Volkswagen unveils e-load up! Concept at 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show

Article by Anita Panait, on September 12, 2013

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is presenting at the Frankfurt Motor Show a concept that furthers the theme of urban commercial mobility. This four-door concept – the “e-load up!” electrically powered city delivery van – offers a spacious interior despite its quite compact exterior dimensions. Thanks to a cargo management system, the interior of the e-load up! could be configured in several ways that could benefit its user.

Finding the right size of van usually depends on the purpose. If a van is too big or too small for the job to be done, it would just cause inefficiencies. For a city delivery vehicle, a length of 3.54 meters should be enough, as it is large and agile enough to serve as transportation unit for a courier service, pizzas deliveries or service technicians. The load up! has this exact length and even offers more than a cubic meter of cargo space in the back. More than that, the load up! is both economical and flexible to suit the requirements of city delivery vehicle.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ concept for the load up! was to create a small van that could transport small loads, thus operating more efficiently than a larger vehicle. When there is a need to transport larger volumes, an operator could employ a fleet of sister vehicles. With the load up!, operators could work efficiently through collective intelligence.

Of course, small vehicles are considered ideal for congested cities because of their size and agility. Moreover, operators usually don’t dispatch conventional delivery vehicles until their optimal loads are achieved for the sake of efficiency. This means that a delivery van with a capacity of 100 parcels won’t be headed out to make its rounds if it only has 10 parcels to deliver. However, this dilemma is being addressed by the e-load up! More than that, this small electric delivery van isn’t costly to maintain and is flexible and eco-friendly. Derived from the passenger car version of the Volkswagen e-up!, the e-load up! could also enter zero-emission zones where conventional vehicles aren’t allowed.

Half a year ago, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles unveiled an electrically powered concept vehicle at the Geneva Motor Show -- the Volkswagen e-Co-Motion. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles believes that electric vans could be efficiently operated thanks to existing service infrastructures. But since the e-Co-Motion measures 4.55 meters in length – more than a meter longer than the e-load up!, it would be a great gap-filler in urban delivery services between the load up! and large trucks.

In terms of cargo capacity, the load up! (over 1,400 liters) offers more than the passenger model of the e-up! At a weight of around 1,164 kg, the load up! could carry up to 306 kg of load.

Providing the propulsion power for the e-load up! is an electric motor that delivers 60 kW (82 PS) of max output – with 40 kW (55 PS) in continual output and 210 Nm of instant torque. This power level is enough to send the van dashing from zero to 100 km/h in 12.4 seconds and achieving a top speed of 130 km/h. The motor gets its juice from an 18.7-kWh lithium-ion battery integrated into the floor. Thanks to this capacity and to the vehicle’s low weight, the e-load up! has a range of 160 kilometers (NEFC) on a single charge.

Just like in the e-up!, the charging interface in the e-load up! is carefully hidden under the 'fuel cap'. Customers could optionally avail of the CCS combined charging system that has already been made standard by Volkswagen and other carmakers. This system allows for both direct and alternating current charging, which means the e-load up! could be recharged at most charging stations, regardless of the available electricity source or charging speed. The new e-load up could be recharged to 80 percent of its battery capacity in just 30 minutes.

Interestingly, the load up! isn’t just available with the electric drive system from VW. After all, the German carmaker is also allowing customers to specify their load up! small van with the powertrains available in the passenger car version – like the economical petrol engine and natural gas unit. The natural gas version of the load up! offers low fuel consumption, low carbon dioxide and noise emissions. With these attributes, the natural gas version of the VW load up! was recently named the most environmentally friendly car of the year by the Motoring Club of Germany (VCD).

Press Release

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles presents the new e-load up!

At this year's International Motor Show in Frankfurt Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is presenting a further idea on the theme of 'urban commercial mobility': an electrically powered city delivery van called the 'e-load up!'. It has four doors, four wheels and despite very small outer dimensions a whole host of space inside. A cargo management system enables the interior to be configured in many ways.

After all, how big does a van need to be? The answer, of course, is the right size for the job in hand. Too big is inefficient, and so is too small. In the case of an agile city delivery vehicle, which is just as suitable for service technicians as it is for couriers, pizza deliveries or social services, 3.54 metres is fine. The result is called the load up! - an economical, highly flexible little vehicle with a seat for the driver, a fold-up passenger seat and over 1 m3 of space in the back.

The concept. The idea behind the load up! is that a very small van that carries correspondingly small loads is able to operate more efficiently than a larger vehicle if, when larger volumes need transporting, the operator can rely on a fleet of sister vehicles. The key idea here is collective intelligence. The advantages are obvious: small, agile vehicles are ideal for large, congested cities. For reasons of efficiency conventional delivery vehicles are not dispatched from the logistics centre until they are full to capacity. This means that the first 10 parcels have to wait for the next 100 before they can be delivered. That's not the case with the e-load up!. Its electric motor also makes driving in zero-emission zones possible. The e-load up! is small, inexpensive to maintain, flexible and environmentally friendly. It is a light commercial vehicle in the best sense of the term. It is based on the passenger car version of the Volkswagen e-up!, which is available to order now in certain markets. Given the right level of demand, a commercial vehicle version, such as the e-load up!, could thus also be available soon.

The background. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles presented an electrically powered concept vehicle six months ago at the Geneva Motor Show: the Volkswagen e-Co-Motion. The Hanover-based specialists for light commercial vehicles are confident that commercial customers in particular, as a result of their existing service infrastructures, have a good basis for the efficient utilisation of battery electric vans. However, with a length of 4.55 m the e-Co-Motion is in a different league to the e-load up!: an electrically powered vehicle of its class would, however, perfectly fill the gap in urban delivery services between the load up! and large trucks.

The facts and figures. Compared to the passenger model the cargo capacity of the load up! has gone up from 951 to over 1,400 litres. This urban delivery van weighs 1.164 kg and can carry a total load of 306 kg – which certainly ought to be enough for any pizzas or parcels!

It is powered by an almost silent electric motor with maximum power output of 60 kW / 82 PS. Continual output is 40 kW / 55 PS. Its maximum torque of 210 newton metres is available from the very first revolution. It thus accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h within 12.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of 130 km/h. The lithium-ion battery integrated into the floor has a storage capacity of 18.7 kWh. Thanks to the low vehicle weight, the e-load up! can travel up to 160 kilometres (NEFC) on a single charge.

As in the e-up! model, the interface for charging the battery in the e-load up! is concealed under the 'fuel cap'. Available as an option is the CCS combined charging system standardised by Volkswagen and other manufacturers. It supports both direct and alternating current charging, so that the vehicle can be charged at the majority of charging stations, regardless of electricity source or charging speed on offer. In this way the e-load up! can be back to 80 per cent of its battery capacity in just 30 minutes. However, the power train concept of the smallest van in the Volkswagen fold goes one step further. If the customer wants a different form of drive system, that's no problem either: the Volkswagen load up! can naturally be ordered with any of the passenger car version's standard power units: from the economical petrol engine to the excellent natural gas one. Thanks to its low fuel consumption, its low CO2 and noise emissions and the type and amount of pollutants emitted, the latter, as the eco up!, has just been named the most environmentally friendly car of the year by the Motoring Club of Germany (VCD). Thus making stepping on the gas even more fun!

Facts at a glance
• Name: e-load up!
• Character: Urban, electrically powered very small delivery van
• World premiere: September 2013, IAA Frankfurt
• L/W/H in mm: 3540/1645/1477;
• Engines / performance: Electric motor 60 kW / 82 PS max. Maximum torque 210 Nm. 0 to 100 km/h: 12,4 seconds. Top speed: 130 km/h.
• Battery: Lithium-ion battery, capacity 18.7 kWh. Range: up to 160 kilometres (NEFC).

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