VW Transporter electric: prices, specification and on-sale date

The Volkswagen ABT eTransporter 6.1, a fully electric version of the Transporter van, is on sale now from £42,060 before VAT

VW Comercial VehiclesABTe Transporter5th October 2020Images ©Malcolm Griffiths0044 7768 230706www.malcolm.gb.netI:@malcy1970Images Copyright Malcolm Griffiths

This is the Volkswagen ABT eTransporter 6.1, the German manufacturer’s first all-electric van, available in panel-van and crew-cab versions. Production of the model commenced in June 2020 and it's available to order now.

Prices (all excluding VAT) start at £42,060 for the standard panel van, climbing to £45,360 in higher-spec Advance trim. The 'Kombi' crew-cab version is priced from £46,375, or £49,985 in Advance guise.

The van was developed for Volkswagen by ABT e-Line, whose parent company ABT Sportsline has experience of electric drivetrains from its involvement in Formula E with Audi.

ABT has also revealed a smaller electric Volkswagen eCaddy, which will come in either van and MPV guises. It boasts the same electric motor as the ABT e-Transporter, but won't be available in the UK as it hasn't been engineered for right-hand-drive markets.

Performance and payload

The eTransporter’s electric motor delivers 109bhp and 200Nm of torque, delivered to the rear wheels through a modified DSG dual-clutch gearbox. The electric motor is calibrated to deliver 75% of its power in normal circumstances, with 100% power available via a kickdown function. Acceleration is adequate, with a 0-62mph time of 17.4 seconds.

Two different top-speed options are available: either 56mph (90kph) or 75mph (120kph), with the latter reducing the maximum range to 64 miles (103 kilometres). Future Carvelle and Kombi minibus versions will be able to carry up to nine people.

Maximum load capacity ranges from 977 to 1,096kg. With a trailer, the total combined load weight increases to 3,770kg. Unbraked trailer loads of up to 750kg are possible. The eTransporter has its batteries mounted under the floor to avoid detracting from its load space, which measures in at 6.7m3. 

Battery, charging and range

The ABT eTransporter features a 37.3kWh battery giving a real-world range of up to 82 miles. A larger, 74.6kWh battery is also expected to be made available in the future, with a range of closer to 200 miles. 

The ABT eTransporter is compatible with 50kW CCS chargers, charging up to 80% capacity in around 45 minutes. Support for AC wallbox charging of up to 7.2kW is also included, with a full charge completed in five and a half hours. A Type 2 charging cable is included as standard.

Inside, the eTransporter’s battery status can be monitored on a power meter mounted where the standard Transporter’s rev counter would usually be. The meter displays total charge level along with optimal speed for efficiency and the status of the regenerative braking system.

Technology and equipment

The eTransporter gets a decent amount of standard equipment. A 6.5-inch touchscreen DAB radio with Bluetooth and two USB-C ports and an SD card slot features, along with the Volkswagen AppConnect smartphone integration system. Standard active safety and driver assistance features include autonomous emergency braking, rear parking sensors and crosswind assistance.

In addition, ABT is offering an optional 'aero package' (pictured above) for the e-Transporter, which includes a front skirt, a front grille, side skirts, rear wing and rear skirt. The package also includes ABT Sport GR 20-inch alloy wheels, for which two finishes are available: matt black with a diamond-machined finish or glossy black with a diamond-machined rim flange.

Service plan

In October 2020, Volkswagen released details of a bespoke service plan for the eTransporter. VW says that electric vans are 30% cheaper on average to service, and as such is offering customers a three-for-two price for its all-electric van. Three services, one MoT, a brake fluid change and pollen filter replacement are all included in the plan, which is priced at £399.

The eTransporter's service schedule is quoted at 12 months or 24,900 miles, with an extended inspection required after 36 months or 74,500 miles. An extended inspection is then required every two years thereafter.

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