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Volkswagen’s e-Co-Motion e-van concept offers three-stage modular battery pack for different range requirements

LeadImage-e-Co-Motion_concept 1
The e-Co-Motion. Click to enlarge.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles presented the e-Co-Motion concept electric city delivery van at the Geneva Motor Show. (Earlier post.) The van offers a three-stage modular battery concept to accommodate the different range requirements of customers.

A battery with a capacity of 20 kWh could be installed for driving ranges of around 100 km (62 miles), while a battery with 30 kWh would enable a 150 km (93 mile) driving range. Finally, a battery with 40 kWh storage capacity is planned for the top driving range of 200 km (124 miles). The crossmembers and rib structure of the battery box let it serve a secondary purpose as a load-bearing body element that also helps to reduce vehicle weight.

The electric drive unit is mounted to the rear axle together with a single-speed planetary gearbox to achieve large wheel turning angles at the front axle and thereby the maneuverability that is so important for city operation. As a result, its turning circle is 8.95 meters, which is unique in this vehicle class.

The continuous power output of the compact drive unit is 50 kW, with maximum power is 85 kW; maximum torque of 270 N·m (199 lb-ft) enables good acceleration even in heavily loaded vehicles. Although it was designed for city deliveries on city streets, the electronics of the e-Co-Motion concept do not limit its top speed until 120 km/h (75 mph). This permits driving on city motorways and short intercity routes.

The cabin of the e-Co-Motion focuses on the everyday needs of a transporter: step in, buckle up and drive off. Instead of a selector lever, a rotary gear selector switch is installed, and there is no conventional handbrake lever. In turn, this simplifies walking through via the passenger’s side door, which is also made easier by a folding seat on the passenger’s side.

The control panel addresses nearly all vehicle functions from a central point and displays the necessary information on an eight-inch color monitor. A movable, modular center console features computer, storage compartment, drink holders and 12 V and 230 V accessory outlets.



How long would the batteries last? I mean how often would you have to buy a new battery for the vehicle? It seems like the money you save on gas could end up being nullified by the extra cost of new batteries every year or two.


@TR, a new understanding of Li-ion battery degradation, with movies, may lead to many decade batteries:


EV batteries are normally guaranteed 8 to 10+ years. Future EV batteries will last as long as the vehicle.

That is more than ICEVs can claim because they very often require major high cost maintenance after 3 or 4 years only and more and more thereafter.

ICEVs uers-supporters like to forget about all the $$$ spent on their vehicles, specially after 4 years.


Good to see several battery options.


Hopefully the batteies won't blow up. The Chevrolet Volt had its battery pack catch fire in a crash test in 2011. Two Fisker Karma Hybrids had their lithium batteries catch fire during normal operation in 2012. Dell, Apple, Toshiba, and Lenovo lap tops in 2006 had lithium ion failures due to thermal runaway of batteries manufactured by Sony.

In 2011 lithium ion battery packs had to be replaced in Cessna CJ4 private jets with nickel cadmium batteries because of fires. New FAA rules were even necessary for shipment of these potential time bombs after it was supected that fires on a 747 and DC-8 cargo planes were caused by lithium ion batteries. The latest 787 fiasco is just the last straw in a long list of safety issues with this technology.


With proper design, there should be no problem. The Volt incident was due to not discharging the batteries, which should be standard practice.

The 787 mess was bad design from a company that has no long track record making large format lithium cells. Boeing should have never used Yuasa as a vendor. That was a HUGE mistake.


Not so sure the the B-787's batteries should be blamed at 100%. Bad wiring, faulty installation, lack of ventilation and faulty load controls may have played a major role?

Of course, a fall guy must be found?


My point is that is increased risk to go with a vendor that has less experience in large format lithium batteries.



Cheap FUD.

The Karma's caught fire because of a faulty cooling fan. The Volt had been in an accident and its systems were compromised. All cars can catch fire, and they do so on a regular basis. A battery is safer than a tank of gasoline.

Move on people, nothing to see here.



Hardly Cheap FUD.

Cars do indeed catch fire but not spontaneously as do battery powered cars planes or laptops.

If there are millions of EVs on the road in the future, as is everyone's wet dream, just a few spectacular batterry failures will discredit the whole enterprise. You may be too young but I can well remember what Ford went through when Pinto cars blew up on a regular basis in rear end collisions.

A lithium battery isn't safer than a tank of gasoline. The FAA mandated back in the 1980's that lithium batteries be taken out of ELTs because the batteries were blowing up on a regular basis. They haven't mandated taking aviation fuel tanks out of airplanes.

Claptrat on your part isn't going to make an iota of difference.


EV battery fires are not spontaneous, they might appear that way because there are no telltale signs such as a lot of smoke and flames that you get from gasoline fires.. you dont need to worry about this, they are rare events, just like gasoline fires under the hood.


The world has stopped counting how many ICEVs catch fire on a weekly basis. A rough guess would be 1000+/week and it is probably many times more.

Even with all those ICEVs going up in flame, the world is still buying them at an increasing rate.

Many ICEVs were/are unfit to drive. Almost 20% of the 32,000+ road fatalities/year in USA are caused by unfit ICEVs and it barely make page 19.

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