Stellantis vans could soon be retrofitted to electric

Salvation for entrepreneur?

Citroën Jumpy

Entrepreneurs who currently drive a diesel-powered, medium-sized commercial vehicle from one of the Stellantis brands can reportedly have that bus converted into an electric commercial vehicle from next year. This can be a lifesaver for entrepreneurs who, for example, have to deal with increasingly strict environmental zones.

Stellantis itself announced the conversion plan in 2022. A collaboration with the French Qinomic was then started, which should lead to a package that makes it possible to provide an existing diesel bus with an electric drivetrain. Automotive News Europe now reports that this product should be launched on the market next year. This concerns buses from the popular model series that is internally called ‘K0’. It has existed since 2016 and now consists of the Citroën Jumpy, Peugeot Expert, Opel Vivaro and Fiat Scudo models. This model is also used outside Stellantis, namely by Toyota as the ProAce, but the electrical conversion does not seem to apply to that brand for the time being.

Whether converting an existing bus to electric is worthwhile obviously depends largely on the price. According to Stellantis’ company car boss Xavier Peugeot, cited by Automotive News, the price tag of the conversion will be at least below €20,000. A lot of money, but cheaper than switching to a completely new bus. This often has to be set up, which in turn entails additional costs. The conversion can be a solution for entrepreneurs who are struggling with increasingly strict legislation, whether or not in the form of environmental zones. However, they should not count on a van that performs as well as a brand new EV from this model series: the driving range would be less than the maximum 330 kilometers that you can now get from a fresh ë-Jumpy, e-Expert, Vivaro Electric or e- Scudo fetches.

By the way, you don’t have to be able to see from the outside that such a van has been converted. The brands in question can simply install a front screen with a charging port, exactly as with the cars that are delivered from the factory as EV. The fuel filler flap in the left rear screen is also still present in those vans, even if it can and will never be used. Really: just look at the photos.

Peugeot e-Expert

Peugeot e-Expert. Pay attention to the fuel flap!

Changing the drivetrain of one of these vans is not a completely new practice for Stellantis, because the same thing actually happens with the hydrogen version of these vans. These hydrogen buses start life as a battery-electric vehicle, and then exchange their large battery pack for hydrogen tanks, a smaller battery and a fuel cell. This is possible because the hydrogen version is still a kind of mobile experiment and is built in small quantities.

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