An electric version of the smallest car from Volkswagen is set to be built as a van.
Only weeks after rolling its E-Up model into the showrooms, the German firm has confirmed it is ready to market a van derivative that uses the same battery-powered drivetrain, Fleet News can reveal.
Sharing its bodywork with the five-door city car, the new E-Load Up will be announced as a production vehicle at the giant IAA commercial vehicle show in Hanover in September.
"We are still in the process of carrying out research into the potential of electric mobility for vans but it is already clear there is a need for a commercial vehicle in the A-sector," said a factory official as a concept of the vehicle was revealed in Berlin.
"The E-Load Up makes sense for businesses operating in big city locations where usage is below 100 miles and access to the growing number of clean air zones is a primary consideration," he said.
Despite its diminutive dimensions, the 3.54 metre long vehicle has a load volume of more than 1.4 cu m and its lithium-ion battery is claimed to provide a range of up to 100 miles after a nine-hour charge from a standard domestic power point.
A free wall-box charger installation cuts the charge time to six hours and fast-charge equipment is able to deliver an 80 per cent charge in 30 minutes.
"This is a small van that will be inexpensive to maintain, flexible and environmentally friendly – it's a light commercial vehicle in the best sense of the term," said the official.
A VW UK Commercial Vehicles spokesman added: "As environmental considerations continue to change the market, we need to be in a position to offer suitable transport solutions."
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