Stellantis has removed all combustion versions of its small van-based MPVs from sale in most of Europe in an effort to speed up the group’s move to all-electric power.
The decision to continue with only electric versions of these vehicles was announced in separate statements by Citroën, Peugeot and Opel/Vauxhall – which sell the technically idential Berlingo, Partner and Combo MPVs respectively.
The move is a significant development for the UK automotive industry, as Stellantis is investing £100 million in the old Vauxhall Astra factory at Ellesmere Port to produce the electric versions of these MPVs (as well as the van variants), creating 1000 new jobs. Production is expected to get under way later this year.
The group’s mid-sized MPVs – the Citroën SpaceTourer, Peugeot Rifter and Vauxhall Vivaro Life – will also go all-electric in the designated markets.
This has significant implications for the cost of these models. Prices for the all-electric Citroën ë-Berlingo, for example, start at £29,575, whereas the now-unavailable combustion version could be bought for £22,135. Autocar understands that Citroën will alter its prices to help account for the disparity. The Berlingo’s Peugeot and Vauxhall siblings are similarly affected.
Business customers outside the EU and those in Switzerland and the Balkans will still be able to buy combustion-powered models, Stellantis said, and Fiat, which sells its own variants of the small and mid-sized MPVs, has not issued a statement on the matter. Citroën told Autocar that converter partners – who configure the Berlingo and SpaceTourer for disabled users – will still be able to order the combustion versions.
“There is no alternative to electrification. In the future, Opel will gain even more traction with environmentally friendly innovations,” said Uwe Hochgeschurtz, CEO of Vauxhall’s sibling brand Opel.