With swooping curves, a bulbous windshield, and prominent pod-like headlights, the "Deliver" van built by Liberty Electric Cars is certainly a distinctive-looking vehicle. But with a carrying capacity of 700 kg (1,540 lb), a quoted range of more than 100 km (62 m), and a top speed claimed to be in the order of 100 km/h (62 mph), it seems like a practical one, too.
As part of that practicality, the Deliver also has a flexible ergonomic cabin that features the removal of the B-pillar on the curb side and the addition of a swivel seat, so that the driver can quickly and easily enter or exit the vehicle in a way that reduces both delivery times and operator stress. These features alone would make the Deliver a practicable postal or parcel electric van for urban deliveries.
Given that it also has a claimed minimum range of 100 km (62 m) the Deliver could be a possibility for intercity work as well; a round trip within the given range parameters would be easily accommodated between most large urban areas. And weighing in at 2,200 kg (4,850 lb) fully laden, the Deliver – even with a substantial battery pack – is similar in weight to other comparable commercial vehicles.
Power is provided via a fully electric drive train incorporating in-wheel motors with 2-speed transmissions and an 80-cell prismatic Li-NMC (Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt) battery pack.
Initially started as a broad conceptual design study, the Deliver project began in November 2011 in co-operation with ten partner companies across Europe (Fiat, Volkswagen, Liberty, Michelin, Polis Network, SP - Technical Research Institute of Sweden, HPL Prototypes, CADEM and Mobit) and was funded by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Program. As nominated Chief Engineers of the design of the vehicle, Liberty Electric Cars also performed a key role in the development of the battery, the battery management system, and the incorporation of all the electrical systems in the developed vehicle.
Testing was carried out on the test tracks at the Aldenhoven Testing Center, RWTH Aachen University's new testing ground, enabling the project partners to analyze such things as energy efficiency, dynamic and static structural performance, active and passive safety, ergonomics and range.
The Deliver will premiere at the FISITA World Automotive Congress, 2 -6 June 2014 in Maastricht, Netherlands. No details on a release date or pricing are yet available.
The vehicle is shown on its delivery run in the short video below.
Source: Liberty Electric Cars