VW's Electric Concept Van Charges In
Volkswagen Group Research has worked with Deutsche Post (German Post Office) and the University of Art at Brunswick, on the design of the eT! van concept.
The vehicle uses electric wheel hub motors and would be powered by electricity generated from renewable energy sources. However to make the working life of a postal worker or courier easier, the eT! would be able to operate semi-automatically, in effect following the delivery person from house to house or returning to the operator on command.
In addition VW says it would be possible to drive the vehicle from the passenger side, using a drive stick. This would allow the delivery driver easy access and egress during a delivery round on the pavement side of the vehicle. The van would also have electrically-opening sliding doors to make it easier for the operator to enter the vehicle and to access parcels in the load area.
‘eT! is a pure electrically powered transporter that systematically transfers E-mobility to the area of commercial use,’ said Dr Rudolf Krebs, group manager for electric traction at Volkswagen.
‘The eT! is an automotive building block for an innovative future-oriented logistics concept, which not only drives with zero emissions in urban areas, thanks to electric wheel hub motors, but also offers maximum freedom in manoeuvring and turning as well as optimal utilisation of the vehicle’s interior space.’
Unlike the electric versions of VW’s Golf and Up cars, the eT! is not expected to be commercially available in the near future. It merely provides a platform for ideas as VW plans for the future of its growing commercial vehicle range.