Citroën E-Berlingo Multispace: Electric Minivan Arrives

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For those who enjoy a larger leisure activity vehicle, the Citroën Berlingo has been around serving such needs for over 20 years. What’s been missing? Those vehicles have run on polluting fossil fuels and noisy engines. Now, there’s a solution — the electric Citroën E-Berlingo.

“The new E-Berlingo Multispace keeps all of the original car’s practicality and modular design, and adds the efficiency and driving pleasure of an electric vehicle,” Citroën exclaims. “With a range of up to 106 miles, the new model meets the needs of private customers and businesses alike, with easy charging and all the benefits of electric mobility.”

The press release continue: “The Citroën Berlingo passenger car is now available with an electric drivetrain, in the form of the E-Berlingo Multispace.” The drivetrain technology introduced in an electric Berlingo light commercial vehicle in 2013 was put to use in a fair amount of European fleets. The automaker transferred that over to the E-Berlingo Multispace for broader impact and pleasure.

The E-Berlingo Multispace seems to be another wonderful zero-emission driving experience. Drivers will invariably enjoy the ease of use and smooth ride of the EV. The new E-Berlingo Multispace’s electric motor and battery can reportedly take the minivan 170 kilometers (106 miles) with easy charging access.

Citroën is a brand Americans aren’t typically familiar with, of course, but it has been offering fully electric vehicles for years, including the C-Zero, Berlingo Electric LCV, and (most freshly) E-Mehari.

“Powered by a compact and high-performance permanent magnet synchronous motor, the new vehicle accelerates swiftly and smoothly,” Citroën writes. “The refined and comfortable ride of this versatile car is designed to meet the demands of active families, whilst adding all the advantages of an electric drivetrain.” Going on with more details:

“The new vehicle’s lithium-ion battery packs are positioned in the subframe either side of the rear axle, which means the cabin layout and boot volume are retained. The E-Berlingo Multispace is fully adaptable and boasts a modular design that can accommodate up to five people, or larger loads when the seats in row 2 are folded away. The boot volume is amongst the best in class at 675 litres with five people on-board, increasing to 3,000 litres with the row 2 seats folded away. The row 2 seats can also be removed completely to create a fully flat load area.

“Access to the vehicle couldn’t be simpler with two sliding side doors, plus a large rear tailgate. The tailgate has an window that opens independently, making loading the boot easier in confined spaces.”

Citroën has an interesting take on the range side of things. Whereas much of the market wants a lot more than 106 miles of range, the company notes that this figure was “perfectly adapted to consumer use” due to the fact that “the large majority of Europeans drive under 100 km (60 miles) each day.” This brings up an old and ongoing debate regarding range — should consumers get used to the idea that they don’t need a vehicle to have hundreds of miles or range if they charge daily at home and/or work, or should electric vehicles have range to last a driver days and days?

Citroën provides more details: “The E-Berlingo Multispace can be re-charged to 50% of its total range in 15 minutes or to 80% of capacity in 30 minutes from a dedicated rapid charge point. This uses the vehicle’s D/C rapid charging port (CHAdeMO). The standard charge time is 8 hours using the 16 A, Type 2 cable or as little as 10 hours from a domestic 3-pin socket. The motor also provides regenerative braking when the vehicle is slowing down, helping to re-charge the batteries and reduce brake wear.”

The charging speeds are the norm for first-gen EVs, but we expect a transition to high-power, superfast charging as the industry matures, in the US and Europe.

Here are more technical details from Citroën regarding the new electric minivan:

  • An empty battery can be charged completely via a regular domestic socket (8A to 10A depending on the country) or a secure Green Up socket (14A) in 8.5, 12 or 15 hours depending on the amperage.
  • The new E-Berlingo Multispace is powered by a compact and high-performance permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor developing 49 kW (67 bhp). The two high-energy density Lithium-Ion battery packs with a capacity of 22.5 kWh are located in the subframe, lowering the car’s centre of gravity and bringing more dynamic stability to this type of body style. With torque of 200 Nm available from the word go, the E-Berlingo Multispace accelerates swiftly and uninterruptedly up to top speed. This performance is enhanced by the use of a full-time single-speed reduction gear, freeing drivers up from gear changing and providing the same ease of use as an automatic gearbox. The car accelerates with no noise or vibrations, for extra travelling comfort.
  • The new Citroën E-Berlingo Multispace has lower energy costs than a fossil-fuel option and is more economical than an internal-combustion vehicle. The battery comes with an 8-year/100,000-km warranty and the electric drivetrain with a 5-year/50,000-km warranty, whichever comes first. Servicing is every two years or 40,000 km after the first year. The car requires no oil, belt or coolant. The absence of a gearbox and clutch limits the number of components to be monitored, and thanks to the dual energy recovery system on decelerating and braking, the brakes are used less often, which limits wear.
  • The E-Berlingo Multispace provides an innovative eco-driving experience. The highly visible energy consumption and regeneration indicator helps drivers at all times to adopt an economical driving style and optimise range. Drivers are also informed by an auxiliary consumption gage (for the heating and air conditioning), while an onboard computer displays remaining range and average consumption in kWh/100 km. The clear and reliable low-energy alerts make for an utterly serene experience for drivers.

The new E-Berlingo Multispace also comes with remote-controlled functions for use via a smartphone. These functions include a facility that allows the driver to pre-heat or pre-cool the interior. The driver can also remotely check the car’s battery charge level.

The new E-Berlingo Multispace is going to be assembled at Citroën’s Vigo production site. It will go on sale in the UK during the third quarter of 2017.

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Cynthia Shahan

Cynthia Shahan, started writing after previously doing research and publishing work on natural birth practices. Words can be used improperly depending on the culture you are in. (Several unrelated publications) She has a degree in Education, Anthropology, Creative Writing, and was tutored in Art as a young child thanks to her father the Doctor. Pronouns: She/Her

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