The Peugeot e-Expert is one of those on the Government’s list of large vans that are eligible for the reduced grant, along with its siblings the Citroën e-Dispatch and Vauxhall Vivaro-e. That means that the Plug-in Van Grant (PiVG) will pay for up to 35% of the purchase price, up to a maximum of £6,000. E-Expert prices start from £26,965 after PiVG for the standard-length S variant with 50kWh battery pack. Peugeot claims a range of between 122 and 148 miles for this model.
Our test van, an e-Expert 75kWh Auto Asphalt offers a range of between 177 and 211 miles according to Peugeot. The extra range comes at a cost though, as it rises to £36,380 after PiVG. It’s not all about range though as Asphalt trim is a couple of trim levels up from S and includes items such as Connected 3D navigation with colour touchscreen,
Anyone familiar with the Expert, launched in 2016, will know that the van is a far stronger competitor to the VW Transporter and Ford Transit Custom than its predecessor. If anything, the e-Expert, voted International Van of the Year 2021, with its siblings, is better still. It offers a fully electric variant that the Ford cannot, with an electric range and price that the VW cannot match.
It drives like a diesel-powered Expert, in other words very well, but without the rumble of a diesel engine. If you want a quiet life in a van, buy an electric model. Load volume is unchanged at 5.3m3, although payload takes a hit with maximum indicative payload of 1,000kg, compared with 1,458kg for the 120 S&S 6-speed manual 1400 model. The e-Expert behaves like an automatic and Peugeot has fitted an automatic style gear selector, which sits alongside a mode selector switch (Eco, Normal and Sport), where the gear selector would normally be at the base of the dashboard. Obviously maximum range is available in Eco mode.
Performance is brisk, accompanied by the whine of the electrical systems, but the lack of noise can take pedestrians by surprise and driving with extreme caution in car parks is advisable as the e-Expert does not appear to have a low speed alarm. E-Expert was designed to have an electric powertrain from the outset, which may explain why it offers such a good range compared with its electric rivals such as the Mercedes eVito, and VW eTransporter.
If you are considering an electric van, the e-Expert is a good place to start looking. Like most of its rivals, it is an expensive option, but if you operate in the London ULEZ or one of the other emissions zones that is introducing charging for older diesel models, it would help to shorten the payback period.