Maxus e-Deliver 3 review: No more fueling around

5 Mar 2021

5 March, 2021

[This article was first published on businesstimes.com.sg]

The Maxus e-Deliver 3 lowers fuel costs substantially. By doing away with fuel altogether.

The Maxus has 4,800 litres of cargo space, 905kg of payload capacity and can cover 240km on a single charge.

LIGHT commercial vehicles deliver all sorts of goods, but here's one that delivers savings. The e-Deliver 3 is an all-electric van from Maxus, a Chinese brand that Cycle & Carriage handles here.

C&C sells it for S$68,999, and if you budget S$38,000 for a Certificate Of Entitlement (COE), that would bring its final price to S$106,999.

But the new Commercial Vehicle Emissions Scheme (CVES) that kicks in on April 1 will let you claw back much of that. Zero-emissions vans like the Maxus come with a S$30,000 rebate, spread out in three equal payments over the first three years of the van's ownership.

Interested yet? C&C says the van is significantly cheaper to run than a normal one. To hammer home the point, it has a table on its website estimating how much it costs to operate the e-Deliver 3. It says that driving 200km a day would make it cheaper to run by S$2,647 a year than a diesel van, and S$7,388 a year than a petrol one. Over 10 years, it's clear that the Maxus might even pay for quite a lot of itself.

Those calculations were made before Budget Day's rise in fuel duties too, so the potential savings are higher than what C&C suggests.

CVES could push battery power into the mainstream, at least in the world of vans, trucks and buses. "We want to make electric commercial vehicles a key part of our business," a C&C spokesperson told The Business Times. She added that the dealership group is looking to gain market share by working with businesses that are seeking greener and more sustainable solutions.

For now, prospective electric van buyers have little in the way of options, since there are currently only three models of electric vans available for sale in Singapore. That does make comparing them easy.

The Maxus' trump card over its two rivals, the Renault Kangoo ZE and the BYD T3, is that it has the ability to carry more. It has 4,800 litres of cargo space, and 905kg of payload capacity, and it's easy to see the advantages that would bring to the world of logistics.

Comparatively, the Kangoo's figures are rated at 4,600 litres and 650kg, and the BYD's 3,800 litres and 700kg.

What everyone usually wants to know about an EV is how far it will go on a single charge, and the Maxus is apparently good for 240km. That ought to satisfy most operators, especially since commercial vehicles tend to have well-defined usage patterns.

Charging it takes eight hours with an AC charger, which is a feasible prospect if the van can be parked overnight at your company's premises, though if you're in a pinch, the Maxus also accepts faster DC charging. That's available from various locations, including some Shell stations, and brings the battery up to 80 per cent in 45 minutes. That means a lunch stop would be enough to re-energise both the Maxus and its crew.

That crew should find it an upgrade from the typical van, too. Being electric-powered, the Maxus feels unnaturally brisk in its acceleration. You can get to triple digit speeds rather quickly, but you also have to remember that this is a van after all, and the speed warning chime that starts beeping at 70km/h serves as a constant reminder of what you're driving, and to stay within the limits of the law.

Other neat features on the Maxus include heated door mirrors, and a reversing camera, which is quite a necessity given how challenging it can be to manoeuvre such a sizable vehicle. C&C also says that customer vehicles will come with Apple CarPlay, a feature which was absent in the test drive vehicle.

While those features are nice to have, fleet operators ultimately consider total operating costs when trying to decide what vans to buy. If the CVES rebate and low running costs don't clinch it for the Maxus, perhaps nothing will.

Given how much a business could stand to save by switching to electric drive, however, clinging to combustion power and refusing to consider a van like the Maxus just seems like a fuelish thing to do.

[Source: The Business Times Online © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction.]

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