The Maxus E Deliver 3 is one new arrival that will have Nissan quaking as the little Chinese van may knock the eNV200 off the top spot for European electric van sales. With a range of up to 200 miles, up to 6 cubic metres of load volume and payloads of up to one tonne, the E Deliver 3 certainly makes the electric van proposition a lot more credible.
Unlike most other electric vans, there will be no ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) version of the E Deliver 3. That’s because Maxus’s parent company, SAIC, is from China, where manufacturers are one step ahead of the Europeans and Americans when it comes to electric vehicles and where over 1,000,000 electric vehicles – around half of the world’s total – were registered in 2018.
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Engineers have used aluminium, rather than steel, in the construction of the E Deliver 3, which helps reduce the weight and increase the payload.
In the cab
The cab is quite is quite surreal in that it gives a futuristic feel with its mix of contrasting black and blue plastics on the dashboard, but there are no steering wheel-mounted controls – at least on our Chinese imported model – and there a quite a few dials and buttons that have been carried over from its existing vans.
There is an abundance of storage spaces however, and it is extremely spacious. UK models will have an electronic parking brake, rather than the traditional handbrake, which will free up room and allow room for a third seat – which is to be offered as an option.
The Chinese-spec model that we were testing came with a 70kW / 220Nm motor which means it slightly trails the eNV200 for performance but UK models will have a slightly uprated 85kW motor, although torque figures are so far unknown.
Given its compact size, the driving position is quite high which provides commanding all-round views. Even by electric vehicle standards, its effortless to drive with electrically-assisted power steering and the choice of two throttle modes and three degrees of energy recuperation.
Thanks to the heavy batteries being positioned below the load floor in between the wheels – as with most electric vans – the Maxus E Deliver 3 is nicely balanced and handles well in the corners. The MacPherson strut and leaf-spring configuration is more geared toward load taking than comfort, and therefore the cab certainly bears the brunt of speedbumps and potholes.
Range and charging
There will be two battery packs offered on the new van; a 35kWh and a 55kWh (this compares to 40kWh for the eNV200 and 33kWh for the Kangoo ZE), returning a range of 127 miles and 200 miles respectively on the NEDC cycle. Real-world and WLTP figures have yet to be realised.
A rapid charge to around 90% could take as little as 45 minutes, while a Type 2 charge could take as long as seven hours.
Maxus E Deliver 3 dimensions and weights
The Maxus E Deliver 3 will be offered in both short and long-wheelbase variants which, at 5.0 and 6.3 cubic metres respectively, straddle the traditional small and medium van segments. The SWB measures 4.5m and the long 5.1m – which has been achieved by increasing the wheelbase by 600mm.
Maxus E Deliver 3 price and availability
Prices have also yet to be announced, but it’s expected the E Deliver 3 will be priced at around £24,000 plus VAT when the government’s PiVG has been taken into consideration which is only a marginal increase on the eNV200.
Order books will open in May 2020, production will begin in June 2020 and the first UK deliveries will take place in October 2020. The E Deliver 3 will be backed by Maxus’s excellent 5-year, 125,000-mile warranty.