Geneva Motor Show Concept of the Day #2: Volkswagen e-Co-Motion

March 4, 2013 § 2 Comments

vw ecomotion vanIt’s an electric Transporter: no detail on the powertrain as yet (it’s very much a concept), but the e-Co-Motion promises an 800kg payload and 4.6 cubic-metre cargo capacity. It could be configured as a driver’s cab with cargo box (like the Geneva show vehicle), a passenger shuttle, a low-platform or refrigerator box van, or to customer order, as the drivetrain, battery and gearbox are packaged under-floor. It’s 4.55mm long, 1.9mm wide and 1.96mm tall – and this concept probably gives more than a few clues as to the styling of the next-generation mainstream ICE Transporter.

And this is Volkswagen’s vision for it: “Electric mobility – especially in light commercial vehicles – could play a crucial role in meeting the growing transport needs of the world’s megacities. Freight trains and conventional or hybrid-powered high-capacity lorries would deliver goods up to the city limits.  Then, at transfer stations, smaller electric delivery vans would take over.  Their predictable travel routes and fixed depots would simplify battery charging and equipment maintenance” (Dr. Eckhard Scholz, Speaker of the Brand Board of Management).

  • A non-Geneva note: a survey by Zipcar found that 18-34 year-olds (“Millennials”) find it easier to live without owning a car and drive less, thanks to the growing availability of car-sharing, lift-sharing and soforth; from the 1015 questioned, there was a clear trend that mobile devices and transportation apps were more important than car ownership. 65% said that losing their phone or computer would have more of a negative effect on them than losing their car; 25% said that transport apps had reduced their driving frequency; 73% said they preferred to shop online than drive or take public transport to a shop; 47% said they sometimes chose to spend time with friends online instead of driving to see them. More here.
  • And the mobility behaviour of Germans is changing too: research from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has found that people are increasingly using different transport modes. Its analysis of data has found that younger folk are less likely to own a car than senior citizens, cycling is becoming more popular and people are increasingly likely to use different transport modes. Just 74% of people have access to a car in their household now, down from 83% in 2002, around a third cycle on a weekly basis and are cycling further. The KIT research – an annual report from 2000 people which has taken place for 18 years – was commissioned by the German federal ministry for transport. More here.
  • A pair of electric buses plus a support van using Bombardier’s Primove wireless induction charging tech are going on trial in Mannheim. More at Green Car Congress. The trial is supported by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (again), and funded by the German federal transport ministry. And Yamato Transport, Toyota and Himo Motors are starting a one-year trial in Japan of a small one-tonne refrigerator truck; more here.
  • Further to the unveiling of the Audi A3 Sportback g-tron (see earlier post), the VW Group’s Spanish division is building its first CNG-fuelled production model. The Seat Mii Ecofuel emits 79g/km, burns 2.9kg of gas per 100km and is said to cost half as much to run as a petrol-powered Mii, given European CNG prices; it uses a version of the familiar VW Group 1.0 three-cylinder. It also incorporates the full suite of energy-saving Ecomotive technologies, including stop-start, low rolling resistance tyres and brake energy recovery. It’ll go on sale in Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the Czech Republic plus other regions where there is a suitable gas supply infrastructure (not the UK).

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