Vauxhall Vivaro-e – A Modern Story in the Rich History of Vans
Before we look at the Vauxhall Vivaro-e, let’s have a look back in time. A nice little fact to start off this blog post, and one which I only discovered today. The word “van” is actually a shortened version of the word “caravan”. The original vans were in fact covered waggons used for transporting goods, also known as carry vans, which led to the introduction of the word van at the beginning of the 19th Century (1829 is the first record of a van being used for transporting goods; although, the word caravan being used in the same context can be traced back further to the 1670’s).
Of course, the original vans were very different to what we recognise today. It was in 1896 when the first motorised van came into being, and then another 50 plus years until we saw the vans that are familiar to us in the modern world. Introduced in the 1950’s, the first Ford Transit van was has been a mainstay in the work van world ever since, in one guise or another. The Transit is probably the most well known of all the models of van around the world and has been for some time.
The importance of the van, even from the early days cannot be understated. Whether they have been used for transporting goods around the country or have been used to transport work tools and equipment, the van has been a solid backbone of British industry.
Vauxhall Vans – A Brief History of Time (Not the Stephen Hawkins Version)
Vauxhall themselves have a rich history when it comes to vans. The first effort from the British brand (yes, we know the Germans bought it in the 1980’s, but it still has its British DNA). was the dubiously named Bedford Beagle. Yes… I know.
As unusual looking as its name suggests, the Bedford Beagle stayed in production for an astonishing 9 years. The Beagle was sort of a converted camper van with a roof you need to see (I’m not sure there are words in the OED to help me explain it).
Direct competitors to the Ford Transit, the Bedford CF and the Bedford Mini both made their bows in the late 60’s and enjoyed a good showing until the late 1980’s. The Bedford CF was a very popular van indeed, and was an extremely competent utility vehicle for its time.
The Bedford Astramax and the Bedford Rascal (a strong connection to Bedfordshire you would imagine) made their debuts in 1986. The Astramax had a bit of a Renault Kangoo look about it, whilst the Rascal was much closer to a full sized panel van. Both of these vehicles would remain in steady service until production ended in 1993. Even the RAC used the Astramax van, so they must have had a good reputation for reliability.
From 1994 to the present day, Vauxhall introduced 3 vans that are still in production today as petrol and diesel vehicles. These are the Combo, the Movano, and, of course, the Vivaro. All 3 having an excellent reputation in the van business as high quality machines.
Vauxhall Vivaro-e – How Does the New Kid on the Block Compare
Vauxhall, like every other vehicle manufacturer, are finding their feet with electric vehicles, seeing what they can get out of this new technology and seeing if they can get them as good as, if not better than the petrol and diesel versions that they have built up a stellar reputation of producing in the past.
With that in mind, just how does the electric van compare to it’s diesel sister? This is something that Whatcar? covered in their review video at the beginning of 2021 (when the Vauxhall Vivaro-e won the Whatcar? Car of the Year Award and received 5 coveted stars). This, I found, was quite an unusual approach. Normally the reviews will either focus entirely on the vehicle it is reviewing, or it will compare to other electric vehicles in the same category and class.
However, upon further reflection, I thought that this was not only a great idea but also a necessary one. The stereotypical “white Van Man” is not the first thing you think of when discussing green driving options (perhaps unfairly. Don’t hunt me down if you are a White Van Man!). However, everyone will need to make the transition very soon and pointing out how well the electric version compares is an excellent way of doing it.
So what exactly did they say? Well… a lot. You can find the full video here, or you can find it on our excellent EVision Electric Vehicles Twitter feed.
So, What Did They Say?
To give you just a few little highlights from the review: Yes, you will get more range from a petrol or diesel version compared to the Vivaro-e. However, with a range of over 200 miles (for the model that we have available to hire at EVision Electric Vehicles) you won’t struggle doing a good day’s work in the UK. The rapid charging capabilities means that the Vivaro-e can recharge extremely quickly as well. This is a huge improvement on any van that had appeared up to the time the Vivaro-e came onto the scene.
All-in-all, the Vauxhall Vivaro-e is a magnificent beast of a van. It is a van that can do the miles and can handle the tough jobs. If this is what you need, then we highly recommend that you hire a Vauxhall Vivaro-e
* All information correct as of 05/07/2022.