Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has hinted that his electric car company might be interested in launching an all-electric work van. In a series of tweets Musk converted with fans about the possibility of adding a van into the Tesla lineup.
The conversation was kicked off when Twitter users Chris Kern posted a photo of a Tesla service van assisting him with a tire issue. Twitter user Dragonmyass responded it was a pity that Tesla didn’t have its own branded van to send out to use.
Flat tire on Sunday. Called Tesla, git a loaner tire within 40 minutes. Today they came to my house to replace the tire in 10 minutes. scheduled to come back to fix a small issue next week. What other car company does this? @elonmusk @TeslaModel3 @Tesla #mobileservice pic.twitter.com/GiNwOM3RJZ— Chris Kern (@cjk7216) October 31, 2018
Musk expresses enthusiasm despite a 'lot on his plate'
Musk jumped straight in expressing his interest with working with Mercedes/Daimler on the design. “Maybe interesting to work with Daimler/Mercedes on an electric Sprinter. That’s a great van. We will inquire.” he Tweeted.
Maybe interesting to work with Daimler/Mercedes on an electric Sprinter. That’s a great van. We will inquire.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 19, 2018
When other users suggested he just take his own Musk replied he was keen but had quite a lot on his plate already. However, it wasn’t long before someone pointed out that Mercedes has already announced they have an all-electric work van that will be released in 2019.
VW and Nissan already filling electric van market
The ‘eSprinter’, was announced by the German automaker back in February. Although Mercedes didn’t go into great detail the van isn’t expected to have a huge range as it will be “primarily designed for inner-city operations, not only protect the environment but also offer customers tangible added value with their day-to-day suitability and flexibility.”
Volkswagen and Nissan also have electric commercial vehicles in their lineup. If Tesla is serious about adding a van to their lineup they already have some pretty stiff competition.
VW launched the eCrafter last year but the van has been in a test phase for some time with hard commercial deliveries not happening until 2020. Volkswagen describes the electric commercial van saying, “The eCrafter has been tailored precisely to these typical city operations with its 100 kW power output, range of around 160 km and top speed limited to 90 kph.
The eCrafter’s lithium-ion battery is completely integrated into the underbody, meaning the standard vehicle’s entire cargo volume (10.7 m3) is fully usable. A maximum payload of between 1.0 and 1.75 tonnes is available. At a CCS charging station supplying the battery can be charged to 80% in just 45 minutes. From a wallbox, charging time to 100% is around 5.5 hours.”
While many contend that there is no cost benefit to electrifying the market at the moment, being compliant with increasingly tight anti-pollution regulation will be key to urban logistics.