The Volkswagen e-Crafter is a near-production concept for an electric vehicle for hauling goods around European cities.

Like rival Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen is debuting an electric hauler for city-center deliveries at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hannover, Germany. However, VW actually plans to produce the e-Crafter in 2017, and the one on display is a near-production concept.

The e-Crafter in Hannover makes deliveries thanks to an electric motor with 134 horsepower (100 kilowatts) and 214 pound-feet of torque (290 Newton-meters). Under the cargo floor, there’s a 43-kilowatt-hour battery, which initially seems somewhat small for the job. For example, the lowest capacity current Tesla Model S and the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt have 60 kWh packs. However, VW claims the e-Crafter offers a 129-mile (208-kilometer) range. Production models might eventually drive even farther because the automaker says future developments could push the maximum distance to 248.5 miles (400 km).

By placing the electric powertrain under the cargo floor, there are no changes to the interior dimensions. Companies can still haul 399 cubic feet (11.3 cubic meters) of stuff inside. The max payload of 3,750 pounds (1.7 metric tons) is enough for carrying plenty of boxes, too.

The e-Crafter concept should catch attendees’ eyes in Hannover with its special Reef Blue Metallic. The deep color is also on the bumpers and side strips. A subtle blue bar also runs through the grille. VW also upgrades the front end with C-shaped daytime running lights. The company doesn’t offer any images of the interior, but there are a few tweaks in there, too. For example, a power meter replaces the tachometer in the instrument cluster. The concept gets a leather steering wheel, and there’s blue trim decorating the cabin.

Volkswagen doesn’t offer any specific details about what the production e-Crafter might cost when it debuts next year. The electric powertrain would likely come at a premium over the current range of diesel engines, though. Vehicles like this one and the Mercedes Urban eTruck concept hint that green drivetrains could be the future of making deliveries in Europe.

Source: Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles

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