Volkswagen unveils its first electric van

If you’re thinking of making the switch to an electric van, you may want to check out Volkswagen’s newest model, the ABT eTransporter 6.1.

With prices starting from £42,060, this is the manufacturer’s first all-electric van and was developed in collaboration with Premium Partner ABT e-Line.

The model offers an all-electric range of up to 82 miles with a cargo space of 6.7m3, while flexible charging options allow for 80 per cent charge in just 45 minutes.

With its latest innovation, Volkswagen boasts a lightweight electric motor that provides smooth and quiet driving and low maintenance. The compact battery is fitted underneath the load area to avoid compromising the cargo area which can accommodate a payload of up to 1,001kg.

The Combined Charging System (CCS) socket on the new ABT eTransporter 6.1 provides a flexible charging solution. Rapid charging can be achieved in 45 minutes via a DC charger, which is ideal if you need to keep your van on the road, or AC charging via a wall box will fully charge the vehicle in approximately five and a half hours.

The van is also fitted with regenerative braking, switching the drive motor to generator operation to recover energy lost when braking. The resulting current is fed back into the battery and stored for later use.

The battery status can be viewed from the dashboard, where the usual rev counter dial has been replaced with a power meter. When the needle is in the green, the battery is being charged by recuperating energy that would otherwise be lost during braking.

The blue area denotes the optimum speeds and acceleration for the most economical driving, while the charge level indicator states the current charge in the battery.

The van is equipped with all the mod cons you’ve come to expect from Volkswagen. A DAB+ radio system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen and four loudspeakers comes as standard, as well as an SD card slot, Bluetooth® handsfree and two USB interfaces (type-C) in the dashboard.

Volkswagen AppConnect also allows you to bring smartphone apps onto your infotainment system’s touchscreen, while a comprehensive suite of driver assistance systems are included.

If you work in London, one of the biggest draws for this van is arguably its zero-emission status. All variants of the ABT eTransporter 6.1 are exempt from road tax (VED) and afforded unrestricted access to the London Ultra Low Emission Zone and Clean Air Zones, which can really help you to cut down on your overheads.