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With all this talk about sustainable mobility, automakers from around the world are trying all kinds of things. In Europe, Opel has one in the shape of this a “green” commercial concept, based on its Vivaro delivery van. On display at the IAA Commercial Vehicle show in Hannover, which runs from September 23-30th, the Vivaro e-Concept is, according to Chris Lacey (Director of International Operations for Opel/Vauxhall commercial vehicles), designed to “test the acceptance of our advanced propulsion technology for those attending the [IAA] show.”
The Vivaro e-Concept is a plug-in, extended range vehicle that uses technology similar to the Chevy Volt. It incorporates a 111 kilowatt electric motor that can provide a driving range of more than 220 miles on pure electric power, plus an internal combustion engine that acts as a generator to extend the vehicle’s range beyond that.
The batteries are stored under the floor to help protect them from the elements and can be recharged using a standard household 230 volt outlet. According to specs released from Opel, the Vivaro e-Concept can still haul loads of more than 1,500 lbs, which should make it a viable alternative to it’s regular, gasoline engined counterpart, particularly in parts of some European cities which are currently off-limits to cars and trucks because of noise and pollution restrictions. It’ll be interesting to see what the punters at IAA make of it.
Daimler Trucks has chosen the IAA auto show in Hanover, Germany as the venue to introduce its concept of a fully electric commercial vehicle based on a Mitsubishi/Fuso Canter 3s13 medium-duty cabover truck. Confused?
Well Daimler AG owns 85 percent of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation and the Canter has been a global best seller in its segment for years, so the reasons for choosing it to showcase electric drive technology aren’t quite as random as they might seem. Dubbed the E-CELL, the Canter uses an electric motor to drive the rear wheels, with the batteries mounted inside the frame. The result is a zero emission commercial vehicle, one rated at 3.5 ton gross weight.
The E-CELL is considered the next step from the current diesel engined Canter (recognized as one of the most fuel efficient medium-trucks currently available), as is a diesel/electric hybrid version – of which 1000 are currently undergoing trials in various markets around the world including Australia, Hong Kong, Ireland and Japan. The Canter hybrid is said to deliver fuel savings of around 15 percent over it’s conventional diesel counterpart.
However, whether electric power for commercial vehicle applications like the Canter E-CELL can prove a valid proposition remains to be seen, especially since the push for EV passenger cars is likely to further tax an already strained electricity grid in many parts of the world and heavier commercial trucks will likely require greater energy and storage capacity than cars to operate. Still, the E-CELL remains an interesting concept and proves that no matter what sector of the vehicle market, all kinds of different options for saving fuel and reducing emissions are currently on the table.