Volkswagen looks into Transporter's future with new eT!
Baku, November 21 (AZERTAC). Volkswagen has been in the business of making light commercial vans for over 60 years now, ever since the introduction of the famous T1 / Type 2 (also known as the Kombi and the Microbus) based on the legendary Beetle in 1950. Now, the German automaker wants to reinvent the commercial van and show the road it will follow with the future generations of the Transporter through an innovative concept model called eT!.
For the creation of the eT! study, Volkswagen Group Research worked closely with the German Post Office (Deutsche Post AG), which is one of the largest customers of lightweight commercial vehicles and the University of Art at Braunschweig.
“We analysed process flows and customer needs in detail, and from these analyses we derived ideas on how the segment of delivery and courier vehicles could be further developed over the long term," said Jürgen Leohold, Director of Volkswagen Group Research.
"In this context, we focused on zero-emissions driving and available space in urban areas, semiautomatic driving functions that offer relevant support and simplify work processes and the integration of new communication technologies," he added.
The eT! concept is a zero-emissions van powered by four electric wheel hub motors, which Volkswagen says help optimize the van's interior space.
One of the many novel features of the study is the 'drive stick' that allows the driver to steer the vehicle from the passenger's side, while the eT! can also be operated semi-automatically in certain situations, such as to follow the delivery person from house to house (“Follow me”), or return to the delivery person on command (“Come to me”) driverless.
The eT! also gets two electrically-operated sliding doors on the passenger side while at the rear, there's a split door with a section of the roof extending out to protect the user of the vehicle from the elements of nature.
"Naturally, the eT! is not a vehicle which – unlike the Golf or up! with an electric motor – could become available very soon," says Rudolf Krebs, Group Manager for Electric Traction at Volkswagen AG.
"But we must make plans today for what the world of lightweight commercial vehicles might look like starting in the second half of this decade, including with regard to electrical drives."