Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles introduced the e-Crafter electric van concept at this year’s IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hanover. With a permitted total weight of 4.2 tonnes, the concept vehicle is equipped with a 100 kW, 290 N·m motor powered by a 312-cell (26 x 12), 43 kWh Li-ion battery pack. Maximum permitted speed is 80 km/h (50 mph).
The concept vehicle’s battery pack is fitted under the cargo space floor; cargo space capacity thus remains unchanged from conventionally powered Crafters. Depending on vehicle configuration, the battery unit enables a range of more than 200 kilometres (124 miles). Subject to sufficient charging current capacity, the batteries can also be charged back up to 80% in 45 minutes at 40 kW.
Using an electric drive system as a variant was incorporated into the designs for the new Crafter from the very beginning. Dr Eckhard Scholz, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said that 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 a cargo space of 11.3 cubic meters and a maximum cargo space height of 1,961 millimeters. 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.
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 kilometers (249 miles) become possible.
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 recognized from the front by the signature C-shape of the daytime running lights, the typical identifying feature of Volkswagen electric vehicles.
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.