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Berlingo EV and other questions

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:11 pm
by Ian_Fearn
Hello everybody, i've been researching EV's for a while now and i keep going in circles.

The thing that got me going was by watching a video by ARC village where they convert a Fiat 126 to electric power.

A bit more research showed the Berlingo EV is available at sensible prices. I'm a bit of a Citroen nut and according to the Citroen parts website I could find 3 battery 'packs' costing approx £2000, £3000 and a whopping £7000!!! Ouch!

So are Blingo EV's reliable from a battery point of view? Would the batteries be replaceable with cheaper alternatives? Could the system be upgraded perhaps?

My desire is to have a 50 mile range and be able to acheive a minimum of 55 mph.

My other idea's follow the thought pattern of go for it with a serious conversion kit on a lightweight vehicle or have a crack at a similar conversion to the ARC village Fiat 126. I've bought a book by Bob Brant and i've read this forum and the DIYelectric car forum but I feel like I need to communicate with somebody now.

Any advice gratefully recieved :D

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:03 pm
by ChrisB
The Berlingo "can" be reliable in the battery department, I've heard that batteries can last as long as 150K, but then I've also heard they only do about 60-70k :?

Replacement costs from a dealer will be silly , from memory Saft sell them for about £250 a pop , and theres 27 of them, but I've yet to hear of anyone actually being able to buy direct from saft :(

Personally I wouldnt mess about too much with the Berlingo unless you know what your doing, its not just a case of slapping in different batteries and away you go as the charger is preprogramed for the saft nicads.

TBH the saft batteries after 2000 appear to be fairly relaible and as long as you treat them with respect they should give you years and years of use.

Your 50mile range is obtianable with a berlingo as is the 55mph speed but you might run into probs trying to combine the pair , generally the berlingo will do 50miles easily on medium terrain but at a speed between 40-50mph , start doing more than 50 or if your in a hilly area and you'll be looking closer to 40-45miles.

I've had 63 miles from mine but thats been at 30-40mph , I suspect I could get 70 miles if I kept it to 30mph.

But then all the berlingos seem to be slightly different some folks get more some get less :?

I think they are one of the best and available EV's that are about and its just such a shame they dont make them any more as I suspect they would sell like hot cakes today, especially if they bought out a multispace version i.e the car version of the van .

Lastly when buying second hand do be careful, there is a fair amount of dross and broken ones out there and ones with pre 2000 batteries which can die at about 20k .


Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:07 pm
by Ian_Fearn
Hi Chris, thanks for your words!

Its difficult to know what to do for the best. I have ideas about building my own to get something a little more bespoke, i'll put a post in the 'conversions' section about that.

Cheers, Ian

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:59 pm
by aminorjourney
Hi Ian,

You do have a huge wealth of knowledge available here and from other sites on the Berlingo Electrique. It depends on your outlook on modifications and DIY stuff.

If you're happy to start from scratch and have enough spare cash you can end up with a fantastic EV which will run rings around a Berlingo. Otherwise a Berlingo may be a good starting point as at least you don't have to build it!


Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:20 pm
by Ian_Fearn
Having looked through this site I'd love a City-El but I guess finding one wouldnt be easy and it wouldnt be very practical for me.

I think i'll be going down the DIY route to be honest. The Blingo would almost certainly be the most sensible option but i like a challenge.

I rode my first electric bike today and was really impressed with it so I may get one of those in the meantime.

Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 4:57 am
by aminorjourney
Hi Ian,

Actually, I know of a City El for sale in Colchester, and a pack of lithium Ion batteries for sale too in Bristol!


Posted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:14 pm
by Ian_Fearn
aminorjourney wrote:Hi Ian,

Actually, I know of a City El for sale in Colchester, and a pack of lithium Ion batteries for sale too in Bristol!


Tell me more :D

Posted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:01 am
by goochmeister
Hi Ian ,Here I have compiled the antinerds guide to buying an electric vehicle.
I have owned must production EV's at one point or another (no tesla yet).
First ask yourself this: do you want something to fiddle with or drive??
If its the latter then a PSA POST 2000 vehicle is the only answer,low mileage standard vehicles with fsh and rear sliding door are a good place to start.
The big thing to beware of is failed batteies.If the ECO light is coming on early and by that I mean anything over 20%.I am no techy but I use this as a guidline to save me hassle and money.
I allways ask the seller to fully charge the vehicle and ask them if a long test drive is OK if I see that light early I make my excuses and go home.
In my experience you can pick up a very good berlingo/partner for the price of a Gwiz .
If your need to fiddle is keeping you awake at night then by all means add £250 of multispace interior (that includes headlining , seat belts and carpets) and you have the best EV ever!
A really good site to check out if you are intersted in available production electric vehicles is Danny's contentment,take a look at the Buddy/Nice/ Wiz comparison,
Berlingo/Parnter will be on soon.