By Simon Acton, IEVOA Chair, May 2021
Opel, like many manufacturers, are now on a mission to electrify their model range. I headed down to Opel Liffey Valley to test drive the two latest arrivals, the handsome Mokka-e compact crossover and the Vivaro-e van.
All electric vans are already a reasonably common sight on Irish roads thanks in particular to An Post and DPD who have already deployed a variety of different models in their operations. For delivery businesses, with predictable journey patterns of short and medium distances, electric vans are already a no-brainer. Use them during the day, charge them cheaply overnight and save big on running and servicing costs. Drivers love the smooth driving experience and your business benefits from clearly visible sustainability credentials. For businesses, choosing an electric vehicle is often a lot easier than the more complex process we go through as individuals.
Jumping into the Vivaro-e after the Mokka-e you might expect an entirely different experience, but actually, the heart of the vehicle, the drive train, is shared with the Mokka-e and Corsa-e, with the same 100kW motor (136bhp) and either a 50kWh battery for a WLTP range of up to 230km or a 75kWh battery for up to 345km.
The 50kWh and 75kWh batteries can charge from 0 to 80% in only 30 and 45 minutes respectively on a CCS 100kW public charger. On-board 7.4kW or enhanced 11kW chargers are available for overnight charging on the Type 2 socket.
Three size options are available with a maximum load volume of up to 6.6m3, maximum load length of up to 4m and a payload of up to 1,400 kg. Easy access to the load area includes large wide opening doors to the rear and sliding doors on both sides.
The cab is light, comfortable and modern with a more simplistic driver’s console and central infotainment unit than the Mokka-e, but still very well featured for a van. The 7-inch touchscreen unit offers navigation and access to all your smartphone content via either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
On the road the Vivaro-e feels nippy and shore footed, the underlying performance experienced in the Mokka-e is still there, when the van is empty at least, and the regenerative braking offers near one pedal driving once you become accustomed to it. Driving an electric van feels a million miles away from a diesel van, drivers will undoubtedly enjoy the smooth, quiet and performant capabilities of the Vivaro-e, especially on long driving days.
Already awarded the INTERNATIONAL VAN OF THE YEAR 2021 accolade, the Vivaro-e is available from €36,250, inclusive of SEAI Grant. Other body styles will also be available with both flatbed and combi-van options.
With many thanks to Opel Liffey Valley for the opportunity to test and review these fantastic new additions to their model range.
Full details of the Vivaro-e are available here: