Volkswagen is to show an electric concept van, named the e-Co-Motion, at next week’s Geneva International Motor Show.
Yesterday, I took a look at Nissan’s electric van ambitions — the company reckons that nearly half of UK van drivers might be able to use an electric van to do their job, based on a daily mileage of less than 100 miles.
However, Nissan isn’t the only commercial vehicle manufacturer to have spotted this opportunity, and Volkswagen has been working hard on an electric van design too — although this one is only in concept stage, whereas Nissan’s eNV200 is almost ready for production.
Here’s how Volkswagen’s Brand Board spokesman, Dr. Eckhard Scholz, sees the future:
“Electric mobility – especially in light commercial vehicles – could play a crucial role in meeting the growing transport needs of the world’s megacities. 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.”
Volkswagen’s e-Co-Motion will be on show at the Geneva International Motor Show next week and is likely to draw some attention. It looks similar to the current model Transporter and is similar in size, too, at 4.55m long, 2m high and with a payload of 800kg, or 4.6 cubic metres.
The e-Co-Motion is designed to be flexible and allow a range of body types, built on top of a core drivetrain and battery system that is built below the cargo floor.
There’s no word yet on whether the e-Co-Motion will make it into production, but I suspect that Volkswagen may allow other companies to warm up the electric van market in advance of its arrival — as yet, demand is pretty weak for electric vans, due to high costs, charging restrictions and range anxiety.