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Peugeot e-Partner 2023 review

The Peugeot e-Partner's exterior is devoid of quirky French design tweaks.
  • PowertrainPermanent magnet synchronous electric motor
  • Battery Capacity50kWh
  • Battery typeLithium-ion
  • Range258km (WLTP)
  • Plug typeType 2 (AC) / CCS Combo2 (DC)
  • DC charge rate100kW
  • AC charge rate7.4kW
  • Motor output100kW/260Nm
  • Efficiency21.8kWh/100km
Complete Guide to Peugeot E-Partner

Peugeot has been furiously slotting new electric vehicles into its European line-up in recent years, most recently the e-2008 compact SUV and e-208 small hatch.

The brand’s local operation has its eyes on those and other EVs coming down the new product pipeline, but this light commercial van, the e-Partner, is the first pure-electric Peugeot to arrive in Australia.

CarsGuide was invited on a launch drive to get a feel for how the shift to zero tailpipe emissions propulsion has impacted this already popular compact load hauler.

Price and features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

Offered in a single Pro LWB spec, the e-Partner is priced at $59,990, before on-road costs and right now, direct competitors number… zero. That said, a sub-$60K ask is significant because Renault’s pure-electric Kangoo E-Tech is scheduled for local introduction in the third quarter of this year, with the same-sized French competitor likely pitched at a similar price point. 

Fun fact: The second-gen Kangoo E.V. was Australia's first mainstream electric commercial vehicle; in market from late 2020 to early 2022.

Current EV vans are a size up in terms of scale and several sizes up on price, the Mercedes-Benz eVito starting at $89,353, Ford's E-Transit at $104,990 and LDV’s eDeliver9 van kicking off at $116,537. 

Offered in a single Pro LWB spec, the e-Partner is priced at $59,990, before on-road costs. Offered in a single Pro LWB spec, the e-Partner is priced at $59,990, before on-road costs.

Although, it appears likely Merc’s Citan small commercial van (including the electric eCitan) will come to Australia sooner rather than later, with homologation data showing the name has already been registered here.  

For the time being, though, the most realistic competitor in the same under 2.5-tonne van category is VW’s turbo-diesel Caddy Cargo Crewvan, the flagship LWB TDI 320 variant sitting at $50,090, before on-road costs.

Head further down the internal-combustion path in the search for competitors and you’re again stepping up in size to the LDV G10+ auto ($39,537) and Toyota HiAce LWB 5D auto ($47,520).

The e-Partner’s standard features includes an 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen. The e-Partner’s standard features includes an 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen.

So, yeah, the e-Partner is out on its own. But Peugeot Australia is at pains to point out it has thought long and hard about that price and the standard specification that underpins it.

Aside from the safety and technical specs we’ll get to shortly, the e-Partner’s standard features list includes an 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, one-touch electric windows, auto headlights, a 180-degree reversing camera, rear parking sensors, cruise control, air-conditioning, four-speaker audio with digital radio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, voice recognition and a Type 2 charging cable. 

Worth noting the e-Partner misses out on the alloy wheels fitted to Premium grade petrol-powered Partner models. Also missing in action are the heated and power-folding door mirrors and dual-zone air conditioning featured on the Premium. All likely trimmed out in the name of hitting that sub-$60K price.

Design – Is there anything interesting about its design?

Now in its third generation, the Peugeot Partner van has been around since 1996, although it’s only been offered in the Australian market between 2008 and 2014, and most recently since 2019.

Its current appearance is the result of a decision by Citroen and Peugeot importer/distributor Inchcape Australia to focus light commercial van activity on the Peugeot Partner, Expert and Boxer rather than the Citroen Berlingo and Dispatch.

And in terms of its looks, there are no quirky French design tweaks to be found. The Partner is suitably tough, the car’s angular headlights and slim grille giving it a stern expression in keeping with its hard-working role.

Now in its third generation, the Peugeot Partner van has been around since 1996. Now in its third generation, the Peugeot Partner van has been around since 1996.

In fact, it’s close to a generic ‘two box’ van. Put a Ford, Toyota or Volkswagen badge on the nose and you wouldn't look twice. The only external clue to its electric powertrain comes courtesy of a discrete, blue ‘e’ in front of the Partner badge on the left rear door. 

It’s inside where things get a whole lot more distinctive, with Peugeot’s high-level ‘iCockpit’ instrument set-up standing the Partner apart. 

The Partner was the first Peugeot vehicle to feature this combination of a small, low-set steering wheel and a slim instrument binnacle positioned above it.

 The only external clue to its electric powertrain comes courtesy of a discrete, blue ‘e’ in front of the Partner badge on the left rear door. The only external clue to its electric powertrain comes courtesy of a discrete, blue ‘e’ in front of the Partner badge on the left rear door.

And for me, at 183cm, the arrangement works far better here than in the 308 hatch, for example.

Aside from that the 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen stands proud of the dash at the top of the centre stack and the gear selector is a small, easy-to-use ‘e-Toggle’ rocker switch on the lower dash.

The overall design stays just the right side of busy, with simple, well-located switchgear saving the day in terms of ergonomics. And there’s plenty of breathing space in the cabin.

Practicality – How practical is its space and tech inside?

Let’s start at the back, because that’s where this load carrier’s primary functionality resides. And the e-Partner boasts big sliding doors on both sides and 180-degree opening barn doors at the rear, which gets a big tick for flexibility and access.

A sturdy glazed bulkhead separates the load space from the passenger compartment and the vital statistics are a maximum load length of 2167mm, a height of 1243mm, load width of 1527mm and volume of 3.9m3.

These are exactly the same measurements as the e-Partner’s petrol LWB Pro counterpart thanks to the battery pack being mounted evenly under the rear floor.

The e-Partner's cabin accommodates two, with plenty of storage provided. The e-Partner's cabin accommodates two, with plenty of storage provided.

The critical distance between the wheel arches is 1229mm, which means a standard Aussie pallet (1165mm x 1165mm) will fit comfortably.

With a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 2385kg the e-Partner has a 753kg payload, which is around 20 per cent down on the LWB petrol version.

There are six tie-down anchors around the load space, it can tow a 750kg trailer (braked or unbraked) and the spare is full-size. All of which adds up to pretty handy capacity, but what about the driver and passenger?

The e-Partner boasts big sliding doors on both sides and 180-degree opening barn doors at the rear. The e-Partner boasts big sliding doors on both sides and 180-degree opening barn doors at the rear.

Well, the cabin accommodates two, with plenty of storage provided, but the e-Partner misses out on the centre seat ‘Multiflex Mobile Office’ (flip-down rotating work table and underseat storage) fitted to all petrol grades bar the entry-level SWB manual. Pity.

For power and connectivity there’s a 12-volt outlet and a single USB, while there are two cupholders in the upper dash and an overhead storage unit in the roof capable of holding a lot of ‘stuff’.

There are also generous bins in the doors with room for bottles, half a dozen oddments trays in and around the dash as well as more storage space where the front passenger airbag would normally be (enough room for a laptop), thanks to ‘bag-in-roof’ airbag design. The comfy seats are trimmed in a sturdy grey fabric.

There are six tie-down anchors around the e-Partner's load space. There are six tie-down anchors around the e-Partner's load space.

Under the bonnet – What are the key stats for its motor?

The e-Partner is powered by a permanent magnet synchronous motor sending 100kW/260Nm to the front wheels via a single-speed reduction-gear auto transmission.

Peugeot quotes a 0-100km/h time of 11.2 seconds and a top-speed of 135km/h.

The e-Partner is powered by a permanent magnet synchronous motor. The e-Partner is powered by a permanent magnet synchronous motor.

Efficiency – What is its driving range? What is its charging time?

The e-Partner carries a 400V 50kWh lithium-ion battery with Peugeot claiming a (WLTP) range of 258km, and official combined cycle energy consumption of 21.8kWh/100km.

Recharge times are quoted as 30 minutes for a 0-80 per cent charge on a 100kW DC unit, seven hours, 26 minutes for 0-100 percent using a single-phase (7.4kW) Wallbox, and 23 hours, 54 minutes for 0-100 per cent when connected to a (2.3kW) domestic plug.

The e-Partner carries a 400V 50kWh lithium-ion battery. The e-Partner carries a 400V 50kWh lithium-ion battery.

The ports behind the not-fuel flap are a Type 2 for AC and CCS Combo2 for higher-powered DC charging. A Mode 3 Type 2 charging cable comes with the car.

Given the launch test loop was relatively short, and the vehicle was carrying a 200kg load, we’ll wait until we can assess energy consumption over a longer period, laden and unladen, before quoting an ‘as tested’ number.

Driving – What's it like to drive?

The first e-Partner impression is a weird one because you start it by inserting a key in the ignition lock and twisting rather than pressing a button. Unusual for an EV.

Then, I have to preface this section of the review with the fact that Peugeot had strapped 200kg’s worth of weight into the back of the vehicle for the release drive program.

Good, because it gives an early impression of how this van handles and rides with a typical load on board. Bad, because the individual weights rattling in their cradle sounded like several sheets of loose corrugated iron crashing around the cargo bay.

So, hard to make a call on overall refinement, although on a billiard table smooth freeway surface the e-Partner is quiet in terms of wind and tyre noise (rubber is 215/55 x 16 Michelin Latitude Tour HP).

The e-Partner sits on the brand’s EMP2 ‘multi-energy’ platform which is not the ‘skateboard’ type found under many EVs. Rather it serves for combustion and pure-electric models.

In true EV fashion, the e-Partner's acceleration from rest is strong. In true EV fashion, the e-Partner's acceleration from rest is strong.

Suspension is by MacPherson struts at the front and torsion beam at the rear with coil springs all around, as per combustion Partner models, and notwithstanding the noise emanating from the back it copes with bumps and thumps pretty well.

In true EV fashion, acceleration from rest is strong, but keep the accelerator pinned and that pulling power soon starts to soften off. Peugeot claims 0-100km/h in 11.2sec which feels about right.

There are three drive modes, starting with ‘Eco’ which limits power and torque to 60kW/190Nm and reduces heating and air con consumption without turning them off.

Then ‘Normal’ is designed for “everyday use” with an even balance of performance and efficiency and outputs set at 80kW/210Nm. And as the name implies, ‘Power’ releases the full 100kW/260Nm for heavy lifting.

We played with all three settings and the Eco mode makes a noticeable difference, although it was harder to tell Normal and Power apart.

The e-Partner wears 215/55 x 16 Michelin Latitude Tour HP tyres. The e-Partner wears 215/55 x 16 Michelin Latitude Tour HP tyres.

Peugeot says the steering has been specifically adapted for the e-Partner and although road feel is modest it’s well weighted and accurate. Turning circle is 11.4 metres which is okay relative to a 4753mm overall length.

Unsurprisingly, the single-speed reduction gear auto is super smooth and the dash-mounted e-Toggle shifter is handily placed and easy to use.

There are two regenerative braking modes with ‘Moderate’ feeling much like engine braking in a similarly sized combustion vehicle, and the maximum ‘Augmented’ setting further dialling up retardation and energy recovery.

The physical brakes are 304mm ventilated discs at the front with 268mm solid rotors at the rear.

Worth noting when the pedal’s pressed a portion of the energy harvested in regen goes to the traction battery.

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What is its safety rating?

Although the e-Partner hasn’t been assessed by ANCAP, internal-combustion variants were awarded four from a maximum five stars by the independent body in 2018.

A relatively low, 58 per cent result in the ‘Vulnerable Road User Protection’ section (relating to likely head injuries suffered in a pedestrian impact) was enough to knock a star off the overall result. 

That said, the e-Partner features AEB (operational from 5.0-85km/h) with forward collision warning and pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, lane departure warning and emergency lane-keep.

The e-Partner has not received an ANCAP safety rating yet. The e-Partner has not received an ANCAP safety rating yet.

Tyre pressure monitoring and a 180-degree reversing camera are also standard, but weirdly, ‘Driver Attention Alert’, fitted to Premium combustion models, doesn’t feature.

If a crash is unavoidable there are six airbags fitted - front, front side and side curtain.

Worth noting the Partner doesn’t have rear seats or child restraint anchorages and is therefore not suitable for children under 36kg.

Ownership – What warranty is offered? What are its service intervals? What are its running costs?

Peugeot covers the e-Partner with a five-year, unlimited-km warranty with 24/7 roadside assistance included for the duration. Paintwork is also covered for three years and corrosion for 12.

Peugeot’s eight-year/160,000km protection for the high-voltage battery is the EV industry standard these days.

The recommended service interval is 12 months/25,000km with ‘Peugeot Pre-Paid Service Plans’ available over three- or five-year terms.

The three-year deal is $600, and the ask for five years is $1000, the latter a $730 saving over the pay-as-you-go schedule. Not bad at all.

Peugeot covers the e-Partner with a five-year, unlimited-km warranty. Peugeot covers the e-Partner with a five-year, unlimited-km warranty.

  • PowertrainPermanent magnet synchronous electric motor
  • Battery Capacity50kWh
  • Battery typeLithium-ion
  • Range258km (WLTP)
  • Plug typeType 2 (AC) / CCS Combo2 (DC)
  • DC charge rate100kW
  • AC charge rate7.4kW
  • Motor output100kW/260Nm
  • Efficiency21.8kWh/100km
Complete Guide to Peugeot E-Partner

The Peugeot e-Partner is a super-flexible, no fuss, small commercial van that also happens to be a pure-electric vehicle. A driving range in excess of 250km gets it over the line for daily urban work and top-up times on higher-output DC charge units are agreeably quick, anyway. Dynamic performance is good as are the ownership costs, although passive safety could be better and the standard spec has obviously been trimmed to meet the sub-$60K price point. All in all, though, a compelling new option for urban-focused fleets and small business operators.

Note: CarsGuide attended this event as a guest of the manufacturer, with meals provided.

$59,880 - $66,880

Based on 6 car listings in the last 6 months

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Score

3.9/5
Price Guide

$59,880 - $66,880

Based on 6 car listings in the last 6 months

Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.