Electric delivery vans are a relatively unexplored area of the market, yet they make a surprising amount of sense.
In many cases, a delivery vehicle will cover relatively modest daily mileage, from depot to various drop-offs and back again--spending much of that time standing still, when being loaded and unloaded.
Volkswagen previewed its own vision of a future electric delivery van at the Geneva Motor Show, named the e-Co-Motion concept.
A futuristic take on the Transporter van sold throughout Europe, the e-Co-Motion is entirely electric and can handle a payload of up to 1,760 pounds--equivalent to lower-end models of the current Transporter. Cargo capacity is 162 cu-ft.
A continuous power output of 67 horsepower moves the van along, with a boost up to 115 horses when required. Really, it's the 199 lb-ft torque output that would prove most useful for moving those heavy loads.
Should occasional freeway travel be required, a top speed of 75 mph is possible. A sub 30-foot turning circle will be of more use though, as will the three different modular battery options, depending on usage. 20 kWh (62 miles), 30 kWh (93 miles) or 40 kWh (124 miles) options would be available. The battery box itself is a load-bearing element of the van's chassis, helping reduce the weight of having separate structures.
VW has designed the concept to be as easy and distraction-free to use as possible--helping the driver concentrate on his or her daily duties.
A flat cabin floor is facilitated by the lack of e-brake lever or gear selector--the former is electronic, the latter uses a rotary dial. A central control panel is used for climate and infotainment functions, while the center console is modular, separating functions into different elements.
Volkswagen e-Co-Motion electric van concept, 2013 Geneva Motor Show
"Electric mobility--especially in light commercial vehicles--could play a crucial role in meeting the growing transport needs of the world’s megacities,’ explains Dr. Eckhard Scholz, Speaker of the VW Brand Board of Management.
"Freight trains and conventional or hybrid-powered high capacity lorries would deliver goods up to the city limits. Then, at transfer stations, smaller electric delivery vans would take over. Their predictable travel routes and fixed depots would simplify battery charging and equipment maintenance."
For more production car and concept launches, head to our Geneva Motor Show page for all the photos and details.