Will the Citroen Berlingo Electric Van Take the UK by Storm?

Will electric vans take the UK by storm?
Will electric vans take the UK by storm?

While many companies are concentrating on the electric car industry, a number of other companies, such as Citroen, have looked towards the wider business arena. As a consequence, today sees the Citroen Berlingo Electric Van showcased at the NEC in Birmingham, with a view to being launched later this year. While there is no doubt that the electric car market tends to grab the majority of the headlines, there is certainly scope for serious business to be done in the commercial arena.

Specifications of the Citroen Berlingo Electric van

This is not Citroen's first venture into the electric van market and indeed by the sound of things it will not be the company's last venture. This particular vehicle is aimed at both local authorities and urban businesses and while there is some limited capacity in the overall electric vehicle market, this particular electric van has a journey capacity of 106 miles per full charge.

The vehicle has a 49 kW electric motor that is powered by a 22.5 kW lithium ion battery which can create a top speed of 69 mph. When you bear in mind that the top speed on UK motorways is just 70 mph, this should be more than enough to fulfil the needs of a variety of businesses up and down the country. It is also worth noting that while the vehicle will take 12 hours to fully charge, a quick charging system will allow an 80% charge in around 35 min.

Should electric vehicle manufacturers be targeting businesses?

Even though there is no doubt that the private motoring sector is by far and away the most lucrative, we are slowly but surely seeing a number of electric vehicle manufacturers looking towards the commercial arena and electric vans. The fact is that more businesses and more business people are becoming aware of their environmental liabilities and obligations and as such a "green policy" is often demanded by many customers. As a consequence, we are likely to see demand for electric vans and other such vehicles increase quite dramatically in the commercial arena in years to come.

Quote from ElectricForum.com : "While many companies continue to look at the private motoring market, Citroen has made great inroads into the electric van markers with the Citroen Berlingo Electric van due to be released in the UK in the latter part of 2013."

There is also interest in other areas of public transport such as buses, trains and even aeroplanes, although many of these technologies are still some way off. It may well be that, contrary to popular expectations, demand for electric vehicles will grow out with from the public sector as opposed to inwards from the private sector. If this is the case, then many companies will need to re-evaluate their future expansion plans.

Conclusion

The price of the Citroen Berlingo Electric van starts at around £21,300 plus VAT although we will have more details regarding potential government financial initiatives as the launch date gets ever closer. There is still a growing concern that the price of electric vehicles does not always compare favourably to their traditional fuel counterparts but hopefully government incentives and financial initiatives, on both sides of the production and sales process, should bring prices down to a more acceptable level.