Citroën is one of the leading players in the Light Commercial Vehicles market, and extremely popular with self employed tradespersons and delivery drivers. But as the brand moves towards a completely electric future where will that leave solo business drivers who lack a secure home charging facility? Here’s the latest from Citroen commercial, but no word in there as to how small business owners are expected to make the switch to electric vans when they live in a flat or terraced house.
Maybe that’s the idea? All delivery vans to be owned by fleets and drivers hire the vans on a daily basis via smartphone app?
Citroën is now the sixth best-selling LCV manufacturer in Europe with a market share of 9.2%, following strong performance from the key Citroën LCV models, Berlingo Van, Relay and Dispatch. In the UK, the story has been equally impressive with Citroën enjoying above market growth of 9.8% in the nine months to the end of September 2019, against a UK LCV/HCV market that has grown 4% in the same period.
Powering the energy transition and inspired by a new purpose, the brand is preparing to launch a major electrification offensive across its commercial range. Already present in very targeted markets with Berlingo Electric and the forthcoming launch of Relay Electric (beginning of 2020), the brand plans to extend its electric offering for business customers with a range of 100% electric compact vans by 2021.
This Citroën LCV range will follow the Groupe PSA electrification strategy, whereby all vehicles in its range will feature an electrified derivative in addition to petrol and diesel combustion engines. This strategy has been devised to give consumers the flexibility to choose their desired model and then the powertrain most relevant to them.
Within two years the brand will offer Groupe PSA’s expert knowledge in terms of a 100% electric offering, by providing a 100% electric version of Dispatch (launch in 2020) and a 100% electric version of Berlingo Van (by 2021). These two new models will join the forthcoming Relay Electric due to launch at the beginning of 2020. This electrification will concern not only the light commercial vehicles but also passenger vehicles.
DISPATCH: THE REFERENCE IN COMPACT VANS
Loyal to the brand’s signature “Inspiré Par Pro”, Citroën Dispatch, launched in 2016 and with over 135,000 units sold, recently developed its range in order to ensure the needs of business customers are met. Robust and with a large loading capacity, Citroën Dispatch offers a calibrated range, available with four trim levels including two new additions (Worker and Driver) targeting two specific uses: construction sites (with raised suspension, protection plate, increased payload, Grip Control®) and long journeys (with driver assistance systems, dedicated to comfort and safety), respectively.
Using the Groupe PSA EMP2 multi-energy platform, this electric version of Dispatch will be offered with two battery sizes, offering different levels of range to suit differing customer needs:
- 124 miles on WLTP cycle with a 50kWh battery
- 186 miles on WLTP cycle with a 75kWh battery
Other benefits will include:
- Comfort: refined drive with limited noise or vibration, and perfectly smooth movement
- Driveability in electric mode with torque immediately available and no gear changes
- Peace of mind, with the freedom to drive in ultra-low emission zones, allowing easier access around major cities and the ability to make “last mile” deliveries and keep up with the rise in e-commerce.
- Payload remains similar to Dispatch models powered by a combustion engine
- Reduced whole life costs
Launching in 2020, Dispatch intends to become the new benchmark in compact vans on the electric market.
Laurence Hansen – Citroën Product and Strategy Director commented: “Citroën is a centenarian brand boasting nearly 90 years of expertise in light commercial vehicles. A leader in the energy transition and inspired by the needs of business customers, Citroën today is launching a major product offensive on the electrification of its light commercial vehicle range. The objective is to market an electrified version of each of its vans by 2021, benefitting from Groupe PSA’s finest knowledge and supplementing the efficient internal-combustion-engine range.”