People, SkyNet is getting closer and closer! With the announcement of the new Google koala car last week, which has no steering wheel or driver inputs, to this weeks all electric Deliver van.
While this little cargo van isn't autonomous, yet, it does feature the powertrain that will be driving all those killer robots in the future. The Deliver van was created by a company called Liberty Electric Vehicles, and was a collaboration between them, the EU's European Green Vehicles Initiative which helps propose new green car legislature and help those business's that develop green vehicles. And partnered with FIAT, Michelin, Polis Network, SP-Technical Institute of Sweden, HPL Prototypes, CADEM, Mobit, and Volkswagen to help propel the venture even faster.
The overall design of the van is futuristic and really cool looking. The front looks like a squashed up KTM X-Bow. While the cab looks like it came out of the Jetsons. The greenhouse is meant to give more space for both the driver and their cargo within the van than a comparable vehicle. And being an electric car, the floor can be low and completely flat giving the van's driver easier access to the rear of the vehicle, which makes it unbelievably useful for those in the moving business.
The drivetrain of the Deliver, is an in wheel-hub all-electric Li-NMC which allows the Deliver to travel up to 62mph and go 60miles in range. The Deliver is meant to become a workhorse in the capitals of Europe to move people and things around without damaging the environment or air quality. Obviously not a Tesla in the range category, but when you consider what this van is designed for, the low range makes perfect sense. Europe's cities are densely packed, and moving items around these cities is not a long distance game. Why over engineer the motor when a short distance is all you need. It saves the program money, and allows the batteries to be charged faster.
What is the most important for any van is the ability to haul all of those items along, and with a curb weight of 4850, and a 1500lb load rating, this little van was built to take the abuse. What also is a great feature for those individuals that will eventually run this car is the concept walk in door. This allows the occupant to walk in and out of the entrance without a prominent door sill. The picture doesn't clearly show it, but the door actually comes up under the car a bit, making egress very easy.
Not much else is known about the concept Deliver at this moment, but the company has said the full reveal should be this week at the FISITA World Automotive Congress in Maastricht, Netherlands. The company set out in 2011 to build something relatively lightweight, have the ability to haul a sizeable amount, and to use the latest and greatest environmentally friendly technologies to bring Europe a vehicle to help propel them into the next century. And with this concept, they have.
It's definitely and interesting concept, even just visually, and as our own urban populations continue to expand, could we see the need for this little electric van here in the states? Only time will tell.
You can find their press release here
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Photos via Liberty Electric Vehicles.