AUTO MOTO
New electric e-Rifter is a real shifter: RAY MASSEY gets behind the wheel of Peugeot’s latest offering

Have you noticed how van drivers who whizz past you or sit on your tail always seem to look happy and contented? 

That’s because vehicle manufacturers know that ‘white van man’, who almost lives in his vehicle and covers exceptionally long distances, needs very comfortable seats, a high driving position, a practical layout with lots of storage and cubby holes, plenty of cargo space, and a good lick of pace.

That’s why Peugeot’s boxy, van-based Rifter has proved such a hit with active families and couples seeking a no-nonsense vehicle that will carry up to seven people, be flexible enough to load up with leisure equipment, and be no slouch on the road.

Charged up: The new electric e-Rifter amplifies the existing model¿s virtues© Provided by This Is Money Charged up: The new electric e-Rifter amplifies the existing model¿s virtues

I’ve just been driving the new, all-electric e-Rifter which ticks all those boxes — with no nasty emissions. It comes as a five or seven-seater with handy rear sliding doors both sides that can make exiting from a tight spot very easy. Back in the day, it would have been described as a ‘people mover’. On sale now, with first deliveries early in the new year, the new electric model is available in two trim levels: Allure premium (which I drove, from £30,375 after deducting £2,500 plug-in grant) and the sporty GT (£32,455 after grant).

The standard Rifter in petrol/ diesel is from £23,620. Handling is lively and responsive.

Powered by a 50kWh battery, the 136hp e-Rifter accelerates from rest to 62 mph in 11.2 seconds, but feels faster, especially in ‘Power’ mode.

This unleashes the maximum 100kw of oomph to optimise performance.

‘Normal’ (80kW) is for everyday running around, while ‘Eco’ (60kW) reduces most unnecessary power usage to ease anxiety about the battery level. The top speed is limited to 83mph.

The range is a claimed 171 miles. My full overnight charge showed 160 miles. But with judicious driving you can generate as you go thanks to braking energy being recycled.

There’s ample storage and cubby holes. And the interior is smart (if a bit wipe-down) plastic. Flexible boot space ranges from 775 litres up to 4,000 litres (with rear seats folded) on the seven seater.

A full charge from a domestic wall-box takes 7.5 hours, reducing to five hours with a more powerful version.

On a public 100 kWh rapid charger, it can charge to 80 per cent in half an hour.

Order early if you want a new car 

If you’re looking for a new car, get your order in early. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is warning of delays to deliveries extending well into the New Year caused by a global shortage of key electronic components.

Latest sales figures show that electric vehicles accounted for almost one in five new cars registered in November with sales almost twice as high as for diesel cars.

Increase: Latest sales figures show that electric vehicles accounted for almost one in five new cars registered in November© Provided by This Is Money Increase: Latest sales figures show that electric vehicles accounted for almost one in five new cars registered in November

Overall registrations rose 1.7 per cent to 115,706 cars, of which 21,726 were pure electric models compared to just 11,118 diesels.

It means diesels now account for fewer than one in ten new cars bought in Britain.

And the Vauxhall Corsa extended its lead as the nation’s best seller with 38,306 sales to date in 2021 — and is on course to end arch-rival Ford’s 50-year run at the top.

The supply shortages also mean that prices for used cars are soaring.

Driving home for Christmas 

Got your presents all sorted and Chris Rea’s Driving Home For Christmas loaded on to your car playlist?

Covid rules allowing, the Christmas getaway will see nearly 18 million hit the roads, predicts the AA.

Getting into the festive mood: Covid rules allowing, the Christmas getaway will see nearly 18 million hit the roads, predicts the AA© Provided by This Is Money Getting into the festive mood: Covid rules allowing, the Christmas getaway will see nearly 18 million hit the roads, predicts the AA

Its new survey of 15,000 drivers reveals that 44 per cent will drive at some stage over the festive period with a further 17 per cent unsure of their plans.

Busiest days for travel will be December 23 and Christmas Eve. Christmas Day itself will be one of the quietest days on the road.

Source: Thisismoney.co.uk

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