A road test or review of the Citroën ë-Berlingo would be a useful way to learn about how the car drives, the official figures and much more. Living with one is a whole other question: are my groceries going to roll around wildly on the way back from doing ‘A Big Shop’, and where did that can of beans go? Can I wipe the upholstery clean of the pressed in chocolate and crisp crumbs that will – against all laws of physics – gather underneath the kids’ car seats? How easy is it to get grumpy children in and out of said car seats?
Living with the Citroën ë-Berlingo: a day-to-day experience
I set out to answer all of these routine life questions and many more when I lived with the boxy-yet-cute, all electric Citroën ë-Berlingo; something that we were able to do courtesy of Big Issue’s partnership with Citroën, which is working on an ongoing basis to roll out electric vans onto Big Issue’s fleet of delivery and frontline outreach vehicles. But using a van for commercial van purposes is one thing. What of a van for family motoring?
From commercial use to family motoring
That’s right, I called it a van, and I do so with no shame. In fact, I do so with real delight as I absolutely love a van. They have high, comfy driving positions, masses of glass area for great visibility, and vast boots that will better any SUV or estate for roominess and practicality. After all, a cuboid shape will always be the most efficient use of space – just ask a mathematician.
CITROËN Ë-BERLINGO ELECTRIC M 50KWH
Price from: £32,315 / £399pm
Powertrain: 136bhp electric motor, front-wheel drive, auto
Battery: 50kWh lithium-ion
Range: Up to 177 miles WLTP (174 on the version tested)
3 THINGS THAT WE LOVED
1 Sliding doors: a game-changer for access
2 Vast boot: Bikes, industrial equipment… You name it, it fitted
3 Compact size: Bigger inside than most huge SUVs, yet small and wieldy on the road
Perfect family transport
It’s also worth pointing out that the ë-Berlingo uses the same platform and running gear as Citroën’s passenger vehicles so, despite its van-ish roots, it drives like a car. Quiet, comfy and relaxing. Perfect family transport. Let’s not forget the ë-Berlingo’s sliding doors, too.
Versatility, practicality and camping adventures
The next big challenge was a trip to work with my husband, who is an industrial painter and routinely goes around laden down with ladders, spray guns, and many chunky, mysterious boxes that I assume hold very important tools…
Charging and range: living with the electric Citroën ë-Berlingo
As for the range in between charges? We routinely got 3.0m/kWh (which is mpg for electric cars) from the Citroën – good for 120 to 140-ish miles to a charge in wintry conditions, or less in cold weather if you’re on the motorway. Spring eventually sprang towards the end of my time with the ë-Berlingo, which saw more clement weather and a real-world range of 160 miles or more.