Car review: Citroen e-Dispatch electric van is thoughtfully accommodating

PHOTO: sgCarMart

Local businesses looking to go green with their logistics can now pick from a growing number of options.

Just last year, we saw the launch of the Maxus e Deliver 3 as well as the BYD T3, and this year, the Opel Vivaro-e and this Citroen e-Dispatch are entering the market, ready to compete with the upcoming EC35 from Chinese manufacturer DFSK.

So, can this Citroen e-Dispatch hold its own against the varied competition?

Seriously accommodating

Built upon the same PSA EMP2 platform that the Opel Vivaro-e is based on, this Citroen e-Dispatch certainly has the numbers game covered.

Most important to a delivery firm or courier would be its 5,300-litre boot, which places it ahead of the 4,800-litre rear of the Maxus e-Deliver 3 and the similarly-sized one found in the upcoming DFSK EC35.

Domestic plumbers and electricians as well as last-mile delivery drivers will also be glad to note that while the Citroen e-Dispatch may sport larger exterior dimensions that its competitors, you won't have any trouble finding parking when travelling home to home in this vehicle.

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Its total length and width of 4,959mm and 1,920mm respectively, alongside a total height of 1,902mm, means it will comfortably duck under the height restrictions of most HDB multi-storey carparks, and can just about fit into a regular parking lot.

Two sliding doors here at either side, alongside two rear doors that open up to 180-degrees but can be locked at the 90-degree position also ensure easy access to any cargo you may need, even on difficult worksites.

Thoughtfully practical

Step inside the Citroen e-Dispatch and you'll find a cabin that will also see off the efforts from competitors.

Hard plastics abound, of course, but small details including the modern font and display scheme in the 7.0-inch touchscreen as well as the instrument cluster, and the way the buttons and switches (above the air-conditioning controls at least) click, all help to make the interior of the Citroen e-Dispatch feel more up-to-date than its rivals.

The cabin also readily mirrors the work-ready practicality of the cargo area with storage spaces littered throughout, great for storing all the various receipts, stationary, and any tools a handyman may need on the job.

The door pockets here are also a handy two-section affair, both of which are absolutely cavernous, with the lower one being large enough to fit a handbag.

And up top, at the corners of the dashboard there's also a handy cup holder so your drink is always close at hand. Plus, should you need more cooling off after working on-site, there's a chilly air-conditioning system to look forward to after every job in the Citroen e-Dispatch.

There's also plenty of space for those seated in the e-Dispatch, with the driver's seat offering a good amount of adjustability, although taller passengers will want to avoid the central seat as the section of the dashboard that houses the gear selector does eat into available knee room.

Effortlessly quick

Last but not least, there's healthy power and performance figures to boast of in the Citroen e-Dispatch.

With a 134bhp electric motor that produces 260Nm of torque, acceleration in this van is quiet and effortless - a fact any driver in your fleet will no doubt appreciate.

There's also a commendable ride to speak of, with excellent suspension pliancy over larger bumps and ruts, although the van does pick up a fair amount of surface imperfections, as is the norm for a commercial vehicle.

And with a tested energy consumption of 5.3km/kWh (completely unladen), you should easily be able to hit that 330km range Citroen states the e-Dispatch will reach, even with a whole load of cargo in tow. Charging via an 11kW charger will take you just nearly seven hours to fully charge the Citroen e-Dispatch.

If you're looking for an electric commercial vehicle that can stand out from the competition, this Citroen e-Dispatch could be just the thing.

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This article was first published in sgCarMart.

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