VW Transporter hybrid van: new T7 generation to get plug-in option

A prototype plug-in hybrid version of the next Volkswagen Transporter – which shares architecture with the next Ford Transit Custom – has been spotted testing

Volkswagen Transporter hybrid

Volkswagen is set to make plug-in hybrid power an option in the next-generation T7 version of its evergreen Transporter medium-sized van, which will share technology under the metal with the next-generation Ford Transit Custom.

A prototype model was spotted undergoing testing on Germany's Nurburgring race circuit in June 2020, with a second 'filler flap' visible on its bodywork, hinting at the presence of a charging socket.

Further spy shots emerged in late September 2020 showing a T7 Transporter wearing much less camouflage, sporting the same large socket cover and 'hybrid test vehicle' stickers.

The current Transporter (the T6) is available with petrol and diesel engines, however a zero-emissions electric version – the ABT e-Transporter – has been developed on behalf of VW by engineering firm ABT. For the T7 Transporter, however, Volkswagen is sharing technology with Ford, so the newcomer will use the same underpinnings as the next-generation Transit Custom.

In future, Volkswagen is expected to launch a new dedicated electric van separate from the Transporter, perhaps drawing inspiration from the Budd-e and ID.Buzz electric commercial vehicle prototypes and sitting on the brand's own MEB electric-vehicle platform. This means there's unlikely to be a fully electric version of the T7 Transporter as well. There's no technical data on either the T7 Transporter hybrid not its Transit Custom sister just yet.

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