Volkswagen e-Crafter electric motor, drive & performance

Electric motor gives swift initial acceleration and the e-Crafter is satisfying to drive

Like its diesel-powered Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles stablemates, the e-Crafter is a good van to drive, and its electric powertrain is well suited to the swift, frantic and stop-start nature of busy urban traffic.

Volkswagen e-Crafter electric motor, 0-62mph and acceleration

The e-Crafter uses much the same electric hardware as the Volkswagen e-Golf electric family hatchback. So there's a 35.8kWh battery and a 134bhp electric motor with 290Nm of torque.

That's available instantly when you hit the accelerator, so the e-Crafter accelerates rapidly from a standstill. It runs out of steam fairly quickly, though, topping out at an electronically limited 56mph.

When you lift off the accelerator, the e-Crafter slows down gradually like a manual-gearbox van in gear, with the brake lights activating to warn other road users that you're decelerating.

Unlike some other electric vehicles, there are no different driving modes or levels of braking power, so you need to give the accelerator an occasional prod to keep moving in free-flowing traffic. 

Handling

Having heavy batteries placed low down in the body benefits the e-Crafter's handling. Even when unladen, it feels planted and stable on the road, and surprisingly involving to drive for a large van.