Vauxhall Presents First BEV Compact MPV

Vauxhall has published the first images of its first all-electric compact MPV, the Combo-e Life.

The format, redeploying small LCVs as multi-purpose family runabout vehicles, has been very popular in many European markets for decades but now the UK automaker is reviving the sector with this little BEV.  Claiming a range of up to 174 miles in WLTP testing from a single charge, it features a 50kWh lithium-ion battery and claims a 132bhp electric motor capable of up to191ft-lbs of torque. The 0-to-60 sprint time is claimed at 11.2 seconds.

It can be fully charged via a three-pin domestic plug, a Wallbox charger or up to 100kW rapid charging via public charging stations. All Combo-e Life variants come standard with a single-phase 7.4kW on-board charger, with an optional three-phase 11kW charger also available. A full charge via 100kW rapid charging can be completed in 30 minutes.

Drivers have access to a two-mode regenerative braking system, with ‘B’ mode increasing the regenerative braking for maximum energy recovery. The 50kWh battery is made up of 216 cells and 18 modules and is packaged under the floor between the front and rear axles and matches the cargo space and interior room compared to the gasoline and diesel Combo Life variants.

It comes in two sizes, a medium and a long XL variant, with smaller models available in both five and seven seat configurations and XL vehicles exclusively with seven seats plus greater internal space. Medium variants with five seats feature up to 597 liters of boot space, extending up to 2,126 liters of space with the rear row folded. XL variants come with 850 liters of space and up to 2,693 liters with the rear rows folded. In addition, the front passenger seat can be fully folded extending the length of the load area so that even large items, such as surfboards can be carried inside the Combo-e Life.

The vehicle is also rated to tow up to 1,650-lbs and comes with trailer stability technology that reduces vehicle speed when it detects the trailer swerving. Second rows for both medium and XL variants is available with either three individually folding seats or with a 60/40 split (a 35/30/35 split is also available as an option). In both cases, each individual seat has its own Isofix child seat bracket, allowing owners to fit three child seats next to each other.

To ensure the safety, the new Combo-e Life is available with a number of driver aids including forward collision alert with pedestrian protection, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, driver drowsiness alert, traffic sign recognition, and hill descent control. Drivers can also opt for the Surround Rear Vision camera that gives a 180-degree view of the rear of the car when reversing. Electronic traction control improves traction in adverse driving conditions by allowing the driver to modulate the traction control to suit the road conditions. Drivers can choose between Normal, Snow, Mud, and Sand modes for optimal grip. Deliveries are expected to begin this autumn.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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