New VW Transporter also as an EV

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWN) will also offer the successor to the T6.1 Transporter as a BEV. The sales launch is scheduled for 2024, and VWN does not want to present the exact technical data of the electric van until then.

The entirely newly developed Transporter and its shuttle variant, Caravelle, will be available as a diesel and plug-in hybrid and as a battery-electric Transporter van and e-Caravelle.

The portfolio of the new edition will include a panel van in two different lengths and heights, an estate, a platform van with a crew cab, and the Caravelle. Pre-sales of the new Transporter in Germany will begin in late 2023.

The new Transporter is 5 050 mm long, an increase of 146 mm compared with the predecessor. The wheelbase has been extended by 97 mm to 3 100 mm, and there will be an optional 400 mm-longer wheelbase (total length: 5 450 mm). At 2 032 mm, its exterior width is 128 mm more than the predecessors (exterior mirrors not included).

Shared technology, but also differences

As reported, the new VW Transporter will share technology with the Ford Transit Custom and its electric offshoot, the E-Transit Custom, and will also be produced in Kocaeli, Turkey. However, this has not been officially confirmed yet.

So, for the first time, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will be launching the new Transporter with a plug-in hybrid drive (eHybrid) and all-electric drives (eTransporter) as an alternative to the turbodiesel engines (TDI) at a later date.

Pre-sales start with the turbodiesel engines for vehicles with N1 type approval – in other words, panel van, panel van Plus, a panel van with L-partition, and double cab. The new TDI engines are available in three output variants: 81 kW (110 hp), 110 kW (150 hp), and 125 kW (170 hp).

These will be followed by a plug-in hybrid drive with a system power of 171 kW (233 hp) and by no less than four electric drives with 85 kW (116 hp), 100 kW (136 hp), 160 kW (218 hp), and 210 kW (286 hp).

The batteries of the electric models will have an energy content (gross) of 83 kWh. The base version with the 85 kW electric drive motor will have a 54 kWh battery (gross).

The TDI and eHybrid models come with front-wheel drive. The 4MOTION all-wheel drive system is available as an option for the TDI versions from 110 kW. The all-electric models have rear-wheel drive; an all-wheel drive version is also planned here for later.

Temporary collaboration

Ford and VWN ‘s collaboration is already set to be temporary. Recently, VWN boss Carsten Intra announced that Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is developing its own electric platform and intends to convert all of its vans to battery-electric drives on this basis starting in 2028. The large Crafter van will be the first representative of this new ‘Space’ electric family.

Three choices

VWN still has the T6.1 in its range, even though the T7 generation (Multivan) and the ID. Buzz has been built in parallel for some time. The background to this is the difference in platforms and the technical data that are possible with it.

The recent T7 is based on the MQB passenger car platform to better serve private customers’ wishes. The electric ID. Buzz is also based on a passenger car platform, this time the electric MEB one, and even as an ID. Buzz Cargo only offers a payload of around 550 kilograms.

The T6.1, therefore, has to remain in the range with a payload of around 1,2 tons for tradesmen, transport services, or the California camper conversion.

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