A unique, lightweight and efficient chassis-cab solution designed to provide a platform for next-generation electric light commercial vehicles has been unveiled by the Watt Electric Vehicle Company (WEVC).
The WATT eCV1, which has been developed to enable the production of up to 5,000 vehicles each year, is a flexible 3.5-ton cab and chassis unit that enables an array of different electric commercial vehicles to be created to suit customer requirements.
The eCV1 uses WEVC’s own Passenger And Commercial EV Skateboard (PACES) architecture, an advanced and cost-effective modular electric vehicle platform. The platform features aluminum lightweight extrusions and laser-cut and CNC-folded pieces which interlock and bond together, called FlexTech. Developed to support commercial vehicle manufacturers, specialist vehicle converters and fleet operators as they transition toward electrified forms of transportation, the PACES architecture complies with ISO regulations and exceeds stringent European Small Series Type Approval safety standards.
Using the company’s ’cell-to-chassis’ system, the batteries are integrated into the primary structure of the vehicle. This increases stiffness, reduces weight and maximizes payload. The ground-up design means the eCV1 benefits from having none of the conventional structural, weight and packaging compromises which other electric LCV designs suffer from.
The eCV1 range features a central driving position for safer curbside exits for the operator. By using a central driving position, the A-pillars have been repositioned inboard, reducing frontal area and drag for increased efficiency. The lightweight design of the PACES architecture results in a chassis cab with a curb weight starting at 1,750kg.
“I’m delighted to reveal the WATT eCV1,” said Neil Yates, founder and CEO of Watt Electric Vehicles. “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.
“The industry is rapidly moving to a zero-emission future. Working with WEVC and our eCV1 platform will allow customers to benefit from electrified commercial vehicles tailored to exactly meet their needs.
“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, and over the coming months will reveal full details of the further unique features that make it a truly revolutionary light electric commercial vehicle.”