Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has delivered the first fleet of fully electric e-Crafter vans to an international group of its major customers.
The new electric vans will be tested in everyday use until mid-2018 by large fleets in Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden.
Dr Eckhard Scholz, chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: "We have developed the new e-Crafter with our customers and for our customers. We are therefore now integrating selected fleet operators into an initial customer phase so that their findings in daily operations with the vehicles can flow into the final design of the zero-emission van."
The vehicles will be used in a range of different environments by package delivery services, energy suppliers, trades businesses and individual retailers whose vehicles cover between 40 and 60 miles per day.
Volkswagen has analysed the usage parameters of its current commercial vehicles and says this criteria matches around 85% of trips made in urban settings. The e-Crafter has been tailored precisely to these typical city operations and distances with its 100 kW power output, range of around 100 miles and top speed limited to 55MPH.
The lithium-ion battery of the e-Crafter is integrated into the underbody. This means that the entire cargo volume (10.7 m3) is fully usable; the same applies to key dimensions such as its loading width (1,380 mm) and loading height (1,861 mm).
Its maximum payload is between 1.0 and 1.75 tonnes depending on the version.
A 40 kW charging station can charge the battery to 80% in 45 minutes.
The e-Crafter will launch with driver assistance and convenience systems such as Park Assist with side protection, a multifunctional camera and a rear view camera system.
Other standard features include climate control, seat heating, satnav, and LED headlights.
The e-Crafter will be available in September 2018.