Electric Delivery Van Goes 600 Miles on a Single Charge


Most electric vehicles don’t go quite as far on a single charge as a standard car goes on a tank of gas, yet – but that’s changing fast!  New EV range records seem to be set every week, and a small start-up company from Bochum just upped the range ante again.

BEA-tricks, spearheaded by engineer Daniel Sperling, modified a Citroen Berlingo with 10 of the same lithium ion batteries used in the SmartForTwo (total output: 180 kWh), and drove it 621 miles (1000 km) from Flensburg to Munich.

The little delivery van left a public eco-charge station in Flensburg and drove directly to the eCarTec in Munich, accompanied by an escort vehicle, with two drivers switching back and forth throughout the exhausting trip, which saw the van driving on country roads, highways, and the high-speed Autobahn.  The modified delivery van reached Munich at the start of the eCarTec trade fair after a 17 hour trip, safely and without incident.

“We still had charge remaining,” said Sperling proudly. “We could have gone another hundred miles, no problem.” The remaining charge was perhaps due to a higher average speed than expected – between 30 and 50 miles per hour for both drivers. The team had calculated a 20 hour drive, and so arrived early.  Sperling feels that his record is more relevant to the average consumer than some of the other standing range records, as his vehicle drove on public roads with commercially available batteries rather than with prototype equipment or on closed tracks. He points out that the record-breaking Audi A2 equipped with Kolibri batteries burst into flames two months after its record trip, and that the 1000-mile Schluckspecht-E made its trip on a closed track under ideal conditions.

“We made the drive under real conditions in normal every-day traffic,” Sperling said. “We have shown what we can do with our batteries.” Data collected from the ground-breaking trip will be used to develop improved battery technology for the SmartForTwo.

Source | Image: Watt Geht Ab.


About the Author

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.
  • Looks promising. The future of EVs are definitely getting brighter everyday. Thanks for the article.

    Juan Miguel Ruiz (GreenJoyment)

  • Chris O

    How is this relevant for the average consumer? All they have proven is that the more batteries you stuff in a vehicle the further it will go. Really no surprise there….

    What’s needed of course is a battery that has enough energy density to make a big pack practical and has a low enough $/KWH to make it affordable. Since this test wasn’t about either of these factors it’s basically an exercise in futility.

    • I’m not sure that’s true — there’s no way to determine before testing any particular method whether or not it will be successful. These guys took what we already know is a decent battery and tested the benefits of adding the weight of the battery pack vs. the extra range of the extra charge. Looks to me like it worked out fairly well for them.

      Compared to some of the electric trucks at the EVC Convention a while back, for example, this little van performed exceptionally well with fewer batteries.

  • David Murray

    While this is great to have a new record, I still wish people would quit saying we need this kind of range for EV’s to be practical. I have a Nissan Leaf and I rarely drain the battery below the half-way point. Most of the time I only use less than 20% of its capacity.

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