Liberty Electric Cars believes its Deliver electric van prototype has the potential to revolutionise the light-commercial vehicle market.
The Deliver project, co-funded by the European Commission’s Green Vehicles Initiative, started in 2011 with the goal of reducing the environmental impact of LCVs in urban areas by 40 per cent.
The first fully-functioning Deliver prototype, on display at this week’s FISITA World Automotive Congress in the Netherlands, features a pair of in-wheel electric motors on the rear axle, with each producing 57kW of power and 42Nm of torque.
Liberty claims a minimum driving range of 100km and a top speed of 100km/h for the Deliver, making it suited to intra-urban applications such as postal, supermarket and city council service operations.
The Deliver has a gross vehicle weight of 2200kg and a payload of 700kg, and claims 18 per cent greater cargo-carrying capacity compared with production vans of a similar wheelbase.
A clever cabin layout allows the driver to easily exit the Deliver on the kerb side, minimising walking distances around the vehicle and improving driver safety.
The Deliver has been tested extensively at RWTH Aachen University’s new testing ground to analyse its energy efficiency, dynamic and static structural performance, active and passive safety, ergonomics, and range.
The project was co-ordinated by the RWTH Aachen University’s Institute of Automotive Engineering and comprises the know-how of 10 European partners, including Fiat, Volkswagen and Michelin, among others.