Citroen e-Dispatch: long-term test review
First report: Waiting for van to top up is no hardship at charging site
The Citroen e-Dispatch makes life easy in a number of ways. It’s better to drive than its diesel equivalent, while the fast-charging tech means you’ll have less downtime than most rivals when you’re plugged in.
- Mileage: 5,733
- Efficiency: 2.6m/kWh
Here at Auto Express, we’ve had a bit of a shake-up when it comes to working practices. Most of us now work from home the majority of the time, so we get to enjoy the flexibility that it brings, yet we’re still able to produce the magazine you have in your hands.
Personally, I’ve enjoyed this new regime, but my life as a desk jockey has changed again with the arrival of the Citroen e-Dispatch electric van. With no home wallbox and chargepoints thin on the ground in my neck of the woods, I’ve been heading 25 minutes up the road to Gridserve’s Electric Forecourt in Braintree, Essex, to keep the van topped up. Here, there’s high-voltage charging, and Gridserve makes life easy. Simply pull up, plug in, touch your contactless card on the reader, and the chargepoint does the rest.
Of course, charging still takes longer than filling up a diesel Dispatch, but Gridserve offers plenty to keep you occupied. There’s a Costa coffee shop, M&S Food, WH Smith and a Post Office counter, so it’s just like a service station in that regard, while the first floor has restrooms and space where you can set up a laptop and connect to the free WiFi.
It’s probably not ideal if you’re a trader who has to get to work, but it’ll be handy for many. It takes roughly an hour and a half to fully charge the e-Dispatch’s 75kWh battery, which is more than enough time for me to be able to do some work, such as writing this report. I’ve also downloaded the MyCitroen app to my phone, so I have live information on charging status without having to go back to the van and look.
A full charge rewards me with around 180 miles of range, which is 10 miles short of Citroen’s claimed maximum. And heading home at a gentle pace will usually see around nine miles shaved from that on a 13-mile journey, which is pretty satisfying. Regular EV users will find another solution, but it’s no hardship for me to take time out to head to Gridserve and back. Plus, it’s far easier to do that than a four-hour round trip (on a good day) to our London office.
Our Citroen is a mash-up of parts from within the Stellantis empire. The third-generation Dispatch van was originally a product of the PSA Group (which merged with Fiat-Chrysler to form Stellantis) and uses the same EMP2 car platform as vehicles such as the Peugeot 3008 SUV. This means that this mid-sized van is more like a car to drive than many rivals, with a lower seating position and surprisingly agile handling.
Adding the electric motor and battery improves the driving experience even further. It’s the same set-up seen in cars such as the Peugeot e-208 and Vauxhall Mokka-e, but the van platform allows space for the larger 75kWh battery. Either way, the lack of gears to shuffle, or a noisy diesel engine, means that the e-Dispatch is pretty relaxing. It’s quick, too, with surprising performance off the line, although exploiting this to the full does shorten the battery’s range.
We’ve also yet to see what effect a heavy payload has on the van’s range, but that’s for another time. For now, we’re just enjoying the unexpected amount of cruising comfort that this Citroen has to offer. Although the e-Dispatch isn’t the most spacious mid-sized van, it’s a great one to drive.
|Model:||Citroen e-Dispatch 75kWh Driver|
On fleet since:
1x e-motor, 75kWh battery
Metallic paint (£460)
None so far
*Insurance quote for a 42-year-old living in Banbury, Oxon, with three points.
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