ELECTRIC cars are still a rare sight on Britain’s roads but electric vans are rarer still.
Renault has had a decent go with the Kangoo ZE – winner of our Best Green Van Award 2014 – but now Volkswagen is taking the subject seriously as well.
Volkswagen has been showing off two VW electric vans in Germany – one that would be easy to put into production, and one that’s been used in trials with important customers to test how practical electric commercials can be in day-to-day use.
Business Vans was there to bring you the full story.
Volkswagen e-load up
First, the Volkswagen e-load up. This is nothing more or less than a light van conversion of Volkswagen’s tiny electric city car, the e-up (if you want to know more about this car, click here: The Volkswagen e-Up – don’t worry Dad, batteries are included.
The rear seats and trim are stripped out, and the load area is lined with materials more suitable for commercial use.
There’s a wire mesh bulkhead that reaches the roof-lining, so the e-load up can safely be filled to its full interior height while preserving rearward visibility when there isn’t a full load on board.
Since the e-up’s battery pack encroaches only minimally upon the cabin, this means the rear loading volume is an impressive 900 litres – just under the volume of a Ford Fiesta Van.
One interesting point – most small supermini-based vans use a three-door body-shell, but the e-load up VW showed us was a five-door model. According to Markus Arand from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, this is much more convenient in terms of loading and unloading, or fitting in awkwardly-shaped items.