The Magazine for LCV Fleet Operators
Long term test: Citroën e-Dispatch The power of three

The Citroën e-Dispatch comes with three driving modes. In Normal, which is the default mode whenever you start up, the motor delivers 80kW of power and 210Nm of torque, which is more than enough for comfortable everyday driving. If you are running fully laden, or towing in a hilly region, you can flick across to Power mode, for the full 100kW, 260Nm driving experience. There is also an Eco mode, which not only lowers the motor output to 60kW and 190Nm, but also cuts cab cooling and heating capacity.

If you go from Normal to Eco mode in town, the van can feel a little flat, with reduced acceleration. However, 60kW is still a healthy output. On a recent cross-country trip, where speeds rarely reached more than 50mph as I followed trucks and caravans on single-carriageway roads, Eco came into its own.

In that sort of driving, where you never use full throttle, the Eco setting was more than up to the task. Add in the regenerative brake function, which slows the van on the approach to bends and junctions, and not only was it more than powerful enough, but it was very relaxing. It also had a marked effect on the available range.

Indeed, so effective is Eco, that I have found myself increasingly flicking across to it whenever I start a journey, to maximise the available mileage. However, you still can’t defy physics and take the van much above 50mph and you will see that remaining range number start to tumble.

On a recent trip to the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, a 67-mile each way run, I was hopeful that a starting total of 185 miles might be enough to see me get there and back. Despite running in Eco and rarely topping 60mph, the van arrived with around 90 miles left, which on that evidence would not be enough to get me home.

Fortunately, while looking for a plug to slowly top up the battery while I was there, one of the site’s safety team pointed me to a rarely used charging area, where there were five 50kW CCS chargers available. By the time I came to leave I had over 180 miles available again, cancelling any anxiety about using the public charging network.