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DELIVERING EV VALUE? (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Chinese brand Maxus wants customers in search of a large full-electric van to consider this eDeliver 9 model. Jonathan Crouch checks out what's on offer.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 47
The Maxus eDeliver 9 doesn't quite have the impressive value proposition of its diesel range stablemate but business customers still get a lot for their money with this ambitious Chinese-made LCV. If profit matters more than polish on your fleet, this contender could be worth a try.
Backgroundword count: 87
Maxus might still be a brand unfamiliar to you. It's owned by Chinese manufacturing giant SAIC, who bought out LDV in 2009, then renamed it and have since set about revolutionising the LCV product range. Most recently with full-EV models, the mid-sized eDeliver 3 and this large eDeliver 9. This won't be the first large van you think of when seeking an all-electric product in this segment, but it stacks up well on paper in terms of battery choice, equipment and warranty. Worth a closer look then.
Driving Experienceword count: 274
There's a choice of three battery sizes - 51.5kWh (with 112 miles of combined EV range), 72kWh (146 miles) and 88.55kWh (185 miles). Either way, you get a punchy 201hp motor which gives you an instant burst of speed. Three driving modes are provided, 'Eco', 'Normal' and 'Power' - and even 'Eco' feels relatively eager. There are three brake regeneration modes as well, operated by moving the gear lever. You move it to the right and go up and down through the braked regen settings. Power is supplied progressively, but top speed is limited to just 62mph, so you won't want to do too many long motorway trips - which would strain the battery range anyway. Wind noise is noticeable above 40mph and around the corners, the low-down positioning of the battery pack keeps body roll from getting too excessive. There's not much in terms of steering feedback. Refinement isn't quite as silent as you might expect: you can hear the electric motor and there's quite a lot of road noise transmitted to the cabin. Like almost all vans, particularly large ones, the cornering demeanour of this one improves quite a bit when there's a bit of a load in the back. When you're running empty, it's rather prone to being unsettled over bumps. And whatever your eDeliver 9's load configuration, you'll certainly feel the larger potholes and tarmac tears you'll come across in typical urban motoring. When the time comes to slow down, you'll be thankful for the reassuring feel of the standard all-round disc brakes. Brake assist complements the usual ABS system for emergency stops and ESP stability control is standard too.
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