Overview of the Peugeot Partner
Looking for a small van that’s more affordable to run, exempt from the congestion charge and VED, and which goes a bit easier on the environment than a conventional van? The new Peugeot Partner electric van isn’t one for the future – it’s one for the here and now. It’s comfortable, economical and can be specified with three seats in the cabin. It’s ideal for tradesmen who are a bit fed up with high running costs.
It is, however, a bit of a contradiction. It’s the oldest small van available – yet it’s also one of the most forward thinking. That just means you get to mix experience with innovation.
Peugeot have been producing vans and producing them well for a while, but the Partner hasn’t always been the most accomplished. However, a recent refresh includes a new front-end as well as the addition of more standard kit and that all-important electric motor.
Here’s a rundown of what it’s all about:
On The Road
Remarkably for a pretty hefty van, the Partner EV drives quite well. In fact, its handling can even be described as supple, responsive and smooth. This is largely because its chassis is almost identical to the one in the Peugeot 308 Hatchback, ensuring the van feels at home in the town.
Performance is zippy, its 11m turning circle is nice and nimble, while its 2.1m of width means that it doesn’t struggle with tight turns. If you need a van to navigate those tricky limited access areas, such as building sites, it’s the perfect companion.
Its electric motor delivers up to 215Nm of torque and 97PS. Peugeot claim that its range is 106m miles, but in the real world you’d be looking more at around 90 miles at the most. In the town, the charge holds its own well, and it’s only on the motorway where it falls away pretty quickly.
You’ll find the batteries under the load floor. This helps the Peugeot Partner’s low centre of gravity, which means you can take bends with enthusiasm and confidence. Because body lean is minimal you don’t have to worry about loads in the back tumbling over each time you take a corner.
On an empty load, the ride feels supple, and this makes for a nice change from vans that usually suffer from a harsh ride when not on a full load.
Peugeot Partner Electric Van Interior, Design & Build
Not only is the Peugeot Partner based on a van, it was launched almost ten years ago. This means that its layout looks decidedly old-fashioned – but functional. There is ample evidence of scratchy surfaces here and there, and the overall ambience is gloomy and not easy on the eye. Each model gets an LCD screen and radio that have a nineties flavour.
Importantly and perhaps more relevant, the cabin is built to last.
One thing the interior does super well is comfort. There is a lot of leg and headroom, the seats are supportive and firm, and the steering wheel adjusts for both rake and reach, allowing you to find a position that suits you best.
Three seats come as part of the standard package, and all three offer a good amount of room. There is no transmission that gets in the way; instead, Peugeot have added a small dash-mounted dial.
The cabin is on the whole user-friendly, and everything is easy to locate and operate. The instrument binnacle displays how much charge you have left, while replenishing your battery is a simple case of plugging in your lead and waiting until it’s done charging.
The Peugeot Partner EV comes in two load lengths – L1 and L2. The L2 is a new addition, and both offer as much load space as the conventional diesel Partner, thanks to Peugeot hiding the lithium-ion battery pack beneath the load floor. As a result, the vans load length is 2050mm as standard, or as much as 3250mm if you specify the optional Multi-Flex passenger seat. These fold forward easily to reveal more load space.
Load width, meanwhile, is 1380mm between the wheel arches if you choose the L2 variant and 1230mm if you opt for the L1 model.
The Peugeot Partner EV is redundant as a tow model. Where payload capacity is concerned, on the other hand, it can’t carry as much as conventional rivals that are powered by diesel engines. This is because of the addition of the weighty battery packs, which reduces payload limit to 552kg if you go for the L1 model and 636kg if you opt for the L2 model.
For the sake of comparison, the diesel-powered Peugeot Partner van can be hooked up to a braked trailer, where it can tow as much as 1.2 tonnes. It can also carry as much as 860kg.
Equipment & Safety Of The Peugeot Partner Electric Van
There is just the one trim level available, the SE. It’s decently equipped and gets the likes of twin-sliding doors as standard, as well as a pair of 12v sockets as well as hard plastic floor protection and 6 tie-down hooks which will help you secure your loads.
It’s a strong, sturdy vehicle that will offer a lot of protection in the event of a crash. Unfortunately, there are some notable items missing from its safety kit, such as adaptive cruise control and automatic city braking. However, each model comes with regenerative braking, a handy piece of kit that recharges the battery using kinetic energy that’s been turned into usable power.
Costs Of The Peugeot Partner Electric Van
Prices for the new van start out from £29,995. If you prefer to lease, you can pick up a deal from £264 + VAT per month. For more information on our leasing deals, check out our page here.
Running costs are impressive, with prices beginning at two pence per mile if you recharge your battery overnight at home. Its green credentials are also impressive, but you could see range drop to around 80 miles in the real world. Push it towards its limits, and you might start to get anxious.
There are plenty of perks to be enjoyed, including reduced taxation and free parking in most areas. There is also a government grant available that contributes to the cost of installing chargers and buying the van in the first place, while an eight-year warranty covers the batteries.
Pros And Cons Of The Peugeot Partner Electric Van
It’s Easy To Drive
The thing with vans is that they can be really awkward to drive. Not so the Peugeot Partner, an electric van that shares its chassis with the smaller Peugeot 308 Hatchback.
Lots Of Load Space
You get up to 636kg of load space if you go for the bigger variant.
Fast Battery Charge Time
Charge time is an important consideration for anyone who’s thinking of going electric. For the Peugeot Partner EV’s battery, you can charge as much as 80% in just half an hour if you’re using a D/C rapid charge – which is standard.
While charging an EV involves more hassle than pumping your van with a load of diesel or petrol, 30 minutes is not to be sniffed at.
Three Seats Are Standard
You won’t find a three-cab layout in most of its rivals.
Not As Much Range As Some Rivals
Peugeot claim a range of 106 miles, but we reckon it’ll be more like 90 miles in real world conditions. Not bad at all, but not as good as some rivals.
You get to save on fuel, but the initial outlay is a bit steep.
Should I Buy A Peugeot Partner Electric Van?
If you already like the diesel-powered Partner, there’s no reason you won’t love this one. It’s got all the green credentials you could want – if a bit less space. However, that sacrifice will seem small compared to the savings you can make in terms of running costs. Moreover, since electric vans will be everywhere in a few years’ time, what better time to get used to them than right now?
With excellent drivability, good practicality and a solid range, the Peugeot Partner electric van is well worth a test drive.