Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The Citroën e-Dispatch’s 100kW electric motor (134bhp) looks a little weedy on paper compared with the standard Dispatch fitted with the range-topping 174bhp diesel engine. In the real world, though, the electric motor’s ability to provide instant torque (192lb ft to be precise) from a standstill makes it feel very punchy away from the lights.
Of course, with its bluff front end and heavy kerb weight, acceleration does start to tail off north of 60mph, but its overall performance is not dissimilar to its diesel engine counterparts, or other alternatively-fuelled vehicles in the sector.
It’s effective, but a third, even more powerful mode would be welcome, while having the selection controls on the steering wheel rather than a button on the dashboard would make toggling to the optimum setting easier. We prefer the way the Mercedes eVito integrates its settings.
We found that Normal (which gives you access to 80% power and torque) was the ideal city driving mode. If you’re carrying the maximum payload, though, we’d recommend switching to Power mode. Eco mode cuts the available power to 60% of the total and torque down to 70%. That will help stop you zapping through all of your battery reserves, but be aware that acceleration is greatly decreased.
The same is true when towing. The e-Dispatch is among the few electric vehicles (EVs) with a rated towing capacity. Like the Peugeot e-Expert, Toyota Proace Electric and Vauxhall Vivaro-e, the e-Dispatch is able to pull up to one tonne, which is impressive.
Overall, the e-Dispatch stops and goes well by the standards of the class. Wind and road noise are also mightily impressive, while the complete absence of engine noise makes it significantly more relaxing to drive than an equivalent Dispatch diesel.