LDV eDeliver 3: an electric hauler
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
- Good price for a BEV
- Enjoyable to drive
- Great size for a city van
- Basic cabin environment
- No passenger airbag
- Struggles when you take it out of town
While Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) might do away with expensive fuel costs, they usually come with a steep initial purchase price. In New Zealand, the cheapest pure-electric vehicle is the MG ZS EV, which starts at a respectable $48,990. At the other end of the scale is the Porsche Taycan Turbo S, which will set you back $366,990 (but will hit 100km/h in under three seconds).
LDV’s new eDeliver 3 van is the second cheapest behind the MG, at $49,990. This got me wondering: how good can an electric van that’s cheaper than 95 per cent of BEVs really be? After living with it for a week, I can report that it is an impressive package.
The eDeliver 3 is available with a choice of batteries. The entry-level van gets a 35kWh battery which allows for up to 280km of range on a single charge, while the 52.5kWh option bumps this figure up to 400km off a single charge. Getting into the bigger-battery van will set you back an extra $5000. This was the model that we tested, and the extra 120km of range came in handy.
LDV’s main target market is couriers and businesses alike that need to zip around the city, but want to reduce operating costs. While long range trips are certainly doable with the 400km range, the eDeliver feels a lot more comfortable in the low-speed city environment. This is partly down to its sprightly performance under 60km/h, and its small dimensions.
But as someone once said: “A ship is safe in the harbour, but that’s not what ships are built for.” So I decided to take the eDeliver on a good old fashioned Kiwi roadie from Auckland to Mount Maunganui.
I mapped out a route that involved one night in Cambridge on the way over, so the initial trip was broken up.
Not that I didn’t trust the van’s battery over the Kaimai Ranges, but I figured a full charge would extinguish any hint of range anxiety. More on that later.
Like most electric vehicles, the first thing you notice in the eDeliver is the instant torque that will hold you back in your seat for the first couple of seconds of acceleration. The electric motor pumps out just 90kW/255Nm, but it is more than enough to have the traction control working hard, attempting to calm the front wheels. Turn traction control off on a wet surface, and you’ll end up chuckling to yourself as the front end glides across the tarmac.
The van’s small dimensions make it feel less like a cargo hauler, and more like a station wagon to drive. But when you start loading the rear, you can see the compromise. The rear area measures 2.1 metres long, 1.6 metres wide, and 1.3 metres high.
The cab feels rather basic - exactly what you’d expect from a cheap commercial van. The seats aren’t anything special, although they do have a handy arm rest, the dash is made of mostly plastic, and the only airbag in the cabin can be found in the steering wheel. The infotainment system is also very basic, but the only real gripe I had with it was that volume can only be controlled using the buttons on the steering wheel – what ever happened to handy dandy dials?
As far as the roadie went, the eDeliver performed perfectly, although I doubt that you’d be able to get 400km out of one charge on the open road. When it came time to head back to Auckland, we left Mount Maunganui with a full charge, buzzed down State Highway 29, but needed to stop at the Bombay Hyper Charger as we were down to 20 per cent. After a quick 20 minute juice up, costing a grand total of $10, the batteries were back at 60 per cent, which was more than enough to make the trip home.
For $55,000, the LDV eDeliver 3 is a great package that would be a great addition to any business looking to reduce running costs. In NZ, its only real competitor is Renault’s Kangoo EV, but the $74,990 starting price almost takes it out of contention.
So while LDV’s little electric van might not be the best choice for a summer roadie, it’s a great, practical package that I can recommend to those looking to reduce their carbon footprint - or the bottom line.
ENGINE: BEV, 52.5kWh lithium-ion battery
GEARBOX: Single speed, FWD
CONSUMPTION: 24kWh per 100km, range 243km (WLTP)
PROS: Price, good to drive, good size for city
CONS: Basic cabin, struggles when you take it out of town