THE innovative Berlingo Electric made its UK debut at this month’s CV Show.

The new Berlingo Electric, which goes on sale later this year, builds on Citroën’s unrivalled UK market experience with electric LCVs, gained with the first generation Berlingo Electrique van, launched in 1998 and on sale until 2005.

Scott Michael, Citroën's head of commercial vehicles, explains: “The new Berlingo Electric has been launched to meet the transport requirements of a number of significant specialist sectors.

“Our previous electric LCV experience showed that these specific operations include local authority applications such as meals on wheels, parks departments and many other metropolitan council applications.

“In addition, we expect to see Berlingo Electric demand come from urbanbased, private sector businesses, where its ease of driving and silent operation are complemented by availability of public charging points and more favourable parking legislation.”

The new Berlingo Electric incorporates the latest electric vehicle technology. Its advanced permanent magnet synchronous 49kW electric motor and 22.5kWh lithium ion battery pack give the Berlingo Electric (as tested in accordance with the New European Driving Cycle) a range of up to 106 miles. Top speed is 68.75mph.

Using a domestic socket, the vehicle can be fully charged in around 12 hours; alternatively, it can be charged to 80 per cent of capacity in only 35 minutes using a specific 380V threephase terminal in quickcharge mode.

Thanks to the Berlingo being designed to be an electric vehicle from the outset, its load compartment space is not reduced by battery intrusion. The motor is positioned under the bonnet and the lithiumion battery pack is underneath the load deck. This means the load compartment cube of 3.3m3 (extendable to 3.7m3)/load deck length of 1.8m (extendable to 3.0m) and payload of 636kg are equivalent to that of a similar diesel-powered Berlingo van.

The Berlingo Electric has a total lithium ion battery capacity of 22.5kWh – made up of 80 x 3.75V cells, each with a capacity of 75ah. Its permanent magnet synchronous electric motor, which produces 49kW (66hp), with a peak torque of 200Nm, developed between 0-1,500rpm, drives the front wheels through a speed reducer and a singleratio gearbox. In energy recovery phases (deceleration and braking) the electric motor acts as a generator.

Based on the Berlingo LX model the Berlingo Electric is well equipped, with a specification that includes: 􀁥ABS, EBD and EBA.

􀁥Hill Start Assist coupled to the ESP system.

􀁥Air conditioning and an electric heating system with an eco-mode to limit energy consumption.

􀁥Driver’s airbag.

􀁥RDS stereo radio/MP3 compatible CD player.

􀁥 Remote central locking with deadlocks.

􀁥Electric front windows.

􀁥Electrically adjustable/ heated door mirrors.

􀁥Three-seat Extenso modular cabin.

􀁥Nearside sliding side load door.

The Berlingo Electric’s instrumentation also includes a number of specific features, including Eco-driving information; an energy consumption/regeneration indicator; an instantaneous energy consumption gauge and an auxiliaries consumption gauge, which displays data on heating, air conditioning and other secondary power usage.

When the battery charge falls to 20% of its total useable capacity, a warning light comes on and the power sent to the heating and air conditioning systems is gradually reduced.

Then, when the battery charge level further falls to 10% of the total useable capacity, a "tortoise" light comes on - the power supply is limited and the air conditioning and heating systems are turned off to extend the vehicle’s range.

Pricing will start at £21,300 plus VAT.