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Dropside: Ford E-Transit vs Volkswagen e-Crafter

March 9th, 2023

It’s safe to say that electric vans have officially secured their place in the market, with manufacturers exceeding expectations and delivering quality, practical and innovative vans to match their combustion counterparts.

Some manufacturers are going beyond that to bring these electric conversions out in further variants, such as dropsides, lutons, tippers and more. In this review, we will be focusing on dropside electric vans, specifically comparing such variants for the Ford E-Transit and the Volkswagen e-Crafter – two established names in the van world.

Read on to learn more about how these electric dropsides perform and how they compare against one another.

Engines and Spec

The question on everyone’s minds when it comes to electric vans is what range they’re capable of, which is impacted by a number of aspects, such as their engine size.

Looking at the E-Transit Dropside, it operates using a 400-volt battery that offers 68kWh of usable power and a torque of 430 Nm, so you can really feel this power in action when accelerating. In this dropside variant, this equates to a maximum overall range of 150 miles, which gives you a sufficient amount of leeway for reduction due to heavy loads, so that you could still travel far regardless of what you’re carrying in the back.

We discuss these specifications and driving capabilities further in our more in-depth E-Transit Dropside review.

As for the VW e-Crafter Dropside, there is a slightly smaller 35kWh battery and only 290 Nm of torque, though this is still enough to keep up with busy urban traffic. Despite this, the e-Crafter is still capable of achieving approximately 100 miles in range on a full charge, although it is worth noting that this is partly due to it having a limited speed of 56mph, which further  makes it much more suited to city and extra-urban driving.

As for the respective charging times of these two vans, both can be charged using either a standard AC wallbox or DC fast charger, as is typically available at public charging stations. When using a wallbox, the smaller battery of the e-Crafter is favourable, since it only takes 5.5 hours to fully charge from empty, while using a DC charger will take the van to 80% in as little as 45 minutes.

The E-Transit Dropside takes a few hours longer to charge, specifically between 8 to 11.5 hours depending on the power capacity of the wallbox. Although, it does keep up when it comes to DC charging, getting you from 15% to 80% in only 34 minutes, which is perfect if you’re caught in a pinch when out driving and quickly need a boost in charge.

Interior

Looking now at the dropside floats of these vans, both meet the standards and performance you’d expect from a dropside, offering sufficient loading space for your needs.

The float on the back of the Ford E-Transit dropside measures in at having an internal loading space of 2038mm by 3645mm along with a generous payload of 1,001kg, which is perfectly capable of carrying any construction materials, tools or other equipment. As for the VW e-Crafter Dropside, most Crafter dropside vans use an Ingimex conversion dropside, which has a similar internal loading space of 2026mm by 3477mm.

As for the interiors, we would label the E-Transit cabin as representing modern intuition and connectivity, whilst the e-Crafter represents timeless practicality.

The E-Transit offers an advanced driving experience thanks to the central 12” touchscreen infotainment system complete with Sync 4, which is clear, easy to navigate and compatible with smartphone integration. A rotary gear is used in place of a typical gear shift and handbrake, making the cabin even more spacious, though despite this there is only a single passenger seat rather than a dual one.

The interior of the e-Crafter is almost identical to that of the standard Crafter, with the sole difference being the instrument dials instead reflecting the relevant information regarding charge and range. This means that storage solutions remain ample in the e-Crafter, including a fold-down tray in the back of the central seat that is perfect for those who often find themselves doubling up their cabin as an office space.

The Verdict

If you need a dropside van to get you and your materials around town on the daily, then the Volkswagen e-Crafter is an excellent choice, since its transmission makes it ideal for extra-urban driving (made even more convenient with its regenerative braking to extend driving range) whilst doubling up as a great working space.

If your job requires you to carry heavier loads in your dropside van across further distances and you don’t necessarily visit the same sites every day, then the Ford E-Transit is ideal, with navigation made incredibly easy thanks to its Sync 4 system and a comfortable interior that makes longer journeys much easier to bear.

Do either of these vans sound like the right fit for you? That’s great! Of course, now your mind will be thinking about one thing in particular: the price. As is typical with electric vehicles, these vans are expensive to buy outright (being in excess of £40,000); thankfully, you have other options.

Here at Van Sales UK, we have both these dropside vans available new and in stock, offering them on low-rate, zero deposit finance.

Enquire today to discuss your finance options and to learn more about which may be better suited to you. Don’t forget to check out our full stock of electric dropsides, too!

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