Stellantis Converts Diesel Vans to Electric at Affordable Price
Stellantis recently unveiled its updated light commercial vehicle (LCV) range in Europe, but it is also considering the pre-facelifted versions. The automotive group plans to offer the option of converting diesel-powered midsize vans to fully electric, giving them a second chance starting in 2024.
The vans included in this program are the Peugeot Expert, Citroen Jumpy, and Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro. It is likely that the identical Fiat Scudo and Toyota PoAce will also be part of the program. There is a possibility that the diesel-to-EV conversion could be expanded to the passenger versions of these midsize vans as well.
Xavier Peugeot, head of Stellantis' vans business unit, stated that the goal of the EV conversion project is to make zero-emission vans more affordable for small business owners who are not interested in investing in a brand-new model.
The conversion process is expected to cost less than €20,000 ($21,871) per van and will be carried out in Stellantis manufacturing facilities. Initially, the program will focus on France, taking advantage of government incentives that can cover up to 40% of the conversion cost, with a maximum of €10,000 ($10,938). To qualify for the incentives, the owner must keep the electric van for more than a year or drive it for at least 6,000 km (3,728 miles) before selling the vehicle.
The vans will replace their 2.0-liter BlueHDi four-cylinder diesel engines with cleaner fully electric powertrains. Xavier Peugeot mentioned that the converted vans will offer a "credible" range, although it will be lower than the figures provided by the factory-spec electric vans. The factory models come with 50 kWh and 75 kWh battery pack options and a single electric motor producing 134 hp (100 kW / 136 PS) and 192 lb-ft (260 Nm) of torque. It is unclear if these specifications will also be used for the conversion.
The K0 generation of LCVs was introduced in 2016 with diesel-powered versions, followed by fully electric versions in 2019-2020. In late 2023, all EMP2-based vans received facelifts, mainly consisting of visual and technological updates since the EV powertrains remained largely unchanged with minor efficiency improvements.
In addition to Stellantis, Renault has also announced a similar program in collaboration with a French company called Poenix. This program focuses on converting the diesel-powered Master vans to electric power, specifically targeting large vans produced over five years ago. The conversion process will take place in Renault's "Refactory" facilities in Flins, France.
Both Stellantis and Renault aim to take advantage of the trends in EV-conversion, refurbishment, recycling, and "second-life" batteries. They have set targets of generating annual revenues of €2 ($2.2 billion) and €1 billion ($1.1 billion) respectively from these activities by 2030.
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