Peugeot e-Partner: Power to the people

2023 Peugeot e Partner 3

What is it?

Peugeot Partner is the smallest of the French carmaker’s commercial van range, sitting behind the mid-sized Expert and large Boxer.

There are three grades – City, Pro and Premium – with the choice of short and long wheelbases in Pro and Premium. 

The range also includes the e-Partner, the first fully-electric Peugeot to come here.

2023 Peugeot e Partner 2

What’s it cost?

Petrol versions range from $32,990 for the SWB City to $43,490 for the LWB Premium.

Our test vehicle, the fully-electric e-Partner Pro LWB is priced at $59,990 plus on-road costs. 

Partner is a neat and attractive vehicle with a relatively small grille above a black-checkered fill. 

The side features scalloped inserts above both wheel arches and parallel cladding at the bottom of the doors.

Although the two Premium variants come with 16-inch alloy wheels, e-Partner Pro gets 16-inch steel.

LWB Premium and e-Partner are 4.75 metres long, just over 2.10 metres wide with mirrors open and stand just under 1.90 metres high. 

Turning circle is 11.4 metres.

With the batteries in e-Partner located under the floor, load volume is 3.9 cubic metres and it can carry a 735kg of payload. 

Display is through an 8.0-inch colour touchscreen (5.0-inch in City) mounted at the centre top of the dashboard. 

It’s easy to reach and intuitive to use with most features located there. 

The picture is sharp and clear, especially important for the reversing camera which plays such an important role in any van without side or rear windows.

The audio and air conditioning controls are circular knobs, also within easy reach.

All models above City get built-in satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, DAB digital radio and voice recognition.

The screen in the e-Partner also displays an ‘electric’ menu where you can view live energy flows, consumption statistics and the ability to schedule a delayed charge.

Standard safety features across the entire Partner range include six airbags, electronic stability control, ABS brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution with brake assist, hill start assist, programmable cruise control, speed limiter, rear parking sensors and 180-degree reversing camera.

Variants above the entry-level City add automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, speed sign recognition, tyre pressure warning and a high level third brake light at the top of the rear door. 

Partner Premium and e-Partner add advanced driver attention alert and speed limit recommendation. 

e-Partner also gets an Acoustic Vehicle Alert System that generates an artificial sound when travelling at low speed to alert pedestrians. 

2023 Peugeot e Partner 5

What’s it go like?

Partner City and e-Partner come with two bucket seats, but with no centre console or storage space between them. 

There are cup holders at the top of the dashboard for both driver and passenger.

Pro and Premium petrol variants get three bucket seats.

While the centre seat is too small for travelling any distance it can be fold back and lock in at 90-degrees to provide the sort of storage that you’d normally get in a centre console. 

Alternatively, with the base in place, the backrest can fold forward to reveal a flat desktop which can slide forward to open up a small space for pens, notepads and the like.

It can even swivel sideways. 

All models get the Peugeot i-Cockpit dashboard design which has been progressively added to the company’s passenger vehicles with each upgrade.

The small, chunky steering wheel might look a bit out of place in a commercial vehicle but it feels nice and, importantly, sits below the level of the instrument cluster, avoiding the need to look through it at the dials.

Access to the storage area is through sliding doors on both sides or rear barn doors which can be locked at 90-degrees or opened a full 180-degrees. 

The interior can cater for a 1.2-metre square pallet. 

Maximum payload in the short wheelbase model is 898kg and 1000kg in the LWB.

The petrol Partner models have a 1.2-litre Euro-6 compliant three-cylinder PureTech turbo-petrol engine.

It generates 81kW in the Partner City and 96kW in the other variants, with 230Nm of torque in both tunes.

Power is transmitted to the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission with a six-speed manual for City.

e-Partner is powered by a single electric motor linked to a 50kWh lithium-ion battery that produces 100kW of power and 260Nm of torque and delivers a WLTP range of 258km.

While that range is relatively low when compared with passenger EVs, e-Partner is unlikely to spend much time outside of urban areas and so will never be far away from charging infrastructure.

Access into the Partner for people of average height is easy with little bending or climbing required.

The seats are well-shaped and comfortable.

The e-Partner is a surprisingly enjoyable vehicle to drive, more like an SUV than a van and with the normal EV benefits of sharp acceleration and smooth, silent running.

Visibility to the front 180-degrees is excellent with large windscreen, side windows and mirrors. 

To rear it’s a different story, with no windows either on the side or rear of the vehicle. 

The rear vision camera does have a wide span but caution is needed when reversing. 

There are three driving modes in e-Partner: Eco providing 60kW and 190Nm, Normal (80kW/210Nm) and Power (100kW/260Nm) with that last mode ideal for transporting heavy loads.

e-Partner comes a Mode 3 public station charging cable but, oddly, not the usual domestic cable which needs to be purchased separately.

Indicative charging times are about 7.5 hours from 0-100-percent via a 7.4kW Wallbox, or around 30 minutes with a rapid charge from 0-80-percent capacity via a 100kW DC charger.

The charging point is located at the left-side rear.

With the battery fully charged the range showed 282km, quite a bit above the WLTP range of 258 km. 

At motorway speeds it dropped quite dramatically, however, 4km for each kilometre travelled – but then levelled out when we hit the suburbs.

2023 Peugeot e Partner 4

What we like?

  • Sliding doors both sides
  • i-Cockpit dashboard design
  • Easy access with little bending or climbing required
  • Seats well-shaped and comfortable
  • Surprisingly enjoyable to drive

2023 Peugeot e Partner 8

What we don’t like?

  • Expensive
  • Steel wheels
  • Relatively low range
  • No rear windows at side or back
  • No domestic charge cable

2023 Peugeot e Partner 7

The bottom line?

Load-carrying is obviously the e-Partner’s number-one priority, but it offers comfort and refinement.

That’s partly because it’s sold in some markets as a small people mover. 

It’s neat, functional and easy to drive with good cabin and load space. 

Above the entry-level City variant there’s a good level of safety equipment.

2023 Peugeot e Partner 6


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Peugeot e-Partner Pro LWB, priced at $59,990
  • Looks - 8/10
  • Performance - 8/10
  • Safety - 7/10
  • Thirst - 7/10
  • Practicality - 8/10
  • Comfort - 8/10
  • Tech - 8/10
  • Value - 7/10

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