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Volkswagen delivers all-electric e-Co-Motion concept in Geneva


March 5, 2013

The e-Co-Motion concept from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is a zero-emission city delivery van

The e-Co-Motion concept from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is a zero-emission city delivery van

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While it’s the sportier concepts that tend to get the lion’s share of attention at auto shows, there are usually some less sexy, yet still worthy, concepts on display. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle’s e-Co-Motion concept vehicle, which is making its world debut at the 2013 Geneva Auto Show, is one such beast. Designed as a zero-emission delivery van for transporting goods around a city, the e-Co-Motion concept is an exclusively electric-powered vehicle that would boast a range of up to 200 km (124 miles).

Powered by a compact drive unit with a continuous power output of 50 kW (68 hp) and maximum power of 85 kW (115 hp), the vehicle boasts maximum torque of 270 Nm, which Volkswagen says provides responsive acceleration even when the van is packed with a heavy load. While designed for ferrying goods around town, the vehicle’s electronics don’t limit its top speed until it hits 120 km/h (75 mph), allowing it to take city motorways and short intercity routes when required.

To suit the different driving range requirements of different drivers, the e-Co-Motion features a three-stage modular battery concept. For driving ranges of around 100 km (62 miles), a 20 kWh battery could be installed, stepping up to a 30 kWh battery for a driving range of 150 km (93 miles), and maxing out with a 40 kWh battery for the top driving range of 200 km (124 miles). The battery box, with crossmembers and rib structure, has also been designed to serve as a load-bearing body element to help reduce the vehicle’s weight.

To improve maneuverability on tight city streets, Volkswagen has mounted the electric drive unit and single-speed planetary gearbox to the rear axle. This allows the vehicle’s front axle to achieve large wheel turning angles and results in a turning circle of 8.95 m (29.3 ft), which the company says is the best in its class. For easy loading, the van also boasts a low cargo floor height.

The vehicle boasts an elevated seat position to improve visibility and keeps the controls to a minimum to make it easier to step through via the passenger side door – there’s no conventional handbrake lever and the selector lever has been ditched in favor of a rotary gear selector switch. The passenger seat can also folded down to make it easier to step through. The center console is modular and moveable, with computer, storage compartment, drink holders and 12 V and 230 V accessory outlets.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles hasn’t given any indication on whether the e-Co-Motion will make the jump from concept to production vehicle, but one of the goals of the project was to develop a uniform platform that could be implemented as the basis for as many derivatives as possible. So even if it doesn't make the jump in its current form, we may well see something similar in the future.

Source: Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

What on earth are they waiting for?


Sehr gut, aber I would think that with all that surface area would have some high efficiency solar panels as well. The rear door hinges are arse pimples.

I can see a slick silent drifter, version aftermarket complete with auto tint solar windows, and of course air bed in back.

Bob Flint

With a prototype on display, there is no reason the text should be so hypothetical. It is here, now, so stop dithering and go electric!

Fellow Commenters make good points.

Art Toegemann

When will they figure it out? Give this FWD (who cares about tiny turning radius!) and more seating and it's the greatest family transport breakthrough since Iacoca's minivan! What are these "geniuses" waiting for?!

Fritz Menzel

I agree with the previous comments it would make a great people mover or converted camper, with all the solar power being generated by households in Germany you would think it would be a no brainer. Add the Volkswagen Caddy Topos Sail design concept http://www.gizmag.com/the-caddy-topos-sail-design-concept/9877/ With Solar panels for that added boost the sun power 327w would be great and you have a winner.

Robin Pomfret

Brilliant concept and excellent attention to detail. The turning radius is important Fritz, as this vehicle's primary function is a city delivery van, hence U-turn and alley-way manoeuvrability is essential. FWD? Why? Remember that FWD was made commonplace (particularly in the US)well before the introduction of ABS and traction control. It's still widespread because it's cheaper for auto companies to build FWD , and keeps weight down. With electronic assistance, RWD can be as "safe" as FWD.


One word, johnniesazzler: winter. There's no way I or anyone else who drives in snow for 5 months will EVER buy a RWD vehicle for family transport (other than fools or those with a death wish). So why not just make both versions?

Fritz Menzel
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