Bjorn Nyland Drives Volkswagen e-Crafter Electric Van: Video

FEB 9 2019 BY DOMENICK YONEY 26

Gives real-world winter efficiency numbers.

Being a popular electric vehicle YouTuber, Bjorn Nyland has a lot of different cars show up in his driveway. As you can see in the video above, this latest one is especially different: it’s the Volkswagen e-Crafter. The van is produced by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and is something of a conversion. It borrows the drivetrain from the much smaller  VW e-Golf, placing it into the brand’s utilitarian Crafter model.

The somewhat undersized components — 100 kW (134 horsepower) motor with 214 pound-feet of torque powered by a 35.8-kWh battery — are helped out by limiting the top speed of the vehicle to 90 kph (56 miles per hour). This makes it not especially great for highway use, of course, but it’s not sold as a long-range vehicle. VW gives its range as 173 km (108 miles), which, along with its low top speed means it’s primarily meant for in city use.

Despite having the internals of a small hatch, the van, which Nyland points out weighs about 2,500 kg (5,512 pounds), is quite nimble, with the ability to accelerate like a much lighter vehicle. Being so large, he also finds it to have a very strong thirst for electrons. Since it’s winter, the figures collected are higher than they would be during warmer times of the year. As is his wont, he does a bit of energy consumption testing at different speeds and reports his findings thusly:

70 kph (43 mph): 272 Wh/km (438 Wh/mile)
80 kph (50 mph): 300 Wh/km (483 Wh/mile)
90 kph (56 mph): 363 Wh/km (584 Wh/mile)

Obviously, driving at full tilt is kicks up consumption to a pretty high level, so Nyland recommends keeping it closer to 80 kph (50 mph) when on faster roads. Besides highway driving, Nyland also spent an afternoon driving the e-Crafter around the city. He recorded a video of his adventures during this time as well and we’ve included it below. Enjoy!

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26 Comments on "Bjorn Nyland Drives Volkswagen e-Crafter Electric Van: Video"

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I love/hate how my dream of a DIY OTG AWD BEV RV is slowly, slowly coming together.

At this point it’s neck-and-neck between a van like this vs. buying a 1990s RV and utterly gutting it for BEV conversion.

Looking like the pieces will fall into place ca. 2025…

New rules may help you. EVs will be allowed to weigh more then 3500kg, and still be driven on a class B licence. This will make it possible to add a larger battery. MAN, VW, Mercedes and Renault have talked about this.
I know that at least two camper van manufacturers are working on a low weight interior for vans like this.

Always makes you wonder if they messed up on something as simple as charge port location what else did they screw up, the charge port location is a HUGE mistake, battery size is another, over weight vehicle is another…..bad design all way around.

I don’t believe the battery size to be a mistake. These vehicles have to be economical. If a fleet operator believes to get away with having 100km less range and thereby saving a couple of thousands €/$, they’ll go for it 10 out of 10 times.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Nonsense. It’s the size it is, because that’s all they had, because it’s an e-Golf powertrain and this is a minimal conversion of an ICEV. Hence the stupid charge port location.

This a just a quick conversion of a diesel van for a small series production run. They can’t remodel the body and make custom panels if they want to keep the costs reasonable.

I’d say, looking at the charge port location, it is just in the same place as the diesel counterpart. This is an ICE conversion, and the filler door is right where you want it for an ICE, just not the right place for an EV. It should be such a simple thing to fix, it will be interesting to see if VW make the effort, which would also give a clear indication of their over all EV commitment.

I see a market for cable extenders 😊.

The weight of the vehicle is as low as they can make it in steel, and be safe and stiff enough.

Battery size is mainly limited due to weight.
Larger battery = less payload = less useful = less money.

Charge port is due to easy convertion. It’s not like they will make money on this.
Maybe time to look at how chargers are constructed too. Make a few like normal gas pumps, can server cars on both sides, and increase number of cars charged at the same space and time.

Would have loved to see an electric van, made to max out the new weight limit. Large battery, and made like a passenger van, camper van and what not.

Exactly. Every pound of battery is one pound less cargo. VW has been making these for years, and I doubt internet critics who have never seen one or driven a vehicle like that probably do not have the same set of information VW has on making decisions. And w.r.t. charge port, almost certainly they want to spend less on conversion but also consider where the batteries are (not under the hood), although maybe minor adding another 6 feet of wire harness to put the plug in front will add cost and weight. And if VW is correct, then typical daily range puts the van back at company headquarters at night for charging and also back at headquarters several times per day. Obvious guy says the business owner will install the charger where the van can be charged conveniently with a side port. Or shockingly they may just buy a longer cable. Every fleet motorpool I’ve ever seen installs the fuel pumps so that the vehicle pulls up beside it in a ‘lane’. No reason to believe this same approach wouldn’t be done for EV chargers.

Weight? This is a freaking delivery van with several cubic meter of payload. As Bjørn points out his Tesla X weighs even more, which has not half the utility of this car. This is a commercial vehicle.

As for similar competing vans:
Lightning Systems offers an electric version of a Ford Transit van, claiming a 120 mile range, and Mercedes is in talks with Tesla to convert their Sprinter van.

The fuel savings for large vans like this would be huge. My diesel van (similar size) from Ford use 1.2 – 1.3 liters for every 10km driven in the city. . If not more.

It would make a cool Mini Motor Home if it had a BIG Battery for Long Range Operation in Remote Areas, . Easy to Park Go anywhere Mini Motor Home . ….Hint Hint Tesla * 🙂 *

If they could build it in aluminium, without a major price increase – it would save weight they could use for a bigger battery. The market is extremely price sensitive. So much so, that vans like this are renewed by the manufacturers only every 10 years.. but normal cars are renewed every 4-6 years. So. . I don’t have hopes for aluminium. But maybe replace all the doors and the hood could save the weight enough to give room (weight) for a larger battery. The new rules that gives EVs the option to weigh more then the ICE version will sort the battery limitations for sure. Give buyers the option to opt for another battery unit, if they feel it is worth the extra cost. Where I work, we could probably replace 1/3 of the large van fleet with this EV. Another 2/3 could be replaced if they had about 200-250km range. The rest is vans that really cover large distances (400-1200km a day). We cycle the vans to get about equal km driven by each during the life of the vehicles. Depending on the model we get 600k – 1million km on each. Back when we used Toyota high… Read more »

The problem with this vehicle is a basic one – WHY didn’t they put the charge port in a normal location. Surely VW must know that you will use up 3 charger port spaces with their funny location. It only takes a few meters of extra wire to put the charge port where it will only use one charger space. This is so BASIC an error that you wonder if VW is really serious.

The answer is simple: because the body of this e-Crafter isn’t fundamentally different from the diesel Crafter. The fuel port is at the same location. VW didn’t develop this vehicle from scratch.

We had to build new chargers that could be accessed by all sides when we got a new electric truck with about 13m3 cargo space.
Due to the lift in the back and batteries, cargo weight is restricted.
This year, we will mostly buy small cargo vans from Renault. Looks like they are the best model for it’s size. In that vehicle type cargo weight is less important.

This year, and the next will be the year were electric vans will start to take a noticable market share in Norway.

Meister – that is a real “Mommy’s Basement” comment If I ever heard one. I assume they had to drill a new mounting hole – Or come up with a conversion plate for the drive shaft attachment to the Gear-motor.

A guy in his basement could come up with an adapter plate to put the charging port on the front of the truck. With a bit of extra wiring – I bet VW corporate-wide has the technology to remount the charger port.

Comercial use of electric cars it’s where the tech fits perfectly when many miles are made per day, but not that much that range becomes a problem.
While not all activities fit in that use case the market for them it’s already huge.
Obviously this EV uses components from other VW products, making everything really the best and new would turn it into something a lot better and hugely more expensive.
The charging port in such a big car should be duplicated… eventually with time there will be some chargers in each charging local with longer cables for big vehicles.

They should probably offer another charging port behind the VW logo in front, for people who want that. Would probably cost $1000 though. Cable size and length, socket, flap and extra work.

FastnNed have their setup just like gas stations, with chargers on the side of the car. Who knows, that might be the future..

VW e-Crafter is a rush work since StreetScooter is such a success.
https://www.streetscooter.eu/

It’s not like VW, or streetscooter make any real money on this market segment yet. In about 5 years time, we will see a new from the ground design from several manufacturers. Probably some cooperation too. Then, they may make money on the product they sell.
Until then, we’ll hope they will get regulations they can live with, to make the best out of conversions. Higher energy density, and a slightly higher vehicle weight would make this a vehicle type that probably 2/3 of van customers could buy.

StreetScooter was designed as an EV. Hard to say what their profitability is, but they are used in the 1000s bei DHL/Deutsche Post and are sold to other customers by now. I am sure they are not sold at a loss (gross margin), since the Post is not in the car business and desperate to get market share.

They are desperate for volume though, to keep their cost down and recoup their investment.