalling range are likely to be disappointed in the E-Berlingo, which can only cover 106 miles (171 km) on a single charge from its 22.5-kWh battery pack. That range was calculated on the New European Drive Cycle, too, a standard known for being more lenient than EPA testing.
Range isn't impressive then, but the battery can be charged up quickly. Citroen says a half-charge takes just 15 minutes, and 80 percent of range can be topped up in just 30 minutes at a dedicated fast-charge point. Things take a little longer at home, where a full charge can take upwards of 10 hours on a standard domestic socket.
Range isn't the only area where the E-Berlingo lags behind some other attention-grabbing electric cars – it's also likely to be very, very slow thanks to the 67-hp (49-kW) electric motor on the front wheels. Not only is it low on power, but a peak 200 Nm (148 lb.ft) of torque is less than you'll find in the Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe.
Where Citroen has tried to set its battery-powered van apart is inside, where the five-seat layout can be folded and shuffled around to fit all the antique furniture, outdoor gear and child-wrangling equipment you can throw at it. It'll hold 675 liters (23.9 cu.ft) of gear with all the seats in place, but that expands to 3,000 liters (106 cu.ft) with the rear seats folded.
Citroen hasn't released pricing detail for the Berlingo, but expect it to mirror the €27,000 (about US$29,188) Renault Kangoo Z.E when it launches.