The Citroen E-Berlingo Could Electrify the Vanlife

Photo: Citroën

The world needs more BEVs. We need plug-in sedans, trucks, supercars. Yes, even plug-in crossovers and definitely cheaper plug-in bikes, too. But let’s not forget the BEV Vans.

Citroën has this segment in its sights with the new Ë-Berlingo, which follows up on its announcement of the Ë-Berlingo Van. Citroën calls the Ë-Berlingo the “first leisure activity vehicle” but feel free to call it a van. I think the label is meant to distinguish between the consumer and commercial version, because they have a lot in common:

But the newest Ë-Berlingo trades the panels for windows and gets an actual paint finish and wheels. It also gets blue trim highlights — without which it could not demand EV street cred.

Photo: Citroën

Both versions will be available later this year, but there’s no word on pricing. For reference, the internal combustion Berlingo starts at £21,875 GBP or just shy of $31,000 USD in the UK.

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Ë-Berlingos come with a 50 kWh li-ion battery. And the range for the Ë-Berlingo is up to 280 kilometers, or about 174 miles using WLTP estimates, while the Ë-Berlingo Van has a range of 275 kilometers or almost 171 miles. Motor output varies based on selectable driving modes, per Citroën:

The electric engine drives the vehicle according to the drive mode selected and driving conditions. With power of 100 kW (136 hp)/260 Nm (192 lb-ft), ë-Berlingo reaches a top speed of 135 km/h (about 84 MPH) regardless of drive mode. The drive modes are activated using the selector combined with a special ë-Toggle control:

– Normal – 80 kW/210 Nm (107 hp/155 lb-ft): ensures the best compromise between operating range and dynamic performance,

– Eco – 60 kW/180 Nm (80 hp/133 lb-ft): optimises energy consumption by reducing the output of the heating and air-conditioning without shutting them off completely and by limiting engine torque and power,

– Power – 100 kW/260 Nm (134 hp/192): provides enhanced driveability and vehicle performance when carrying a maximum load.

Both will be available in larger versions, to which Citroën adds an XL label. And, honestly, both vans have no right to be so practical. Even the commercial version has many quality-of-life additions that give it serious vanlife potential.

It comes with climate control that you can program on your smartphone, programmable battery charging, fast charging that reaches 80 percent capacity in 30 minutes (on a fast charger), a cab opening to fit longer cargo, and a small tabletop for working remotely.

With one of these BEVs, I could finally retire my one-person tent for tooling around West Texas. Though I would have to drive around Europe if I wanted to do it in the Citroën because this new van is not destined for our shores.

Photo: Citroën .