In-depth reviews

Volkswagen e-Crafter van review

The Volkswagen e-Crafter is an impressive addition to the growing large electric van class – but like rivals, it's set to be very expensive

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5


  • Same load space as diesel Crafter
  • User-friendly and good to drive
  • Ultra-low running costs


  • Very expensive
  • Won't suit all businesses
  • Not coming to UK until 2021

The Volkswagen e-Crafter is the latest manifestation of a growing trend towards larger electric vans. Small electric vans such as the Citroen Berlingo Electric, Peugeot Partner Electric and Renault Kangoo Z.E. are now relatively well established, but larger panel vans have been slower to electrify.

At the moment, the only direct rivals for the e-Crafter on the UK market are the Renault Master Z.E. and LDV EV80, although more competitors are on the way from other brands – Mercedes will soon launch an 'eSprinter', while the Citroen Relay Electric, Fiat Ducato Electric and Peugeot e-Boxer are also on the way.

Large electric vans like these are designed to fulfil a very specific niche: 'last-mile' urban, multi-drop delivery routes, where volume rather than outright weight of cargo is important. They're designed to allow urban delivery companies and drivers to keep operating in low- or zero-emission zones, which are expected to be become increasingly prevalent in dense city centres in the not-too-distant future.

The up-front cost for a business to 'future-proof' itself against this development is high, though: the Master Z.E. costs from around £47,000 before VAT and after government incentives, while the retail price of the e-Crafter in Germany (including sales tax, but before incentives) is around £63,000. A UK retail price has yet to be confirmed, and right-hand-drive sales are not expected to start until mid-2021.

One advantage the e-Crafter has over the Master Z.E. is that the more recently launched Volkswagen was developed from the outset to accept both diesel and electric powertrains, whereas the Renault is more of a 'retrofit' of electric technology to a van that was originally designed only as a diesel.

The e-Crafter uses the same electric drivetrain as the Volkswagen e-Golf electric family hatchback, making 134bhp and driving through the front wheels. There's no compromise in load space compared to the regular Crafter: 10.7 cubic metres of volume ensure four Euro pallets can be swallowed without fuss.

If the e-Crafter makes sense financially, it's a great choice. Like the standard diesel Crafter, it's a great-to-drive and very user-friendly van, with the kudos of that premium Volkswagen badge on the nose.

For more on the Volkswagen e-Crafter, read on for the rest of our in-depth review.

Most Popular

Top 10 best seven-seater electric and hybrid cars 2022
Best seven-seater electric and hybrids
Best cars

Top 10 best seven-seater electric and hybrid cars 2022

If the regular crop of electrified SUVs and family cars don’t provide enough practicality for you, then take a closer look at the range of electric an…
15 Jun 2022
Top 10 cheapest electric cars 2022
Cheapest electric cars 2022

Top 10 cheapest electric cars 2022

Contrary to popular opinion, not all electric cars are expensive. Here are the cheapest ones available in the UK right now
15 Jun 2022
New electric cars coming in 2022 and beyond
Polestars under cover
Coming soon

New electric cars coming in 2022 and beyond

With electric cars making up an ever-increasing proportion of sales, the industry is working flat out to launch new models – here's what's on the way …
24 Jun 2022