Vans are clearly being seen as the current Holy Grail of EVs – witness the latest buzz around Nissan and the new range from Peugeot. Now Volkswagen is making a new play with its ABT eTransporter 6.1. This is the company's first all-electric van in the UK, though it was developed in collaboration with ABT e-Line, and – like every other EV van of late – has been designed for “urban logistics” and last-mile delivery.
Aimed at drivers doing less than 80 miles a day, the model aims to offer an all-electric range of up to 82 miles with a cargo space of 6.7m3 and payload of up to 1,001kg. It is also intended to have charging ability allowing for 80 per cent capacity to be regained in just 45 minutes. That won't be through the AC charging though, which will go up to the usual 7.2kW. Using a wallbox, this will charge the lithium-ion battery in approximately five and a half hours. For the faster time, you will need DC charging using a CCS connector, which supports up to 50kW.
For some reason, Volkswagen – like its competitors – is feeling the need to point out the speed stats for the van as well. If this is the stat that will convince you to pay a minimum of £42,060 (before VAT) for a van then be reassured to know that the ABT eTransporter 6.1 delivers a maximum power output of 110PS (83kW) with a somewhat sedentary 0-62mph time of 17.4 seconds.
While it's a solid-enough looking offering with regenerative breaking, modified dual-clutch transmission and all the other details you would expect in a modern vehicle, it would just be good if the companies didn't treat every little item as a novel breakthrough. Buyers in this market know that vans like this will have zero-emission status meaning all variants of the ABT eTransporter 6.1 are exempt from road tax (VED) and will have unrestricted access to the London Ultra Low Emission Zone and Clean Air Zones.
Equally, with that price tag and being 2020, it would be more newsworthy if it didn't have a radio, a touchscreen, a battery indicator on the dashboard, four loudspeakers, SD card slot, Bluetooth, two USB plugs, front assist and rear parking assist sensors.
For those wanting to spend an extra £3,000, there is an advanced trim option, which adds design, comfort and safety features including 17in alloy wheels, electrically foldable door mirrors, automatic LED headlights, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, heated windshield, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and front and rear parking sensors.
The ABT eTransporter 6.1 will be available to order as either a panel van or kombi from July 2020. The kombi crew van and kombi crew van Advance are priced from £46,375 (exc. VAT) and £49,985 (exc. VAT) respectively.