Automotive

VW to deliver e-Crafter electric van in 2017

VW to deliver e-Crafter electr...
The VW e-Crafter will be production ready in 2017
The VW e-Crafter will be production ready in 2017
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The VW e-Crafter will be production ready in 2017
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The VW e-Crafter will be production ready in 2017
The e-Crafter has a range of 208 km
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The e-Crafter has a range of 208 km
VW's C-shaped daytime running lights are fitted to all its electric cars
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VW's C-shaped daytime running lights are fitted to all its electric cars
There are blue highlights scattered around the van's exterior
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There are blue highlights scattered around the van's exterior
The e-Crafter was launched at IAA in Hannover
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The e-Crafter was launched at IAA in Hannover
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Electric vehicles have a huge range of potential applications, from ludicrous passenger cars to distribution trucks, but delivery vans running around the city stacks up as one of the best uses of quiet, zero-local emissions technology. With the new e-Crafter, launched today at IAA in Hannover, Volkswagen has turned to battery power for urban delivery duties on routes up to 200 km.

The e-Crafter has 100 kW (134 hp) of power and 290 Nm of torque, while top speed is limited to 80 km/h (50 mph), which should be plenty for operators carrying up to 1,700 kg (3,748 lb) on regular city roads, although it may prove problematic if drivers find themselves on faster moving highways and motorways.

The motors draw on a 43 kWh lithium-ion battery sitting under the load floor. Although range will vary based on the load being carried, Volkswagen is claiming the e-Crafter can cover up to 208 km (129 mi) on a single charge. Using a DC 40 kW fast charger, the battery can be topped up to 80 percent in just 45 minutes.

That range figure is 38 km (24 mi) more than the Nissan e-NV200 can manage, although the Nissan's 120 km/h (75 mph) top speed is 40 km/h (25 mph) higher than the e-Crafter's.

The e-Crafter has a range of 208 km
The e-Crafter has a range of 208 km

Although the current range is impressive, it's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the e-Crafter's potential. The van has been designed to accommodate future battery developments, meaning the current range could potentially be doubled as technology improves.

Volkswagen says the electric Crafter holds the same amount of cargo as the regular petrol and diesel models launched in July. It shares the same impressive 0.33 Cd as the regular van, and the impressive range of driver aids is also available.

From the outside, there's not a heap setting the e-Crafter apart from internal-combustion models. Alongside the special blue paintwork, there are distinct daytime running lights up front, and some blue pieces on trim in the grille. It's a similar story inside, where swapping the rev counter for a "power meter" is the only real change of note.

The whole thing, from the cabin to the design, is quite utilitarian – but that's the point here. Drone carrying, fully integrated electric concepts are exciting, but it's bare-bones practicality that will get businesses to adopt electric vehicles. The e-Crafter is just a regular van with an electric powertrain, and that's all most buyers will need.

The e-Crafter shown at IAA is just a pre-production concept, but Volkswagen says it's almost production ready. Deliveries are slated for 2017.

Source: Volkswagen Commercial

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4 comments
VincentWolf
Why such a small battery in such a big vehicle? Makes no sense at all. It should have a bigger battery then it will be more stable in crosswinds and more difficult to rollover. And then more range with higher speeds necessary for delivery anywhere in a city--not just local streets. I think this will fail.
MikeofLA
This seems like a missed opportunity. Like Vincent said, bigger vehicles can hold bigger batteries, so why not put an 80kwh on it. Sure, that raises the price, but delivery vehicles travel 100's of miles a day, not to mention, that would give this van even more potential as more than just a delivery vehicle. It could be a work van, passenger shuttle or a food truck.
swaan
Yes the battery pack is like an afterthought - no wait it IS an afterthought. I mean the Bolt EV/Ampera-e could fit in it volume wise and it has almost 40% larger battery. Its brand greenwashing.
voluntaryist
50mph problematic? Confined to side roads is too restrictive for most uses.
Trying to justify too small a battery by telling us we can upgrade with advances in technology and the range is "impressive"? No cigar for you! Fail & fail.
The title should have included BEV for clarity.