Stellantis Converts Diesel Vans to Electric at Low Cost
Stellantis recently unveiled its updated light commercial vehicle (LCV) range in Europe, but that doesn't mean they're neglecting the pre-facelifted versions. The automotive group has announced 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's likely that the identical Fiat Scudo and Toyota PoAce will also be part of the conversion program. Additionally, it's possible that the diesel-to-EV conversion could be expanded to the passenger versions of these midsize vans, considering their shared mechanical components.
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 may not want to invest 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, owners must keep the electric van for at least a year or drive it for a minimum of 6,000 km (3,728 miles) before selling.
The diesel engines in these vans will be replaced 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, which offer a range of 224-350 km (139-218 miles). The factory-spec electric vans 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's unclear if these specifications will also be used for the conversion.
The K0 generation of LCVs was introduced in 2016 with diesel-powered versions, and the fully electric versions followed in 2019-2020. In late 2023, all of the EMP2-based vans received facelifts, primarily focused on visual and technological updates, as the EV powertrains remained largely unchanged with some efficiency improvements.
In addition to Stellantis, Renault has also announced a similar program to convert the diesel-powered Master vans to electric power in collaboration with a French company called Poenix. This program is specifically targeted at large vans produced over five years ago, and the conversion will take place in Renault's "Refactory" facilities in Flins, France.
Both Stellantis and Renault are hoping to capitalize on the trends of EV-conversion, refurbishment, recycling, and "second-life" batteries. They have set ambitious targets of achieving annual revenues of €2 ($2.2 billion) and €1 billion ($1.1 billion) respectively from these activities by 2030.
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