Vauxhall Vivaro-e: 143-mile-per-charge electric people carrier

New electric people carrier offers 143 miles of range per charge, can be topped up in 30 minutes and has seats for up to nine people

Christofer Lloyd
Jul 31, 2020

Need to transport as many people as possible but still want a fully electric vehicle? The Vauxhall Vivaro-e could be the answer, with seating for up to nine people and electric power, with sufficiently large batteries to cover up to 143 miles per charge.

With more than enough seats to take on any people carrier and zero-emission electric credentials, Vauxhall believes that the Vivaro-e should appeal to both environmentally conscious private buyers with large families as well as business users who may want to use the Vivaro-e as an urban taxi to benefit from tax breaks in many cities compared with petrol or diesel alternatives.

Prices are yet to be announced but Vauxhall states that the new model slots in at the top of the Vivaro range, so we'd expect prices to start at around £40,000. That's a lot of money, but is susbtantially less than the Mercedes EQV electric van, which only offers up to eight seats and is likely to cost around £60,000.

The Vivaro-e is available to order imminently with the first models expected to be delivered before the end of 2020. It will be available in two different lengths and offers the same load capacity as equivalent diesel models with the batteries loacated below the load floor.

Vauxhall Vivaro-e: range and charging times

The Vivaro-e offers a claimed range of up to 143 miles per charge. This figure comes from the latest - and more realistic - 'WLTP' test format and so should be easier to achieve on real roads than range figures for older models calculated from the older 'NEDC' efficiency tests.

Power comes from a 136hp motor which produces 260Nm of torque. These aren't huge figures for a vehicle of this size, however as electric motors provide maximum power as soon as you press the accelerator, it should feel more than sprightly enough in real driving.

Helping to maximise real-world range, the Vivaro-e features regenerative braking to recoup energy otherwise wasted when slowing down. Charging options consist of pluggin into an ordinary domestic socket to using a dedicated home wallbox to cut charging times or using commercial fast chargers. The Vivaro-e is compatible with 100kW DC chargers. Use one of these and it should take just 30 minutes to recharge to 80% capacity (battery charging slows beyond this point, as with all batteries).

The battery itself is covered by an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty and as standard includes a 7.4kW on-board charger. A three-phase 11kW on-board charger is available as an option. The price is yet to be confirmed.

Vauxhall Vivaro-e: specifications

The Vivaro-e is available in five, six, seven, eight and nine-seater forms and in two lengths, giving potential buyers plenty of choice. These blend a combination of van-like practicality with upmarket people carrier comfort.

The rear two rows of seats are mounted on aluminium rails in all versions, allowing them to be slid backwards and forwards, while a folding passenger seat enables items of up to 3.5m to be transported in the cabin.

Opt for luxurious Elite trim and the front seats are heated and offer a massage function with four 48cm-wide leather rear seats that can be swivelled so that rear passengers can face each other. Other equipment available includes a 7.0-inch touchscreen media system, electric sliding doors and panoramic glass roof, plus front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera that displays an image on the rear-view mirror, and a head-up display.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay phone connectivity are standard with some models gaining sat-nav and an optional 10-speaker sound system being available. Exact specifications and prices will be confirmed nearer the launch date.

Vauxhall Vivaro-e: sizes and practicality

The Vivaro-e is available in medium and large sizes. Opt for the larger model and luggage capacity extends to around 4,500 litres - allowing for a good combination of luggage and passenger space. Both versions should be available with up to nine seats, providing plenty of configurations for potential buyers, depending whether they are more concerned about space for people and/or cargo.

Another bonus for those who want to use a Vivaro-e as a family car, airport or hotel shuttle is that the height of most versions comes to less than 1.9m. This should enable most models to access typical underground car parks without having to worry about scraping the roof.

Meanwhile, there's good news for those who need to tow. Many electric cars are unable to tow to protect the drivetrain and maximise range. However, the Vivaro-e is able to tow trailers of up to 1,000kg thanks to a trailer hitch. This is a low towing limit compared with other commercial vehicles - including the many pick-ups able to tow 3.5 tonnes - though it's a decent amount for a fully electric vehicle.

Despite being a large and heavy vehicle - meaning it needs a substantial amount of batteries to ensure good electric range - all the Vivaro-e's 18 battery models fit below the load compartment floor. Vauxhall claims that the Vivaro-e's load capacity is therefore no different to that of diesel versions.


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