• Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
Established automakers that have spent decades upon decades investing in gas and diesel engine technology are catching on to the trend toward cleaner transport. Many are launching EVs of their own. A few are making larger pushes toward electric mobility with big brand shifts and investments in new EV platforms, and even sub-brands. For Volkswagen, this pivot is doubly urgent as the German automaker continues to make headlines for its diesel emissions scandal.

The latest example? At the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hannover, Germany, VW unveiled its e-Crafter van. The near-production-ready concept EV provides a cleaner option for delivery services, with a load capacity of 3,768 pounds, 399 cubic feet of cargo space, and up to 129 miles of driving range between charges. The 43-kWh battery pack is located beneath the load floor, saving space and keeping the center of gravity nice and low. The 100-kW (134-horsepower) electric motor provides 214 pound feet of torque.

Compared to the diesel version, this all-electric Crafter gets its own Reef Blue Metallic paint job, and shares the C-shaped daytime running lights donned by the rest of VW's electric lineup. Volkswagen says it has kept future battery improvements in mind with the design, and that later versions could see a driving range of around 250 miles. While there are no delivery drones with the e-Crafter, the concept on display in Hannover features a service station for swapping out battery packs for delivery e-bikes.

In recent weeks, Volkswagen has been promoting its grand plans for electromobility, driving the point home with a "Think New" slogan. Earlier this month, the company announced that in 2020, it will give the world an electric vehicle on its modular MEB platform with a driving range of up to 373 miles. Days later, VW teased a concept for the Paris Motor Show that it says is "as revolutionary as the Beetle was seven decades ago."

If you live in Europe, at least, you won't have to wait quite that long to see the new electric van in service. "The first e-Crafter vehicles will already be in customers' hands by 2017," says Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Chairman of the Board of Management Dr. Eckhard Scholz.

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