Retrofitted 'reborn' electric vans hit mileage milestone

A company that specialises in electrifying older light commercial vehicles with retrofitted electric motors has seen its vans complete a landmark of 60 million kilometres, or almost 40 million miles of testing.  

Working in partnership with Stellantis, which owns Fiat, Vauxhall, Peugeot and Citroen, BEDEO has developed a fully electrified drivetrain to fit the Fiat Ducato, Vauxhall Movano, Peugeot Boxer and Citroen Relay models, with a choice of 37 kWh, 75 kWh or 110 kWh batteries that provides drivers with a range of 72, 154 or 226 miles respectively.

The retrofit packages are designed and developed in the UK, with manufacturing in both Turkey and China by BEDEO’s group company Protean Electric.

BEDEO’s ‘Reborn Electric’ concept is designed to help owners lower the total cost of van ownership, reduce tailpipe emissions and lower carbon emissions from manufacturing.

Critically, it retains the fit out of certain vehicles that would be expensive to replace, such as bespoke conversions, school minibuses, vehicles modified for disabled users and camper vans, all of which generally have a much longer service life than conventional panel vans.

BEDEO founder Osman Boyner, said: “Reaching 60 million kilometres is a testament to the reliability and robustness of our in-house technologies.

“We are now providing practical solutions for [owners] looking to make the transition to hybrid or electric vehicles without needing to replace them with a brand-new vehicle. Our clients also benefit from keeping costly and time-intensive installations that they’ve already done, such as refrigeration units or bespoke fit outs.”

While the technology is currently only offered to fleets, with customers so far including DHL and Ocado, a consumer-oriented package aimed at camper van users is expected as costs continue to come down

Ask HJ

What's the best medium sized van to buy to pull a trailer?

I'm looking to buy two 3.5t vans. They will be running very heavy using the entire payload most of the time. Usually long journeys with a mixture of country and motorway. I need one smaller van, that will usually tow a trailer. Ideally SWB Transit sized. Heavy but non-bulky things going in the van and long (still quite heavy) things in trailer. In my mind a SWB Transit RWD, but I'm not sure it'd have the power to also pull a laden trailer. Basically I want the van as small as reasonably possible while maximising payload and still being able to tow. The second van is to replace a 2005 Iveco Daily MWB 2.3L. If I could find a good one of those I'd do so but they're rare now. I need space for 10ft poles and decent headroom. Dimensions wise, a high roof LWB Transit would be about ideal - I don't want unnecessary length if I can avoid it. This might need to tow occasionally. The budget is £10k for both. The most important things I'm after are reliability and ability to carry weight. I haven't bought a van for over six years and am slightly overwhelmed. Any advice massively appreciated.
First of all, the RWD Transit is a good call for the smaller van - it's a dutiful and reliable workhorse and so long as you track down a 135bhp model instead of a 99bhp it'll tow pretty well. With most rivals being front-wheel-drive, you will not find a better short-wheelbase van for towing, but as your budget means you're looking at older models you may find yourself welding the front cab steps in the non-too-distant future. As you state that reliability is key for the larger van, the standout choices are the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Volkswagen Crafter, which have a very strong reliability record and are essentially the same van, so buy on condition rather than brand. The IVECO is an equally good choice if you can find one, but like you say, panel van versions of the Daily are rare. Or, you could get a longer wheelbase Transit, which is also a very reliable van.
Answered by Craig Cheetham
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