A Chinese-made all-electric commercial van will begin testing on Australian roads from mid-2020, and details and specifications of the vehicle have been exclusively shared with The Driven by auto newcomer EV Automotive.
Fully configurable with three seating options for up to 14 passengers, the EC11 large electric van is one of several all-electric vehicles pegged for a potential release in Australia by EV Automotive that are built by Chinese auto manufacturer Skywell.
While an all-electric premium SUV named the Glory E3 that was due to arrive in early 2020 has been put on hold – due to factory closures to contain the Coronavirus pandemic – EV Automotive sales manager for Oceania Peter Benardos shared with The Driven the details of the electric LCV that will arrive for local homologation and evaluation in 2-3 months.
“It’s the same size as a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, with a high roof,” Benardos tells The Driven. “We are hoping to have a right-hand drive model for trial within next 2-3 months.”
Powered by a 72kWh battery, the all-electric EC11 light commercial van will be able to recharge in as little as 1.5 hours using a CCS2 fast-charging plug type with a maximum 60kW charge rate.
Fully loaded, the EC11 will offer 220-250km driving range according to a brochure sent by Skywell to EV Automotive.
“This EV-A fully electric van offers customers the ability to transport either their passenger or commercial cargo with the safety and convenience of a factory configurable interior,” the brochure says.
“Configurable to hold from 1 to 14 passengers or providing 12.3m3 of cargo capacity with a 1.4t payload, the EC11 electric van is extremely versatile.
“Equipped with rear twin swing doors that can open 270 degrees it can be configured with 0, 1 or 2 sliding cargo doors, windows or fully integrated vapor sealed cargo area,” the brochure reads.
Final pricing is yet to be determined, and will be based on final specifications and current fluctuations in the Australian dollar due to the pandemic.
However, the pricing for the EC11 to sit somewhere between other currently available right-hand drive alternatives, the LDV EV80, which sells in New Zealand for $NZ80490 (about $A76,000 converted) and the Mercedes-Benz e-Sprinter, which sells for around £60,000 (about $A117,000 converted).
The Mercedes e-Sprinter and its stablemate the e-Vito are both slated for Australia, although Mercedes-Benz did not immediately confirm with The Driven if there is a timeline for this as yet.
The LDV does not comply with Australian road standards, according to Benardos, and so is not available on the Australian market.
Both, however, are comparable in terms of specifications and dimensions to the EC11, although the Chinese-made vehicle promises to top both for load capacity and payload as well as driving range, according to Benardos.
Which brings us to dimensions: with a 1.93m high and 1.75m wide rear door opening and interior cargo length of 3.3m, the EC11 promises to offer 12.3m3 load volume and 1400kg load capacity.
Safety features include anti-lock braking, electronic brakeforce distribution and the vehicle will also come with reverse sensors and camera, electric windows and mirrors, front and rear independent air conditioning and heating.
Available options include an electric side step, sliding passenger windows, carpeting, privacy glass for the rear sides of the vehicle, leather seating, side passenger door, 15″ LCD foldable entertainment system, air purifier and passenger curtain.
Full specifications are as follows:
|Length*width*height||6005 x 1995 x 2360/2650 (mm)|
|Seating capacity||Configurable to 14 persons|
|Curb weight||2980 (kg)|
|Total mass||4390 (kg)|
|Max speed||100 (km/h)|
|Front/Rear overhang||1095/1245 (mm)|
|Axle load||1950/2440 (kg)|
|Wheel track||1710/1716 (mm)|
|Battery type||Lithium- ion battery|
|Charging time||1.5 hour ( Fast Charge)|
|Range(KM)||220-250KM Fully Laden|
|Motor type||Permanent magnet motor 120kw|
|Driving mode||Front-Motor , Rear-Drive|
|Steering system||Hydraulic power|
|Brake system||Front disc/rear drum
Initiative vacuum booster
|Suspension system||Front transverse single reed independent suspension
Rear longitudinal plate spring type no-n
Correction: A Previous version of this article incorrectly named the manufacturer as Dong Feng and stated the vehicle comes with automatic emergency braking.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.