Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Unveils e-Crafter Electric Van Concept

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Another day, another new Volkswagen electric vehicle concept. This time, the concept is somewhat compelling — an electric van with a 100 kilowatt (kW) motor and a 43 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack, accompanied by a single-charge range of over 200 kilometers (~125 miles) on the NEDC testing cycle.


“Somewhat compelling” ignores the fact that Nissan has been offering a similar product for quite some time, though, but this is still more interesting than most of the recent concept vehicles.

The new concept, the e-Crafter electric van, was unveiled by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles as part of the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hanover, Germany.


Green Car Congress provides more: “With a permitted total weight of 4.2 tonnes, the concept vehicle is equipped with a 100 kW, 290 N·m motor powered by a 312-cell (26 x 12), 43 kWh Li-ion battery pack. Maximum permitted speed is 80 km/h (50 mph). The concept vehicle’s battery pack is fitted under the cargo space floor; cargo space capacity thus remains unchanged from conventionally powered Crafters… Subject to sufficient charging current capacity, the batteries can also be charged back up to 80% in 45 minutes at 40 kW.”


Continuing: “Using an electric drive system as a variant was incorporated into the designs for the new Crafter from the very beginning. Dr Eckhard Scholz, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said that the first e-Crafter vehicles will already be in customers’ hands by 2017. The character of the new Crafter has not been changed by the electric drive system. The concept vehicle continues to offer a cargo space of 11.3 cubic meters and a maximum cargo space height of 1,961 millimeters. The load width available between the wheel arches is 1,380 mm and the maximum cargo space length is 4,855 mm, thus meaning no changes to the overall dimensions. The e-Crafter’s design already takes into account future battery developments, with which—depending on customer requirements and specification—freely configurable ranges of up to 400 kilometers (249 miles) become possible.”


So, this vehicle isn’t really on the market yet and the longer-range future versions are apparently a vague few years off, but that fits with Volkswagen’s approach to date — keep putting everything off a few years into the future. It seems that Volkswagen likes to reveal a somewhat interesting concept and then make mention of how much better it will be a few years from now, when battery technologies improve. That remind you of anything?

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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