This funky-looking electric van prototype was built as a new generation of urban delivery vehicles developed by the DELIVER consortium, first shown to the public recently in Masstricht, Netherlands. It is the product of a European design process, which focuses on reducing the environmental impact of light commercial vehicles in urban areas. The acronym stands for Design of Electric Light Vans for Environment-Impact Reduction, and was funded in part by the European Union, and a group of auto and parts makers including Fiat. Volkswagen and Michelin as well as many universities and several European cities.
At present, no production plans for the van have been announced, though there’s nothing really standing between the DELIVER van and actual production. It features a Michelin electric motor, rated at 57 kW, in each rear wheel hub, and there is also a two speed gear case in each rear hub. The prototype has 18% more load carrying capacity than a conventional van of similar wheelbase, thanks to its electric drivetrain, and features a range of 62 miles, with a top speed of more than 60 mph.
But the DELIVER is not just about reducing pollution in European cities. It has a clever driver’s compartment designed to increase driver efficiency and reduce fatigue. The B-pillar is omitted on the curb side of the vehicle. allowing the installation of a step out door for the driver. This makes it easier to get in and out of the van, reducing delivery times, and because the main entrance faces the curb, the driver is never faced with the perils of oncoming traffic.
The DELIVER van may have a face that only a mother could love, but its emphasis on compact size, greater load carrying capacity, high efficiency, and low environmental impact make it a strong candidate for the delivery van of the future in the Old World.
Source: Green Car Congress