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VW crafts e-Crafter EV van

German crafted: Volkswagen’s e-Crafter concept is set for trials in Europe but is unlikely to be offered in Australia.

Electric Volkswagen e-Crafter van set for Euro trials next year, but Aus unlikely


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25 Sep 2016

VOLKSWAGEN has unveiled a pure electric version of its all-new Crafter large van series at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hannover, Germany this week.

While still under the ‘concept’ stage, the Germans have confirmed that limited sales will commence next year in selected European locations.

However, it is highly unlikely Australia will experience this particular study, with Volkswagen Group Australia product marketing manager Jeff Shafer revealing that no EVs are destined for this market for the time being.

“We are monitoring the development of the market for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle,” he told GoAuto at the launch of the second-generation Tiguan this week.

“But it’s been very slow to develop in Australia compared to other markets for a number a reasons… petrol is very cheap, there is a not a lot of government policy to promote it.

“However we do watch it very closely, and we are keeping a close eye on it… and when the stars align in terms of product readiness and market readiness, then that’s when we will react. But that’s a little way off.” The regular Crafter will arrive in new-generation guise in Australia from the second half of next year.

Central to the e-Crafter is a 43kWh battery pack, packed down low beneath the cargo floor helping provide a low centre of gravity and so it does not interfere with the 11.3 cubic metre load space, although payload is reduced significantly to 1709kg.

The front wheels are driven by an electric motor pumping out 100kW of power and 290Nm of torque. Up to 200km of electric driving range is possible, the top speed is 80km/h and 80 per cent of the battery is chargeable within 45 minutes.

Volkswagen suggests that, if needed, the top-up charge can occur within the usual lunch break hour, but of course the infrastructure has to be there in the first place for that to happen. The company reckons that in the not-too-distant future, improved battery tech might see that range double.

After a torrid year of the diesel emissions cheating scandal and the billions of dollars still being spent to rectify that, the e-Crafter sends out a very clear message that Volkswagen is looking forward to fossil-fuel-free vehicles, even in the commercial sphere.

The e-Crafter comes a couple of weeks after Mercedes-Benz revealed its futuristic electric, autonomous Vision Van that the company predicts could revolutionise the delivery van market.

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