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All-electric Volkswagen e-Crafter van coming in 2017

New Volkswagen Crafter van will offer more than 120-mile range and is on display at the IAA Comercial Vehicles show in Hannover

As part of Volkswagen’s ongoing commitment to electric vehicles, the first concept of the VW e-Crafter van has gone on show at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show. It’s a fully electric version of VW’s latest large panel van, and the company claims production models will be with the first customers at the start of 2017.

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The concept doesn’t give away any cargo space to accommodate its electric powertrain – overall interior dimensions are identical to the Crafter diesel models. This is because the battery system is mounted underneath the cargo floor – allowing for a cargo space of 11.3 cubic metres. Maximum payload is 1,709kg – competitive, though nowhere near the highest in the large panel van class.

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The e-Crafter claims to offer over 120 miles of range in its current form – though they won’t be fast miles, as the van’s top speed is just 50mph. That comes courtesy of a 134bhp electric motor with 290Nm of torque.

Volkswagen to show new electric concept at Paris Motor Show

Volkswagen claims that the e-Crafter is set up ready for improvements in battery tech – as the capacity of batteries advances, future models could benefit from a range of over 250 miles.

Inside the load area, the e-Crafter is set up ready for inner-city drop-offs, with a ProSafe load-lashing system, Flex-Rack setup and Globelyst shelving system. There’s even a service station to charge electric bicycles. On the outside, the van gets the same C-shaped daytime running lights as the rest of Volkswagen’s electric range, as well as a special Reef Blue paint scheme. This is carried over to the inside where the seats are decorated with black and blue trim.

Volkswagen says that customers should have the first models of the Volkswagen e-Crafter by early 2017. It’s not known what the specs of the final vehicle will be, but there could be a top speed increase in order to allow the e-Crafter to keep up with faster traffic.

Would you buy an all-electric van for inner-city work? Let us know in the comments below...

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