The Citroën Ë-Berlingo Is The EV I Want For A New Vanlife

The Citroën Ë-Berlingo Is The EV I Want For A New Vanlife

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 (A$39,200) in the UK.

Ë-Berlingos come with a 50 kWh li-ion battery. And the range for the Ë-Berlingo is up to about 280 km using WLTP estimates, while the Ë-Berlingo Van has a range of almost 275 km. 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/260 Nm, ë-Berlingo reaches a top speed of 135 km/h regardless of drive mode. The drive modes are activated using the selector combined with a special ë-Toggle control:

– Normal – 80 kW/210 Nm: ensures the best compromise between operating range and dynamic performance,

– Eco – 60 kW/180 Nm: 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: 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 per cent 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