VW ABT eTransporter: Volkswagen launches its first all-electric van

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has today announced its first full-electric van, the ABT eTransporter 6.1. Developed in collaboration with Premium Partner ABT e-Line, the new van aims to deliver a quiet driving experience and high load capacity into one package.

The van comes with a maximum power output of 83 kW (111 hp), where it’ll get to 62 mph in 17.4s. According to Volkswagen, its electric motor provides “smooth and quiet driving, low maintenance requirements and instant maximum torque.”

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The vehicle’s battery, which provides power to the motor is fitted underneath the load area. As such, the cargo area of 6.7m3 isn’t compromised and payload is up to 1,001kg. Disappointingly, the van will drive for only 82 miles on a single charge; that’s far below the average and means the eTransporter is only suitable for inner-city jobs. To help it recoup energy, the van uses regenerative braking technology.

To charge, the all-electric van has a Combined Charging System (CCS) socket for DC charging and a Type 2 plug for slower-based AC charging – a Type 2 charging cable is included with the vehicle as standard.

The CCS port (50 kW) enables the van to recharge to 80% from empty in approximately 45 minutes. The Type 2 port is limited to 7.2 kW, and as such, takes approximately five and a half hours to charge. The latter method is recommended for overnight charging.

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To see how much charge remains, the driver can look at the instrument cluster, 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. While the blue area denotes the optimum speeds and acceleration for the most economical driving.

In terms of driving, the van features a modified dual-clutch DSG transmission. When Drive (‘D’) is selected, the motor will deliver 75% power to maximise range. 100% is achieved via the kick-down function on the gear shift.

Elsewhere, the eTransporter comes with a whole host of technology built-in; from a DAB+ radio system with a 6.5″ touchscreen and four loudspeakers to USB Type-C ports for charging a smartphone.

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As for pricing, ABT eTransporter 6.1 Panel van starts from £42,060 (excl. VAT), with the Advance trim from £45,360 (excl. VAT). The kombi crew van and kombi crew van Advance are priced from £46,375 (excl. VAT) and £49,985 (excl. VAT), respectively.

The advance trim adds 17” alloy wheels, electrically foldable door mirrors, automatic LED headlights, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, heated windshield, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and front and rear parking sensors.

It’s worth knowing that as an all-electric vehicle, all variants are exempt from road tax (VED) and have unrestricted access to London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and Clean Air Zones.


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