Why the e-Rifter is not for snobs

First things first, if you’re snobby about vans then give the e-Rifter a miss. But if you admire affordable quality and want to do something to help the plan, then this all-electric vehicle from Peugeot might just suit you.

By Steve Teale
Friday, 20th May 2022, 8:40 pm
Updated Friday, 20th May 2022, 8:43 pm
Some say it looks like a van. So what? It is functional and good to live with
Some say it looks like a van. So what? It is functional and good to live with

This used to be a petrol and diesel model but Peugeot – like many brands – is grasping the nettle and going full charge for electric power.

No doubt it is partly a desire to create cleaner and greener cars and partly a result of being forced by Government and global pressure.

But whatever the cause, car companies are going through arguably the biggest change since the motor car was invented. Certainly, it’s the biggest change in our lifetimes.

Sign up to our daily Halifax Courier Today newsletter

It is a smart and efficient vehicle

The move comes after the UK saw the largest year-on-year increase in electric vehicle (EV) registrations. Last year, full EVs accounted for more than one in nine new cars sold, representing a 76 per cent increase on 2020, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Peugeot says the switch to EV represents growing customer demand ahead of the 2030 change when petrol and diesel become museum pieces.

Peugeot has revised pricing for its popular all-electric e-Rifter MPV, with the entry level Allure Premium model now eligible for the Plug-in Car Grant. The range now starts from £30,450 on the road after the grant.

So what is the e-Rifter? It is built on Peugeot’s EMP2 (Efficient Modular Platform 2) and can be chosen as either a five or seven-seat model. Powered by a 100kW (136hp) electric motor and a 50kWh battery, the e-Rifter is capable of up to 172 miles from a single charge.

It comes as standard with a 7.4kW single-phase on-board charger, with an 11kW three-phase on board charger available as an option. A full charge via a 7.4kW wallbox will take 7.5 hours, or five hours using the optional 11kW charger. The e-Rifter also supports rapid charging, with a 0-80 per cent charge from a 100kW charger taking just 30 minutes.

Peugeot say with zero tailpipe emissions, the e-Rifter remains an ideal vehicle for private and fleet buyers. It remains tax exempt for private users, while company car buyers will pay just a two per cent Benefit-in-Kind (BIK) rate in 2022-23.

Five-seat variants of the e-Rifter are available in Allure Premium and GT trims, while seven-seat models are sold exclusively in Allure Premium.

A friend who is a Toyota expert took one look at the cabin and declared it to be similar to the Proace van.

The whole vehicle is undoubtedly van-shaped. Its commercial vehicle routes are concealed by a fresher style, brighter colours and good specification, but its van roots do show.

Is that a problem? Not at all. Vans are no longer spartan and crude. They often have ride and handling to match cars.

Standard models of the e-Rifter measure 4.4 metres long, and Long variants measure 4.75 metres, with all variants allowing for an external height of 1.90 metres and a surprisingly agile turning circle of just 10.8 metres. For added practicality, the e-Rifter can tow up to 750kg and is available with trailer stability technology that reduces vehicle speed when it detects the trailer swerving.

Who will choose this model? I imagine many practical outdoor types such as campers will find it perfect for their world. It is tall and spacious, good to drive and far more elegant than you might imagine.

With the battery cleverly located under the floor, boot space ranges from 775-litres for the five-seat Standard length variants and up to 4,000-litres with the seats folded on the Long variant. Further storage compartments around the cabin provide up to 186-litres of additional capacity.

I must admit this vehicle surprised me. I wasn’t anticipating a thrilling drive or sporty handling, and of course it delivered neither of those things. But it is pleasant to drive and it has plenty of space everywhere.

This is a GT version. Peugeot say it offers the best of all worlds, sports styling combined with outstanding levels of efficiency and specification

The company says Peugeot is committed to electrification, with a goal of offering a fully electric variant across its entire model line-up by 2024. Already it offers fully electric vans across its entire light commercial vehicle portfolio, so with our award-winning MPV range now exclusively available as electric vehicles, it claims to be catering for the growing demand for zero-tailpipe emissions vehicles.

Five-seat variants of the e-Rifter are available in Allure Premium and GT trims, while seven-seat models are sold exclusively in Allure Premium.

Peugeot customers can also opt to purchase their vehicle with a single service plan to cover all essential maintenance. Owners are also given a certificate of battery capacity after each service, with the battery under warranty for eight years/100,000 miles for 70 per cent of its capacity.

For complete ease of use, Peugeot customers can stay connected to their vehicle on the go, by using the MyPeugeot smartphone application to check, schedule, start or delay charging remotely, or to optimise the range by pre-conditioning the interior to 21 degrees.

Meanwhile, Peugeot is also working on the next generation of low emission vehicles. In December 2021, the first ever Peugeot e-Expert hydrogen rolled off the production line and will first be sold in Germany and France. Featuring hydrogen plug-in fuel cell technology, it is capable of up to 248 miles between refuelling – which takes just three minutes at designated hydrogen fuel stations.

Peugeot e-Rifter GT

Price: £34,990. Sunset Copper Metallic Paint (£575), Connected 3D Navigation (£650) give an on-the-road price of £36,215. Range starts at £30,450.

Motor: Electric e-50kWh 136bhp motor

Performance: Top speed 89mph and 0 to 60mph in 11.2 seconds

Range: up to 172 miles

Emissions: 0

Warranty: Eight years, 100,000 miles battery warranty