The e-Co-Motion concept vehicle, an electrically powered city delivery van from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
The electric drive unit is mounted to the rear axle together with a single-speed planetary gearbox to achieve large wheel turning angles at the front axle and thereby the manoeuvrability that is so important for city operation. As a result, its turning circle is 8.95 metres, which is unique in this vehicle class. The continuous power output of the compact drive unit is an energy-saving 50 kW / 68 PS. The drive unit’s maximum power is 85 kW / 115 PS, while its maximum torque of 270 Nm enables good acceleration even in heavily loaded vehicles. Although it was designed for city deliveries on city streets, the electronics of the e-Co-Motion concept do not limit its top speed until 120 km/h. This permits driving on city motorways and short intercity routes. A three-stage modular battery concept for the traction battery optimally fulfils the different driving range requirements of customers. A battery with a capacity of 20 kWh could be installed for driving ranges of around 100 km, while a battery with 30 kWh would enable a 150 km driving range. Finally, a battery with 40 kWh storage capacity is planned for the top driving range of 200 km. The battery box was well designed; its crossmembers and rib structure let it serve a secondary purpose as a load- bearing body element that also helps to reduce vehicle weight.
A key word here is workspace, because the functional orientation of the vehicle concept is also reflected in the cleanly laid out control centre of the e-Co-Motion. Reduced to just the essentials, this has resulted in a commercial vehicle in the best sense of the word. It focuses on the everyday needs of a transporter: step in, buckle up and drive off – without having to read an operator’s manual first. There are practical storage options for tools, documents and freight goods, but without interfering elements. For example, instead of a selector lever, a rotary gear selector switch is installed, and there is no conventional handbrake lever. In turn, this simplifies walking through via the passenger’s side door, which is also made easier by the conveniently folding seat on the passenger’s side. While sittingin a pleasantly elevated seat position with good all-round visibility, the driver’s gaze only stops as it scans the cockpit, such as in viewing the control panel for climate control and infotainment, which controls nearly all vehicle functions from a central point and displays the necessary information on an eight- inch colour monitor. Also ingenious is the movable, modular centre console with computer, storage compartment, drink holders and 12 V and 230 V accessory outlets.
These are just a few examples of innovations by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, which show how the e-Co-Motion concept vehicle being presented at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show could be the ideal zero-emissions city delivery van of the future.