Volkswagen ABT e-Transporter Electric Dropside Review
The Volkswagen ABT e-Transporter Dropside at a glance
Volkswagen’s very first electric vehicle offering in the UK is now available with a Dropside body. The Volkswagen ABT e-Transporter Dropside van offers a more compact alternative to the e-Crafter Dropside – perfect for those who wish to benefit from an electric-powered Dropside without needing to fork out for a large van.
Although the driving range you can achieve with the e-Transporter Dropside is somewhat limited compared to other electric vehicles of its size on the market, it offers unmatched comfort whilst driving – something that drivers who frequently make long journeys will find invaluable.
Engines and Spec
Under the bonnet, you’ll find that ABT – VW’s electric vehicle partner – has taken the shell of the Transporter T6.1 Dropside and fitted it with electric running gear, which in this case comprises a 83kW (110bhp) motor and 37.3kWh battery. Although this is a tried-and-tested system that was already offered in the e-Golf, it does mean that the tech is a little behind the curve. And herein lies the e-Transporters hardest sell: its driving range is limited to 82 miles. Part of this is down to VW’s decision to only offer a single battery pack version of the e-Transporter range at this time, but it does mean that it’s amongst the lowest driving ranges on the UK market at this time. This is, however, just right for drivers who cover a similar, predictable distance everyday.
Yet despite its short driving range, we mustn’t forget that the e-Transporter Dropside is equipped with DC charging capabilities, meaning that it can cope with 50kW rapid charging – taking the battery pack from empty to 80% in just 45 minutes. This means that you can perform a hefty loading or unloading job and be all ready to go by the time you’re finished.
As mentioned above, the e-Transporter Dropside is surprisingly nice to drive. Not only is there a nice lack of engine, road or wind noise to worry about inside the cabin, but Volkswagen has also chosen to simplify the driving experience as much as possible. No need to deal with driving modes or recuperation settings – simply pull the DSG lever down to drive and away you go. The addition of a multi-stage accelerator pedal is also a handy little feature that helps to make your driving smoother and extends the driving range in turn.
Designed for strength and durability the e-Transporter Dropside’s load capacity ensures that you can load up with confidence. With a maximum payload of 800kg and enough load space to comfortably fit 4 Euro pallets on the single cab long wheelbase version, the e-Transporter Dropside is competitively practical for an electric commercial vehicle of its size.
If you are at all a fan of the internal layout of the Volkswagen Transporter range, then you’ll be pleased to find that the e-Transporters feature the exact same cabin interior as their diesel counterparts, save for some minor changes to the instrument cluster. This means that you will benefit from the same smart, modern-looking and practical cabin that the Transporter is notorious for.
A three-seat layout comes as standard with plenty of room for all passengers. The dashboard is clear and, although it doesn’t quite live up to VW’s passenger cars, it is nonetheless hardwearing. A generous amount of storage can be found, including cupholders atop the dashboard, door compartments and a centre console. The centre console also features twin USB charging ports and 12v sockets.
New to the e-Transporter is the inclusion of an energy gauge that informs drivers exactly how much range they have left before they’ll need to charge their van’s battery. A 6.5-inch infotainment system comes as standard on all models with Bluetooth, DAB radio and USB C connectivity, and there is even an option to add VW’s Discover Media sat-nav with a large touchscreen if you frequently make long and unfamiliar journeys.
Pros & Cons
- Cheap to run
- Well equipped
- Fantastic driving experience
- Rapid charging
- Limited driving range
- Expensive to buy outright
Although the limited driving range will be viewed as a detriment to many, the e-Transporter Dropside makes up for this through its smooth and comfortable driving experience, refined cab and decent load capacity. If you’re looking for an electric vehicle that is cheap to run and can easily cover short, familiar routes on a daily basis with minimal environmental impact, then the Volkswagen ABT e-Transporter Dropside could be the van for you.
The Volkswagen ABT e-Transporter Dropside is available for finance lease and contract hire from Van Sales UK. All of our new Volkswagen vans come complete with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty and 1-year manufacturer’s breakdown cover, and free mainland UK delivery is included with every purchase. For more information about our range of electric vans, please give us a call on 0117 205 2626 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.