Allied Vehicles Peugeot eBipper Van Review
Battery-powered van but will your wallet take a battering?
IT can be like landing an airplane in our gaff sometimes. Even after lights out, which is usually nice and early because I’m up at the crack of dawn (thats not the missus name by the way…), our bedroom is lit up by green, yellow and red flashing lights.
Honestly, I think the Mrs is trying to beckon in a passing 747 with all those lights. Turns out, it’s all those chargers flashing away. Phone, iPod, tablet (no, not a couple of aspirin) all need their power fix on a regular basis.
It’ll soon be like that with vans too if the recent flood of electric commercial vehicles is anything to go by.
Allied Vehicles have been busy in recent years, churning out electric vans for Peugeot and the eBipper (sounds like something a yuppy might have strapped to his belt) is just the latest in a line of light electric commercial vehicles to roll off the production line.
Electric Commercial Vehicles – Reduced Load Space
As with a lot of these electric van, the battery can eat into the available load space and this eBipper seems to be the worst of the lot, cutting the payload from 610kg to 375kg – that’s about half my crew!
The battery sits under the load bay and if you manage to get your mrs’ mobile phone off the charger, it’ll take you a good eight-and-a-half hours to get it back up to full charge. Allied Vehicles are working on a better charging gadget that should slice a few hours of the charging time.
Regenerative braking – that’s when the van gathers energy as you are slowing down – helps boost the battery range and keep it topped up. An optimistic range of 60 miles may be hard to achieve, with 50-55 miles a bit more realistic. If you are the sort of driver who likes to push a van hard, then you’ll probably be plugging this bad boy in every 45 miles.
Of course, these light electric vans are designed very much as little urban runarounds, so the top speed of 65mph is reasonable enough.
If you’re new to electric vehicles, then driving will take a bit of getting used to. Once you hop into this van, you’ll be greeted with a light telling you how long you have until the battery needs charged.
You’ll also realise that gears are pretty minimal – there are only three options as to what to do with basic shift stick – Drive, Neutral or Reverse. Not quite dodgem cars, but no far off it.
Peugeot eBipper – Fast and Furious?
But, don’t be fooled by it’s pretty basic interior, the eBipper is a real mover when it needs to be. You can accelerate pretty quickly through busy city traffic, ideal if you’re looking for those little gaps to duck in and out of. Maximum torque can be achieved instantly thanks to the electric motor, giving the eBipper a real headstart in the urban jungle.
With most electric vehicles, the lack of engine noise, means you’ll hear just about everything else going on in the car, including outside sounds of the wheels and tyres and your workmate chomping his way through his third Pukka Pie of the day.
Running costs for the eBipper are quite low. Although van insurance for electric vehicles is still relatively new, the fact they are safe, aren’t overtly powerful and have great green credentials means you should have no problem getting some cheap van insurance quotes.
They’re also exempt from the London congestion charge and won’t set you back any road tax.
The electric motor also doesn’t take as much looking after as its diesel equivalent and service intervals are 20,000 miles. The three-year warranty includes the motor and battery.
Ok, so this may sound like it’s building up to a big ‘but’. Well, it is…. The eBipper will set you back an eye-watering £40,000!
You do get the battery pack thrown in and Allied reckon that the pack will only deteriorate by 0.5 to 3% each year until it eventually needs replacing.
The other downside is that, although it’s an electric vehicle, the heater is diesel powered.
So, although the eBipper is a nippy little number, with no shortage of power in the city centre environment, the price will be sure to put a lot of potential buyers off, no matter how green they are.