In my time i have owned more than my fair share, but none perhaps as intriguing as one i'll be looking at today. Well, there was that guinness world record breaking ice cream van that i electrified but that's another story for another day. So instead join me as we delve a little deeper into this most interesting of light commercial vehicles. And while i go here's a clue unplug, it do remember to subscribe to the channel. So you can see my van reviews the moment they come out subscribed well good. Now, let's talk about the volkswagen transporter, which has been a bit of an icon. Having stood the test of time since 1950, but times are changing and emissions regulations and pledges to turn cities into zero emission zones and the complete ban of the sale of internal combustion engines means to survive and prosper. The van is going to have to go electric and that's exactly what vw have done with this: the volkswagen abt or more correctly, abbed e transporter 6.1. Now, if you're watching this, you may be very familiar with volkswagen and the transporter, but not so familiar with the abd part of the name now it's there, because this van is a partnership between volkswagen and electric specialists. Abd now they're a family run german tuning company, who are more recently famous for their formula e racing team that they run with audi, but their green division. Abd eli have more than 10 years of experience, making electric vehicles from the outside there's not much to differentiate the e transporter from a regular vw, transporter it's, based on the newest version of the t 6.
1, which was launched in 2019 with a revised front grille and Some important technical updates, importantly, including electromechanical, steering and looks nion identical, i'll, be honest with you. It wasn't a momentous moment in anyone's life when vw added the 0.1 to the end of the t6, but what they have done with this new van is make it the most up to date, the safest and the most advanced medium sized van on the market in Diesel form it is a real cracker, so it's critical that we find out exactly what abbot have done under the skin. In a nutshell, the engine and gearbox have gone they're replaced by an 83 kilowatt electric motor 37 kilowatt hour battery pack and a claimed range of 83 miles, there's, also rapid charging with an 80 charge possible in just 45 minutes. Crucially, this van also has the same carrying volume capacity as the diesel equivalent and close to a one ton payload, while electric vans will always be compared to their oil burning equivalents, there's an increasing number of electric competitors in the medium van segment. These include the voxel vivaro e citron e dispatch, peugeot expert and the maxis e deliver 3 plus the hybrid ford transit custom fev and a hybrid version of the london taxi called levc vn5, which just about measures up the same as a midsize van sorry, i'm. Just looking for a little bit more range, sadly, the claimed 83 mile range doesn't really sound like a lot and to be honest, you've got to be really careful how you drive it.
Otherwise, you might not actually see that number anyway, but electric vans aren't supposed to be doing long distances as most drivers barely cover 50 miles each day, and that means that the e transporter is more than suitable for the majority of van users. The loan space is completely unchanged from the regular transporter, which means you can carry loads of just under 3 meters long and have a space for 6.7 cubic meters. Now the best performing models have a payload of 996 kilograms, but, as the e transporter has just one length and one height this one, then the only real difference between the vans in the electric range is the trim level that you opt for. The most luxurious called advance eating up just 4 kilograms of payload there's, just over 1.4 meters of load height from floor to roof available in the van 1.7 meters across the width of the van and 1.2 meters between the wheel, arches that's enough to ensure that three Euro pallets can fit in the back and with a sliding door that also measures more than one meter by 1.2 meter dimensions of a pallet. You can even load them through the side doors. Now charging is perhaps the most contentious and important part of owning an electric van, the convenience of just popping into a filling station for a few minutes for a top up, doesn't really compare with charging your van all the way through the night now, fortunately, the e Transporter can take on some power pretty quickly with the 50 kilowatt dc port, which will top up those 16 lithium ion cells in about 45 minutes on a slightly slower 7 kilowatt wall box, it'll take about 5.
5 hours to go from naught to 100 percent. Now we're fully charged let's take a look around inside now. If you're familiar with the transporter, then you'll be very familiar with the electric version, because it's almost exactly the same on the inside but that's a good thing, because this is a smart place to be it's. Very functional, as a van should be with some good sized storage compartments all over the place and a really tough rugged feeling interior, but it's smart, too, and round full of technology. Take this six and a half inch touchscreen, for example, it's got a really clear, sharp display and comes standard on all vans, and that gives you dab, audio and also apple carplay and android. Auto integration, but also vw, have been thinking about sort of future proof in their interior, and i believe this is the only van that's got a usbc charging point at the moment. Other standard equipment includes an armrest and four way adjustable seat with lumber support, heated seats, air conditioning and electric heated mirrors there's, also a fully adjustable leather, trimmed steering wheel with controls for that infotainment system, higher spec, advanced trim level models get an additional 12 volt socket In the dashboard automatic headlights, folding mirrors and front and rear parking, sensors advanced models also get bigger 17 inch alloy wheels, rather than the standard 16 inch steelies, as well as body color, bumpers, mirrors and door handles. The only point of difference with the e transporter are the dials in front of the driver.
You'Ve got a power meter instead of a rev counter with an energy gauge which shows you whether you're charging or draining the battery. It really is as simple as that. Now the thing about driving an electric van, is you can't help, but be impressed by their speed and also the quietness of them? Now the e transporter has an 83 kilowatt motor and that's the equivalent of about 108 brake horsepower. Now that might not sound like it's going to set my pants on fire. Please don't do that, but it does get off the line quite quickly, although it's unlikely to win any drag races. The 62 miles an hour will get to you in about 17.4 seconds, but that's, okay, because by default this van is limited to 56 miles an hour, although there is a 74 miles an hour version. This is a sensible van for sensible people like me who are going to drive it sensibly. Unlike the handful of other electric fans on the market, there isn't all that much glamour to the abdi transporter. It doesn't have fancy driving modes. There aren't any levels of regenerative. Braking you just put the lever into automatic and drive, just like you would, in the dsg automatic version of the diesel van it's, all really straightforward, and a little bit boring because part of the challenge of driving an electric vehicle is trying to eke out every last Mile from those batteries with the e transporter, you just get in and steer without having to change any other settings.
It'S all very simple – and i guess many people will like that, although it does have one trick up its sleeve and that involves using my size 14 feet. If i just gently squeeze the throttle, i get up to 75 percent of the power, but if i give it a really good shove, i get the full quota of power and torque available it's. Just like the kick down function on an automatic gearbox in the car except it's, smoother and more instant, it also means you can easily drive calmly and conservatively, but then get a squirt of power. If you need to overtake or get out of a junction quickly. The 56 miles per hour, speed limit, is a bit too low, but if they gave everyone, the higher limit as standard they'll probably be cues of people lining up to plug their vans in as they would never have reached anywhere near the 83 mile range. As to how the e transporter drives well, it's very similar to the diesel model with very sharp handling, but actually improved by the low weight of the batteries, it's, also exceptionally, quiet even by electric vehicle standards, there's a synthetic wine at slow speeds, but once that goes There'S a small amount of road noise and hardly any noise from the wind. Now. The important thing to remember here is that while you can buy an e transporter from a vw dealer, it's still a conversion by abd, and that is well a bit of a shame.
Actually because it feels like volkswagen haven't really given them the full set of tools to play with the van and features such as different driving modes, which is the sort of thing people are going to be expecting from electric vehicles just aren't here. Whether it's, too simplistic will rather depend on what you're looking for, i suppose but i'd like it to be a little bit more involved. One thing that it isn't short of is the safety technology that is installed, though the transporter has loads of clever safety mechanisms in place, and the electric van is no exception. Remember how i said that not much had changed, except for the grill and the electro mechanical steering well it's that steering which enables the e transporter to have a cross wind assist system to stop you getting blown about by big gusts of wind there's. Also, an automatic braking system to try to prevent accidents. A driver alert system monitors you to warn if you're dozing off, and it has all the initials of an oxford scholar with the usual abs and esp joined by edl, an electronic differential lock. Unlike the top trim, diesel vans, there's, no adaptive cruise control, but as it's not designed for intensive motorway driving it shouldn't be needed anyway. Volkswagen'S partnership without making the e transport is a quick fix to get an electric van out there as competitors come to market. It is decent, but could definitely be improved with more size options, bigger batteries and therefore an improved range as it stands, it's a smart, safe and comfortable attempt at an electric van which everyone will enjoy driving.
I actually want to do all my short trips in it, which is why i've, given it the ed factor, stamp of approval and a big thumbs up.