The first all-electric e-Crafter vans have now been delivered to customers by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Surprisingly (since large companies don’t typically like to put bull horns behind their entrances into hot new markets), an official event was held to mark the first deliveries of the new product. The event was held at the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles headquarters in Hannover, Germany.
These first customers to receive their Volkswagen e-Crafter vans are spread out throughout Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, and Sweden. This first batch of deliveries will be used as test vehicles until the middle of 2018 or so, when a widespread rollout may follow with design changes based on feedback from test fleet operators.
The Chairman of the Board of Management at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Eckhard Scholz, commented: “We have developed the new e-Crafter with our customers and for our customers. We are therefore now integrating selected fleet operators into an initial customer phase so that their findings in daily operations with the vehicles can flow into the final design of the zero-emission van.”
The press release provides more: “Nothing beats practical experience: major customers from Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden are testing the new e-Crafter vans in practical use. They are package delivery services, energy suppliers, trades businesses, and individual retailers whose vehicles cover between 70 and 100 kilometres per day. Sometimes with each day involving hundreds of starts and stops. These parameters apply to around 85% of the trips made in an urban setting according to analyses performed by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles on more than 210,000 driving profiles with over 1,500 customers. The e-Crafter has been tailored precisely to these typical city operations and distances with its 100 kW power output, range of around 160 km and top speed limited to 90 kph.
“The lithium-ion battery of the e-Crafter is, however, completely integrated into the underbody. This means that the entire cargo volume (10.7 m3) is fully usable; the same applies to key dimensions such as its loading width (1,380 mm) and loading height (1,861 mm). The transporter’s maximum payload is between 1.0 and 1.75 tonnes depending on the version. At a CCS charging station supplying 40 kW (direct current), the battery (energy capacity 35.8 kWh) can be charged to 80% after just 45 minutes. If an AC wallbox supplying 7.2 kW (alternating current) of power is used, the battery can be charged to 100% within 5 hours 20 minutes.”
It’s interesting to compare those specs and the timetable for release involved to the new all-electric van offering that Deutsche Post DHL has put together. That van is essentially available now, which makes one wonder why customers would wait till after mid-2018 for a production release of the Volkswagen e-Crafter.
As a reminder here, when Deutsche Post execs asked a few years ago about having all-electric delivery vans made for them, Volkswagen execs were reported to have said that such a thing was not possible…