The Volkswagen eCrafter all-electric van will make its UK debut at the CV Show in Birmingham later this month.
The unveiling at the show between 24th and 26th April comes ahead of the van beginning a real-world testing programme with UK customers from the start of May. European versions have been under test with customers in Hannover, Germany since December.
Four UK customers are taking part in the tests: Gatwick Airport, Heathrow Airport, the City of London Corporation and the London Borough of Southwark. According to Gatwick fleet manager John Hole, the tests will be important for the airport; “Sustainable transport is an important focus for Gatwick across our entire business, including alternative fuelled vans and it is great to see such innovation in the supply chain.”
The electric Crafter has been pitched towards vehicles that cover between 40 and 60 miles a day, making several stops. VW research involving 1500 customers and 21,000 journeys suggests that around 85% of urban commercial vehicle use fits into this category.
A range of around 100 miles and a 100kW power output, together with a 56mph limited maximum speed, should make the eCrafter well suited to such use.
The eCrafter also retains the same 10.7 cubic metre cargo volume capability of the conventional version, the lithium-ion battery completely integrated into the underbody. A maximum payload of between 1.0 and 1.75 tonnes is available, while charging time for the battery at a CCS charging station will take 45 minutes to reach 80% capacity. From a wallbox, charging time to 100% is around 5.5 hours.
Volkswagen intends to put the eCrafter on sale in Europe in September 2018, once it has been extensively tested by customers in practice and made fully ready for the market. However its introduction to right-hand-drive markets such as the Uk is not currently scheduled until at least 2020.