At this year's IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hannover, Volkswagen is premiering an electric version of Crafter. It's named e-Crafter, a near production-ready solution for zero emission city centre delivery traffic, with expected first deliveries next year.

According to Volkswagen, electric power was already part of the very first designs for the new Crafter; alternative powertrain is not going to affect the car's character as the dimensions will remain the same – it has 11.3 cubic metres of cargo space and a maximum cargo space height of 1,961 millimetres. The load width available between the wheel arches is 1,380 mm and the maximum cargo space length is 4,855 mm.

The concept vehicle with a permitted total weight of 4.2 tonnes and a maximum load of 1,709 kilograms, is equipped with an 100-kilowatt electric motor (producing maximum torque of 290 Newton metres) that can accelerate the vehicle to up to the maximum permitted speed of 80 km/h, which is enough to take on the urban motorway and inter-urban trips.

The motor is powered by a battery pack, consisting of 312 cells with a total capacity of 43 kilowatt hours. The batteries are located under the cargo space floor to save space. The unit enables a range of more than 200 kilometres and it can be charged back up to 80 per cent in 45 minutes. Taking into account future battery developments, the e-Crafter could be configured to offer ranges of up to 400 kilometres.

Looking at differences between the new e-Crafter concept vehicle and the diesel versions, te most obvious one is the special Reef Blue Metallic paintwork, matching painted bumpers and protective side strips and a blue bar on the radiator grille. It's also equipped with the signature C-shape of the daytime running lights, which are typical for Volkswagen electric vehicles. The cockpit is also a little different, as it comes with a 'power meter' in place of a rev counter, and there are also titanium black seats with blue trim and a leather steering wheel with blue decorative stitching and.

Sept. 23, 2016 Driving photo: Volkswagen

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