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Electric VW e-Crafter coming to Aus

Getting Crafty: The Volkswagen e-Crafter will find its way into Australian showrooms, but not before 2022.

Volkswagen e-Crafter a matter of ‘not if but when’ for local market, around 2022

Volkswagen logo19 Jul 2018

By ROBBIE WALLIS in AUCKLAND

VOLKSWAGEN Australia has confirmed that the all-electric version of its second-generation Crafter van will arrive in Australia, but it will not hit local dealerships until next decade.
 
Speaking to GoAuto at the launch of the new Crafter in Auckland, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Australia director Carlos Santos said that it was only a matter of time before the e-Crafter was offered Down Under.
 
“I think e-Crafter is likely for Australia at some point, I think it is more of a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’,” he said.
 
“I’m a big supporter of electric, I think particularly for city applications in Australia, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, I think it’s really – we have something there. And I think e-Crafter will be something that does have some demand and could justify for Australia.”
 
The first examples of the e-Crafter were delivered late last year in Europe, as part of a case study to precede a more extensive rollout this year. Volkswagen will use feedback from test fleet operators to fine-tune the e-Crafter for its mass market launch.
 
Mr Santos said it was not appropriate to launch the e-Crafter in the current Australian market, but once the new-generation diesel version has settled into the market, the electric version should be ready to follow.
 
When asked if it could launch here now, he said: “Not right now it could.
 
“I certainly think by around that 2022 period it would be ideal for that sort of time when we start to hit our volume straps, and once we’ve got everything in place we can start talking to some specific fleet customers that may want to trial an electric option for a period of time and launch it into the market that way.”
 
He added that Volkswagen has received inquiries from business and fleet customers looking to boost their environmental credentials.
 
“We have (had interest from fleet customers), we have had some that have seen e-Crafter or things about the e-Crafter and are very interested in partnering with us and having some kind of exclusive arrangement where they can get the publicity out of having an electric fleet of something like that, which we would be very interested in.
 
“And I think that’s a great way to introduce it to Australia, so really see some good opportunity for that – not immediately though.”
 
The e-Crafter is powered by an electric motor producing 100kW/290Nm through the front wheels, while a 43kWh can provide up to 200km of driving range, with a top speed of 80km/h and up to 80 per cent battery recuperation in 45 minutes.
 
When it eventually arrives in Australia, the e-Crafter will likely do battle with the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter, revealed in February and slated for European production in 2019. While it has been confirmed for Australia, local timing is yet to be detailed.

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