Watt Electric Vehicle Company (WEVC) has unveiled a new lightweight chassis cab electric light commercial vehicle for the large van sector, the WATT eCV1.
The WEVC WATT eCV1 range gets a central driving position to allow the driver to exit from either side of the vehicle making access to the kerb safer, and the cabin can be configured as a one-, two- or three-seater van. The large amount of glass improves visibility making it better suited for an urban environment.
Its platform design allows a walk-through cabin with full height headroom for the occupants, while also tipping the scales as just 1750kg. This will give the WATT eCV1 significant payload potential at the planned 3.5-tonne and 4.25-tonne GVWs.
The central driving position has also enabled the A-pillars to be repositioned inboard. This reduces the frontal area of the van and also its drag, improving its efficiency.
The “cell-to-chassis” system means the WATT eCV1’s batteries are integrated to the structure of the vehicle. This means it doesn’t have a separate battery pack and as a result is claimed to optimise stiffness, minimise weight and maximise payload. WEVC says the eCV1 has “none of the structural, weight and packaging compromises inherent in the majority of electric LCV designs”. It highlights that have been converted from ICE drivetrains which are constrained by traditional high volume manufacturing processes.
Production is expected to be around 5000 vehicles per year with bodied and chassis variants. It has been designed for low-to-medium volumes and is said to be able to support FWD, RWD and AWD configurations allowing the design to be used for both commercial and passenger applications. WEVC’s PACES (Passenger And Commercial EV Skateboard) architecture consists of bespoke aluminium lightweight extrusions with CNC-folded pieces that interlock together – a process known as FlexTech.
Neil Yates, founder and CEO of Watt Electric Vehicles, says: “I’m delighted to reveal the WATT eCV1. Our unique approach to addressing the challenges facing the industry enables the transition to mission-specific, yet cost-effective electric light commercial vehicles. We have embraced circular economy principles in the design, manufacture, and operation of our commercial vehicles to specifically align with increasingly stringent corporate and fleet operator sustainability responsibilities. As the electrification of the transport sector accelerates what we are seeing from customers is the need for a ready-to-go, sophisticated yet cost-effective electric commercial vehicle offering. With our first product, the eCV1, we have really re-thought what is possible.”