Late last year, we reported on the delivery of the Citroen Berlingo electric vans to the French postal service. Did you know that an electric version of the Citroen Berlingo First existed ten years ago? It sure did, but was unfortunately discontinued in 2002 due to poor sales. In 2007, La Poste, France's postal service, announced its intent to purchase quite a few electric vehicles. Venturi, known for the Fetish, an electric sports car, answered the call. Rather than designing an entirely new vehicle, Venturi decided to once again convert the Citroen Berlingo to an EV.

In a process that works a bit like the Ford Transit Connect Electric (also used by the Norwegian post office) Citroen ships the vehicle, sans engine, to the Venturi factory where the electric powertrain is installed. The new reincarnation of the Berlingo EV is completely different from its predecessor. A very interesting part of the new iteration is its non-lithium ion Zebra battery which is cheap, can keep its charge for a very long time and is non-toxic. That's right, non-toxic because its electrolyte is liquefied salt. The downside is that it runs very hot – like 500°F hot.

With a price tag of about $67,000, it's doubtful that private citizens will be clamoring for these vehicles. Also, the EV Berlingo gets about a 75-mile range, which is not that impressive, but enough for its target audience: fleets. Aside from La Poste, a car-sharing service in Nice will also be employing the all-electric vans in their fleet.

[Source: Plug In Cars]


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