The commercial electric vehicle market is ripe for the picking, and many companies are eager to grab a slice of it. The eStar, built by Navistar, offers a compelling option for those looking to make emissions-free deliveries.
Designed from the ground-up to be an electric delivery van, the eStar has an advantage over major automakers who are trying to convert gas-powered vans to electric power. With a 102 horsepower electric motor and a 4,000 pound carrying capacity, the eStar is “peppy” yet practical, limited to a top speed of just 50mph. In other words, this is a city delivery van, not designed for highway travel despite the 100 mile range. The 80 kWh lithium-ion cassette battery can be charged in just eight hours from a 220v charging station, and the eStar has a rather tight 36-foot turning radius (comparable to a newer two-door Jeep Wrangler, which is actually pretty damn good.)
Depending on the price, the eStar could a serious competitor in the commercial EV market. It’s got good visibility, low maintenance and fuel costs, and a huge blank canvas begging to be covered for some mobile advertisement. An intuitive I-Pack screen displays information such vehicle speed, battery charging state, and other info pertinent to driving.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMI’s. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.