The 2018 edition of the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show has been filled with launches of new electric models. Everything from advanced concepts showcased by Renault, to the expansion of VW’s ID electric brand into the LCV market have gone on display, showing how important LVCs are in plans to electrify a manufacturer’s fleet.
One of the most eye-catching models comes in the shape of VW’s ID Buzz Cargo, bringing a load-lugging element to the Samba-bus inspired electric people carrier.
Visually different to the ID Buzz, the ID Buzz Cargo is built on the same MEB platform that will underpin a large number of VW Group models, and will feature ID Pilot – an automated driving mode.
A solar roof extends the ID Buzz Cargo’s range by almost 10 miles each day, and batteries able to be fitted can come between 48 and 111 kWh. An on-board charger will allow for charging at 11 kW, and the VW will accept up to 150 kW from a rapid charger.
Ranges will vary depending on battery specified, but will vary from 205 to 341 miles (WLTP), which will provide a reasonable distance between charges even when fully loaded. The ID Buzz Cargo could be available as early as 2021.
VW has had a busy start to the show in general, since it has launched five new zero-emission models in all at IAA 2018. Joining the ID Buzz Cargo is the Crafter HyMotion – a hydrogen fuel cell model with a range of more than 300 miles, and a refuelling time of a few minutes.
Because of increased costs of fuel cell systems, and the relative scarcity of hydrogen refilling stations, VW doesn’t expect to put the Crafter HyMotion into production until 2025, but it could be sooner if the market picks up quicker than currently forecast.
Two pure-electric versions of its other core van line up were launched by VW too, with the ABT e-Caddy and ABT e-Transporter. The e-Caddy was presented as a taxi, with seating for five plus luggage space, and a range of more than 130 miles (NEDC) from its 37.3 kWh battery.
The e-Transporter has battery sizes available between 37.3 and 74.6 kWh, for driving ranges varying from 129 to 249 miles on a charge. The e-Crafter will go into production next year, and although the e-Transporter is currently only a concept, VW says that within a year it could become a full production model.
The last of VW’s electric models is not a van at all, but the Cargo e-Bike – a three-wheel peddle that keeps load level thanks to a clever front axle.
There’s no need for a driver’s licence, and the Cargo e-Bike is designed for last mile deliveries, with a range of up to 62 miles, a top assisted speed of 15 mph, and production to start in the ‘very near future’.
VW wasn’t the only one launching new electric models at IAA 2018. Renault showcased an eye-catching new concept in the shape of the EZ-Pro autonomous delivery concept.
The modular pods travel out from a depot for last mile deliveries in trains, with an autonomous leader pod, and driverless robe-pods behind. They can then either remain line-astern, platooning along delivery routes, or the robe-pods can operate independently.
Renault envisions that an EZ-Pro concierge will supervise the delivery of goods and the working of the fleet, retaining a human element to the delivery solution.
Completely electric, the EZ-Pro pods can be fitted with a variety of bodies to be tailored for delivery types. Renault estimates that last mile deliveries makes up around 30% of urban traffic. With the pods sent out outside of rush hour, and no double parking from the autonomous systems, the idea is that EZ-Pro will help contribute to greener and less congested city deliveries.