The Russian driver man­aged to jump free be­fore his load of pipes pushed the ferry, and his truck, into a deep river.

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - — WR. AL­WYN VILJOEN

TWO new vans were in­tro­duced at this week’s 2016 IAA Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cle Show in Hanover, Germany, that are set to shake up last-mile de­liv­er­ies in Europe.

Hyundai un­veiled the H350 Fuel Cell Con­cept com­mer­cial van, which uses a 175-litre hy­dro­gen tank to power a 100 kW fuel cell that Hyundai stated can drive the H350 Fuel Cell Con­cept van for a to­tal range of 422 km at city speeds, or for shorter dis­tances at speeds of up to 150 km/h.

The H350 fuel cell’s power train is formed by a hy­dro­gen tank, fuel-cell stack, high-volt­age bat­tery pack, in­verter and elec­tric mo­tor.

The 700-bar, high-pres­sure hy­dro­gen tanks, lo­cated un­der the floor of the ve­hi­cle between the two axles, store 7,05 kg of com­pressed hy­dro­gen, which is then bro­ken down into pro­tons and elec­trons in the fuel-cell stack. The elec­tric­ity pro­duced by the fuel stack is then stored in a com­pact 24 kW lithium-poly­mer bat­tery pack, with the in­verter con­vert­ing the en­ergy to an al­ter­nat­ing cur­rent to power the 100 kW elec­tric mo­tor.

The power train is stored un­der the floor, giv­ing the H350 the same load­ing vol­ume as the petrol or diesel-driven ver­sions. Com­mer­cial-ve­hi­cle routes can over­come the prob­lem of empty hy­dro­gen tanks, which has been the main com­plaint of hy­dro­gen ve­hi­cle own­ers in the U.S., but Volk­swa­gen Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles has cho­sen to stick with elec­tric charges for its new van, when it launched the new e-Crafter, which com­petes with Nis­san’s proven eNV200. As is the case with Nis­san’s elec­tric van, Volk­swa­gen’s buzzing carter is de­signed for last-mile city de­liv­er­ies, with a range of up to 200 km and a top speed of 80 km/h. It can carry 1,7 tons with the elec­tric driv­e­train mak­ing 100 kW and 290 Nm, pow­ered by a 43 kWh lithium-ion bat­tery sit­ting un­der the load floor. The bat­tery pack can be topped up to 80% in just 45 min­utes.

The e-Crafter is slower than the Nis­san e-NV200, which can go on high­ways thanks to a top speed of 120 km, but it car­ries more.

Volk­swa­gen stated its elec­tric van is de­signed to ac­com­mo­date future bat­tery de­vel­op­ments but is al­most pro­duc­tion-ready. De­liv­er­ies are slated for 2017.

PHOTO: WQLZ.COM

PHOTO: VW

The e-Crafter is Volk­swa­gen Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles’ first foray into elec­tric ve­hi­cles, while Hyundai has launched its first hy­dro­gen fuel-cell van (in­set).

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