What Car? says...
It’s a curious anomaly that the latest Peugeot Partner – which shares its basis with the Citroën Berlingo and Vauxhall Combo – isn't yet available in electric form, but that you can still buy this old-shape Partner with batteries and an electric motor.
The Partner Electric was launched initially only as a compact (L1) van, before a long-wheelbase (L2) version was added. However, the Renault Kangoo ZE has continued to dominate the electric van sector, with the Nissan e-NV200 scooping up most of the remaining business.
Is the Partner Electric an overlooked gem, though? After all, it can provide up to 3.7m3 of capacity and transport as much as 636kg of payload. Power comes from a single 66bhp motor, and it manages an official range of 106 miles.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The way the Partner Electric drives is, without doubt, its best feature. The Partner handles quite well as a diesel, but as is generallly the case, the low-mounted additional weight of a battery pack really helps to improve stability.
The suspension is still a little soft and you still have to put up with some wallow through corners, but this is hardly a vehicle for setting lap records anywhere, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
In addition, while the Partner's 74bhp diesel engine struggles to cope with heavy loads, the extra low-down torque of the Partner Electric pulls you along strongly enough from the moment you press the accelerator pedal.
True, it still looks seriously underpowered compared with the 108bhp e-NV200, but it feels sprightly next to the 59bhp Kangoo ZE.
While the Partner Electric has an official range of 106 miles, you should expect to achieve around 80 in real-world driving conditions.
Better news is that rapid-charging is included as standard, which means a brief top-up of around half an hour will charge the battery to around 80%. Charging from the mains takes eight to 10 hours.
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