Opel Combo-e: An electrified delivery vehicle

The Opel Combo-e combines its passenger car and delivery vehicle genes with an unagitated electric powertrain.

Opel has lofty goals: Every series should also offer an electric vehicle variant by 2024. In 2021, the delivery vehicle/family van/craftsman’s panel van called Combo benefits from the whirring electric motor. The Combo draws its 100 kW from a 50 kWh lithium-ion battery. The battery sits in front of the rear axle and contributes 340 kilograms to the kerb weight. Despite this, the Combo-e Life remains below 1,700 kilograms. Moreover, even in this segment the days when the driver had to plan at least a couple of hours for a charging stop have long gone. If the driver is really short of time, the Opel can be recharged to 80 percent in half an hour at the 100 kW charging station. According to Opel and the WLTP, recharging right up to 100 percent will allow the vehicle to achieve a range of up to 280 kilometers. A respectable value for a car that is not primarily intended to be used for very long distances.

Self-limiting of Opel Combo-e’s top speed to135 km/h

The first test tour included a large portion of motorway driving and this was, however, reflected in the consumption. Although the tour was not really driven in a sporty style the Combo-e had around 25 kWh per 100 kilometers on the clock. And this was with its maximum speed limited electronically to only 135 km/h. But the Combo-e gets there quite quickly – 11.7 seconds for the standard sprint to 100 km/h. The purely subjective impression is that the acceleration is even a bit faster. The 260 Nm of torque that is immediately available also plays its part in this. However, the Eco mode with reduced power (60 kW/190 Nm) is quite sufficient to keep up with the traffic, especially as full power can still be called up via kick-down if the worst comes to the worst. But the Combo-e is much more economical on the test route through the city, with values of around 15 kWh. In terms of overall handling the Combo-e also benefits from the fact that the battery is installed in a central and low position. In curves the leisure activity vehicle has a firm grip on the road despite its high body.

Stronger recuperation in B mode

As is typical for an electric vehicle, the power transmission is an automatic. The driver selects the direction and the power is transferred via a single-speed transmission, on the Combo-e as on its combustion engine counterpart via front-wheel drive. This is done by means of a slider in the center console, which takes a little getting used to. Beneath the self-explanatory letters P, D, N and R is an additional button called B. This activates a mode with enhanced recuperation. Even then, though, it still lacks a bit of bite. The Combo-e is therefore a long way from one-pedal driving, or at least from some degree of individually adjustable recuperation.

Fast charger: The Opel Combo gets to 80 percent capacity in 30 minutes. Photo: Opel

Great variability

The Opel shines with practical values that it shares with the combustion engine model. The delivery vehicle body also has unbeatable advantages in terms of variability for the Life passenger car version. Available in two lengths – 4,403 or 4,753 millimeters – the wagon offers 597 or 850 liters of luggage space behind the rear seats. The maximum capacity of the vehicle is 2,693 liters. Alternatively, both versions can accommodate up to seven people, who enter the rear of the vehicle via one or optionally two sliding doors.

In terms of comfort and driver assistance, even the basic variant of the four equipment levels Life, Edition, Elegance and Ultimate is impressive. Front collision warning, hill start assist, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, cruise control and manual air conditioning are all standard features. The top level comes with, among other things, blind spot warning, parking sensors all around and automatic climate control as well as Opel Connect together with telematics services as standard.

Performance data

MOTOR  
Electric motor, front-wheel drive, direct drive transmission, two recuperation stages  
Output 100 kW (136 hp)
Battery capacity 50.0 kWh
Charging power (AC/DC) 11/100 kW
MEASURED VALUES  
Acceleration 0–100 km/h 11,7 s
Maximum speed 135 km/h
Consumption (WLTP) 19,3 kWh
Range (WLTP) 280 km
Luggage space / load 597–2.126 l/626 kg
PRICE  
Basic price € 23.016