PARIS – Citroen, Peugeot and Opel will sell only full-electric versions of their compact and midsize passenger vans in Europe, dropping high-emissions internal-combustion versions as of January.
The decision was made to ensure the future viability of these models, CEOs for the Stellantis brands said in separate news releases Thursday.
The models are passenger versions of light-commercial vans, and business customers can continue to order internal-combustion drivetrains, as can buyers in most countries outside of the European Union and the UK (which share emissions rules), including Switzerland and the Balkans, the brands said.
Citroen said Thursday that the decision was made to ensure the future viability of the two models, and to make sure the Stellantis brand would be an active participant in the energy transition.
"Electrification is a particularly sensitive issue for the future of the MPV segments," Citroen said in a statement. "Their silhouette and their weight lead them to consume more fuel, as gas prices continue to rise."
"This situation will rapidly reduce the relevance of gasoline or diesel offerings for these models," the statement said. It will be somewhat harder for automakers to meet the EU's emissions rules in 2022, as the "super credit" for full-electric vehicle sales declines to 1.33 from 1.67 in 2021.
The affected models are the compact Citroen Berlingo, Opel Combo Life and Peugeot Rifter; and the midsize Citroen Jumpy Combi/SpaceTourer, Opel Vivaro/Zafira Life and Peugeot Expert/Traveller. New Stellantis partner Fiat, which will get a version of the midsize van called the Scudo, has not yet announced a similar policy.
The passenger vans were strong sellers in 2021. The Berlingo was the second best-selling compact car-derived van (built on passenger car platform), with 26,179 sales through November, according to JATO Dynamics, behind the Volkswagen Caddy (28,502 sales) and ahead of the Peugeot Rifter (22,490 sales). Opel recorded 12,929 sales of the Combo.
The Zafira recorded 9,338 sales through November, the Traveller 7,319 and the SpaceTourer 5,820.
However, just a small fragment of vans are sold with full-electric drivetrains.
Citroen CEO Vincent Cobee said the full-electric versions would be enough to attract buyers. "Without compromising on space or utility, which are the main reason to buy these models, we are confident in the capacity of the e-Berlingo and e-SpaceTourer to meet the many needs of our customers," he said in a statement.
Opel CEO Uwe Hochgeschurtz said moving to electric-only passenger vans was a key step toward Opel's goal of selling only full-electric vehicles in Europe by 2028.
The e-Berlingo, for example, has a range of 380 km, or 236 miles, and the e-SpaceTourer's range is 330 km, or 205 miles, with an optional 75 kilowatt-hour battery (a 50 kWh battery has 230 km range). The Opel and Peugeot vans have similar specifications.
Emissions for diesel versions of the Berlingo started at 113 grams per km of C02, with gasoline versions having emissions up to 160 g/km. SpaceTourer emissions ranged from 168 g/km to 194 g/km, only available in diesel version.
Price, however, could be an issue. The e-Berlingo, for example, starts at 35,300 euros in France, while the cheapest internal combustion version available in 2021 started at 23,150 euros.
Similarly, the least-expensive e-Jumpy/SpaceTourer starts at 48,450, while a base internal-combustion model in 2021 was 32,350. Government bonuses for electric vehicles will reduce those prices by thousands of euros.
At the high end of the range, the most-expensive e-Berlingo is 39,350 euros, exclusive of options and the top-level e-SpaceTourer trim starts at 70,950 euros, making it the most expensive passenger vehicle in Citroen's lineup. The compact vans are available in two lengths and the midsize in three.