PSA Groupe hosts VAN Live ‘e’

Aug 14, 2020

Xavier Peugeot, Vice President of Groupe PSA’s Business Unit for Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) recently provided some exclusive insights into the PSA’s ongoing developments of electrified delivery services in urban and suburban areas and the company’s strategy to meet and also anticipate the next societal changes and LCV market trends.

In an on-line Van Live ‘e’ interview session with members of the International Van of the Year Award Jury, hosted by Sandy Herbert, Mr. Peugeot provided more details about the first of PSA’s fully electric vans and people carriers, namely the Peugeot e-Expert, Citroën ë-Dispatch (or Jumpy as badged in the EU) and Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro-e, which as he described – “All make emission free business and deliveries an accessible reality.”

He began his presentation by stating that the Groupe’s ambitious plan to electrify its light commercial vehicle range by the end of 2021 is still on target. “These vans on display (as mentioned above) are the proof of the vision you’ve had a few months ago,” commented Sandy on greeting Xavier at the  Groupe’s Dome Design Centre in Paris. “Indeed Sandy, about six months ago Groupe PSA announced that it would electrify 100% of its LCV range by 2021, so we are confirming this ambition, making it concrete. Actually, we have two newcomers, an electric medium van and 9-seat electric people carrier versions.”

“Why is electric mobility so important to the LCV business?” she asked. “We have to keep in mind that the low emission vehicle market will be ten times bigger by 2025. It will concern all the regions of the world, and it will be true both for light commercials and passenger vehicles. So as far as Groupe PSA is concerned, we have a golden rule. We want to be 100% compliant, fully compliant with CO2 regulations. To do so we will make sure that we can implement all the technical solutions, which will enable us to reach that target.”

“The second thing is that we would like Groupe PSA to be, and more than ever in this current context, a mobility provider, providing freedom to mobility. And this is why we will be able to provide our customers with electric vans and passenger carriers in order to let them enter big cities, which as you know, will modify their rules and regulations regarding travel in urban cities. So for LCV, it’s going to be exactly the same and I would say even more important. The keywords are definitely low emissions, CO2 and mobility.”

On the Groupe’s strategy regarding its electric LCV range; “It’s very clear – no compromise, no trade-off. One, we don’t want to electrify just one single van in the range, we would like the entire Groupe PSA LCV range to be fully electrified by 2021 and this will be the case for both vans and passenger vehicles. Two, we would like this electric product offensive to start now. And this is why for the Peugeot, Citroën, Opel and Vauxhall brands, orders will have started by the end of July and delivery for the second half of 2020. The third point is that we would like the performance of our electric vans to be the same as performance already known on our thermic (petrol/diesel) versions.”

But how is this to become real – to have the same benefit and performance as the combustion engined versions? “We are mainly talking to professional customers. They have a wide range of needs, a high standard of expectation, and they just want the same performances. This is why we will continue to provide them with a matrix of possibilities. They will be able to choose the length of the van and at the same time, the version (required) – should it be a crew cab, panel van, a platform cab, this matrix will still exist in order to match their expectation.”

As mentioned earlier, there are no compromises – “One of the main assets  of this medium van is its height which is 1.9m in order to let our professional customers enter city car parks. They will have the same benefits in the electric version. But if you consider purely LCV products, the payload will still be at the high standard – up to 1,275 kg. The same goes for the towing load – up to 1,000 kg. Its modularity has not changed regarding usage and load capacity – up to 6.6 cubic metres.”

“In terms of customer usage, three lengths are still available and obviously our unique compact van offers 4.6 metres in length and up to 5 cubic metres of capacity, which are exactly the same on the electric version. They will be able to choose the version that is the most in line with their professional needs.”

“Same message for the passenger versions from each brand – no compromise. We have three different versions. For Combi and Shuttle up to 9 seats, with a boot capacity of 1,500 litres; two CombiSpace versions offer up to 8-seats with seats that are easy to slide and remove, and finally premium variants such as VIP shuttles offering 6 or 7 seats, or even with face-to-face seat configurations.”

What about their driving capabilities? “Again it’s the same recipe – no trade off on performances here either. We still offer a powerful and fun to drive electric vehicle 136 hp, 260 Nm of torque and a top speed of 130 km/h. We offer customers double autonomy with two range (distance) options – either up to 230 km or 330 km. Why? Just simply because 83% of our customers drive on average less than 200 km a day. And we also know that 44% of them never drive more than 300 km a day. So we should also include quick charging – 80% in 30 minutes. So that’s definitely an electric vehicle. Zero emissions, zero noise, zero vibration.”

Easy to charge? “Yes, the main word is easy. At home, at work, overnight, one can charge 50% of the capacity in just a simple reinforced socket. Or 100% if the customer has installed a dedicated wall box at home or at work. On a public charger, 80% charge can be done in 30 minutes with the superfast chargers.”

Relating to additional services, Xavier mentioned “PSA’s trip planner Free 2 Move Services to a mobility pass, which will allow our customers to rent a vehicle at any time according to their needs. There will be new simulators, and adapted service contracts and there will be capacity battery certificate to make sure that this is a total message of serenity for them.”