Concept of the Day: Volkswagen e-load Up!

September 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

72949vw-e-loadup1_mediumMy favourite of the concepts shown in Frankfurt this week: the practical Volkswagen e-load Up, a panel-van version of the e-Up city car. It’s got 1400 litres-worth and 1 cubic metre of cargo capacity, does 80mph and has a range of up to 99 miles, more than enough for local load-lugging or delivery duties. It has a five-door layout with the rear windows blanked out, and just two front seats; the passenger seat folds to increase load length. It’ll go into (limited-run) production if there is sufficient demand.

In other news today:

  • Renault has signed a letter of intent with the Bolloré Group – maker of the Bluecar as used in the Paris Autolib’ – for “joint development of car-sharing solutions and the implementation of industrial and commercial cooperation agreements in the field of electric vehicles”. Bolloré has won contracts in Lyon (Bluely), Bordeaux (Bluecub) and Indianapolis (!) as well as Paris, and with Renault, is planning joint-venture tenders for further services internationally. Some Bluecar production could be shifted to Renault’s plant in Dieppe, and a convertible version is to join the range next June; a three-seater with Bolloré’s battery (said to give a range of over 120 miles) is also under development. Renault is also to supply components, and may take a stake in the existing operations in Lyon and Bordeaux. (In a separate story, Bolloré has accused a firm contracted by BMW of industrial espionage; P3 claims its employees were checking charging post compatibility for the i3).
  • Also on an EV-sharing theme: Toyota is partnering with City Carshare in Pleasanton, California (Bay Area), to supply a 30-car fleet of Scion-branded iQ EVs. This pilot scheme will be called Dash; release posted here.
  • Here’s a commitment: Transport Scotland has declared that the country will be free from petrol- and diesel-fuelled vehicles and their emissions by 2050. It has published an Electric Vehicle Roadmap document, Switched On Scotland, and promised that half of all fossil-fuelled vehicles will be phased out of urban environments by 2030.
  • The City of London has voted for a blanket 20mph limit in the Square Mile (as predicted in yesterday’s Evening Standard; thanks to @livingstreets for tweeting the result of the vote). It’ll join Camden and Islington with this; good news for pedestrians and cyclists. Full release here. This marks quite a step forward in reducing car-dominance in city centres, I reckon.
  • Drayson Racing Technologies has entered into a licence agreement with Qualcomm Inc. to use the latter’s wireless charging tech in the cars it supplies. The 20kW Qualcomm Halo system is fitted in the prototype Drayson B12/69EV electric racer, which  has been undergoing high-speed trials, hill-climbing at Goodwood and setting land-speed records for EVs, and Qualcomm Europe Inc is sponsoring the Drayson Racing team. DRT also says that it is “developing systems for use on road-going EVs and for electric racing cars that will participate in the forthcoming FIA Formula E Championship”.
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