Volkswagen unclear on e-van timeline in Australia

Local director for commercial vehicles says nothing is on the table yet, but if it were available the Australian arm would look into it.
- shares

Volkswagen Australia's commercial division says it isn't sure exactly when it will introduce all-electric versions of its van range, despite the brand's push towards electrification globally.

Speaking with CarAdvice at the local launch for the Caddy Beach camper van in Sydney this week, director for commercial vehicles at Volkswagen Australia, Ryan Davies, said it's "too early to tell" what the future of electric vans will look like here.

"We're kind of dependent on what gets developed from the factory in terms of what we can access. So we don't really have any firm timeline on that as yet," he says.

"Suffice to say that whatever is producing right hand drive, we'll be looking at its suitability for the market for sure."

Davies added there are concerns about Australia's current infrastructure, given the amount of time commercial vehicles spend operating on a normal work day.

"I think the infrastructure is a concern where it's certain something that we need to be aware of in particularly with the van," Davies continued.

"A van's generally running between 10-12 hours a day. So we need to be conscious of those things and we need to understand what the battery life is and we also need to understand what our customers want."

In 2016 Volkswagen revealed the e-Crafter concept (pictured), based on the new-generation Crafter van recently introduced Down Under.

The concept vehicle was powered by a 100kW/290Nm electric motor, teamed with a 43kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

Claimed range was quoted at up to 208 kilometres, while top speed was limited to 80km/h. As for charging, Volkswagen claimed the e-Crafter concept could be replenished in as little as 45 minutes.

The production version has since been launched in Europe, drawing upon the same electric drive system as the e-Golf offered overseas.

Given Davies' comments, it's unlikely we'll see the e-Crafter or subsequent electric Volkswagen commercial models on local roads anytime soon.