Remember the Volkswagen e-Crafter van concept? It looks like its production version won’t bear the same moniker. Instead, VW could be planning to etch the term “e-Transporter” on the concept’s nameplate when it arrives as a production model sometime this year.
The possible change in name came as the German carmaker just recently trademarked four nameplates: e-Transporter, Allsider, Duomotion and Twin Motion. The Allsider moniker could be a new badge for the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Meanwhile the Duomotion and Twin Motion aliases could be suffixes to define the type of powertrain behind the company’s vehicles.
Volkswagen took the veils off the e-Crafter van concept at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hannover, Germany in September 2016. Boasting of zero emissions, the concept van is touted to be a perfect choice for delivery vehicles and logistics service providers. At its core is a built-in 100 kW electric motor that could provide 290 Nm of peak torque, allowing the VW e-Crafter to achieve a top speed of 80km/h. This electric motor derives its juice from 43-kWh battery pack that allows the e-Crafter to travel up to 200 km before needing to recharge. The battery e-Crafter could be recharged up to 80 percent of its energy capacity in less than an hour thanks to a 40 kW DC quick charger.
Volkswagen is already offering a diesel version of the commercial van, called the VW Crafter. Both the Crafter and the e-Crafter have the same exceptional payload capacity at around 1,961 mm of max cargo space. Although powered by an electric drive system, the e-Crafter’s overall makeup remains basically the same as the Crafter diesel commercial van – as its 312-cell battery unit is located underneath the floor in order to not affect the current cargo capacity. Typically, the Crafter offers 11.3 cubic meters of volume, and this should be the same on the e-Crafter.
Interestingly both commercial vans measure 4,855 mm in length and 1,380 mm in width. Nevertheless, the diesel version of the commercial van might have been “unfriendly to the environment,” which is why Eckhard Scholz, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, has marked the e-Crafter as urgent, with the target year for launch set in 2017. To differentiate the e-Crafter from the Crafter, the electric variant is wrapped in Reef Blue Metallic with bar on the front grille also finished in blue.
Commercial companies should find the e-Crafter concept as ultimately useful and practical when transporting cargos simply because the e-vehicle concept boasts of a total of 4.25 tons of weight and 1,709 kg of max load volume.
There are doubts that e-Crafter concept would be renamed as e-Transporter. After all, the carmaker is also offering the Transporter medium-sized light commercial vehicle. The move to trademark the e-Transporter name could be seen as a hint that VW has plans to offer an electrified version of the Transporter. Likewise, changing the name from e-Crafter to e-Transporter could sow confusion, considering that the commercial van is already nearing production.