Volkswagen e-Crafter

Volkswagen e-Crafter

Volkswagen has unveiled its all-electric e-Crafter van from the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hannover.

It's technically still the concept that is being shown, but the program is already near production ready, with Volkswagen intending to deliver the first units to customers in 2017.

With a 43 kWh battery, the e-Crafter's range is estimated at 208 km (129 miles).

Volkswagen also hinted at the same time that the platform has been designed to accommodate much larger batteries, the could provide up to 400 km/249 miles of utility driving.

The vehicle payload is rated at 1,709 kg, and cargo space is listed at 11.3 cubic metres (so no compromises here because it plugs-in).

The 100 kW and 290 Nm electric motors also should be enough for city deliveries, but forget about the highway, as top speed is limited to 80 km/h (50 mph) - which seems a bit like a fatal flaw to us.

Fast charging capability is included (0-80% in 45 minutes @ 40 kW CCS).

Volkswagen e-Crafter - complete with obligatory windmills

Volkswagen e-Crafter - complete with obligatory windmills

"Even from the very first designs for the new Crafter electric power as a drive system variant was already incorporated into the plans, as Dr Eckhard Scholz, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, explains the contemporary implementation of this concept: "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 robust inner qualities, such as outstanding payload capacity, ideal cargo space of 11.3 cubic metres and a maximum cargo space height of 1,961 millimetres. 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.

With a permitted total weight of 4.2 tonnes the roadworthy concept vehicle is accelerated by the 100-kilowatt electric motor up to the maximum permitted speed of 80 km/h. Both urban motorway and inter-urban journeys are thus no problem. Thanks to maximum torque of 290 Newton metres, which is effectively available without any delay, appropriate performance levels are a piece of cake even with a maximum load of 1,709 kilograms.

Volkswagen e-Crafter

Volkswagen e-Crafter

The concept vehicle's battery pack, which is made up of 312 cells and has a total capacity of 43 kilowatt hours, is accommodated in space-saving fashion under the cargo space floor. The cargo space capacity thus remains unchanged. Depending on vehicle configuration, the battery unit enables a range of more than 200 kilometres. Subject to sufficient charging current capacity, the batteries can also be charged back up to 80 per cent in 45 minutes.

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 kilometres become possible.

These are very interesting prospects for many industries, not just those operating on city centre roads.

The new e-Crafter concept vehicle sets itself apart from the diesel versions through special Reef Blue Metallic paintwork, matching painted bumpers and protective side strips and a blue bar on the radiator grille. The silent Crafter can also be recognised from the front by the signature C-shape of the daytime running lights, the typical identifying feature of Volkswagen electric vehicles.

Volkswagen e-Crafter

Volkswagen e-Crafter

The cockpit differs from the diesel versions in that it has a 'power meter' in place of a rev counter, a leather steering wheel with blue decorative stitching and titanium black seats with blue trim.

The cargo space is already appropriately equipped for the challenges of tomorrow, that the courier services sector in particular is set to face. The cargo floor elements, including ProSafe load-lashing system, Flex-Rack set-up and Globelyst shelving system, come from upgrade specialists Sortimo. The concept vehicle being shown at the IAA has additionally been given a service station, in which replacement batteries for these special cargo e-bikes can be stored and charged."

The e-Crafter concept vehicle's technical data (IAA 2016):

Drive system: Electric motor
Power output: 100 kW
Torque: 290 Nm
Battery: Lithium-ion (26 x 12 cells)
43 kWh
384 V
Charging time: 45 min (at 40 kW) DC 40 kW
Perm. total weight: 4,250 kg
Top speed: 80 km/h
Range: 208 km
EC kerb weight: 2,541 kg
Load: 1,709 kg
Cargo space capacity: 11.3 m3