Friday, 21 September 2018

VW Crafter HyMotion1 at 2018 IAA


World premiere II: Crafter HyMotion

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is also demonstrating a new alternative fuel direction with the world premiere of the Crafter HyMotion1 – a van with a hydrogen fuel cell drivetrain. The Crafter HyMotion was specially designed for longer journeys: the longer the daily distance covered, the greater the appeal of the hydrogen fuel cell in large commercial vehicles. The tanks integrated in the Crafter HyMotion have a capacity of 7.5 kg hydrogen. This enables the 4.25-tonne van to cover driving ranges of more than 500 km. The time required to refill the Crafter HyMotion is comparable to that for conventionally powered models. This fact makes the new zero-emission version especially attractive for business use. Despite its significantly longer driving range, the Crafter HyMotion offers an even larger payload than the e-Crafter. The Crafter HyMotion is still a concept vehicle – but as soon as the infrastructure is right, the van could launch with its zero emission electric motor. The Crafter HyMotion is the second concept vehicle from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles to feature a hydrogen fuel cell; it follows the Caddy Maxi HyMotion, which was first introduced in the "Hydrogen Road Tour" in 2009.


Crafter HyMotion is a large, long-range transporter with a hydrogen fuel cell

  • The Crafter concept, powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, achieves ranges of up to 500 km
  • The near-production Crafter HyMotion could be available for sale as soon as the filling station infrastructure is in place

Hannover, 19 September 2018 – Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has just recently presented the first large electric van with the world premiere of the e-Crafter. Now, just one month later, the next zero-emission version of the highly contemporary panel van is celebrating its world premiere at IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hannover: the Crafter HyMotion – a van with a fuel cell drive. Unlike the e-Crafter, which can be ordered now, the Crafter HyMotion is still a concept vehicle. Nonetheless, its technical concept is near-production.

HyMotion stands for the terms "hydrogen" and "motion" – i.e. driving with hydrogen. The Crafter HyMotion was designed to cover longer distances with zero emissions. The e-Crafter, on the other hand, was developed for delivery services, service businesses and tradesmen who mainly travel short distances in the city with its lithium-ion battery and ranges of up to 173 kilometres (WLTP) . The longer the daily distances to be covered, the more appealing the fuel cell drive becomes in the field of large commercial vehicles, because its ranges are long and its fuel stops are very short – both of which are especially important criteria in the delivery of just-in-time goods. The vehicle's maximum payload is the same as that of today's diesel vehicles.

The tanks integrated in the Crafter HyMotion have a capacity of 7.5 kg hydrogen. This enables the 4.2-tonne van to cover driving ranges of more than 500 km. Instead of the large traction battery of the e-Crafter, a smaller lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 13.1 kWh is at work in the Crafter HyMotion. The fuel cell system that delivers 30 kW of power serves as a range extender. Meanwhile, the Crafter HyMotion utilises the same 100‑kW electric motor and gearbox as in the e-Crafter. The van's fuel consumption is 1.4 kg hydrogen per 100 km. A driving range example: the Crafter HyMotion would only need to refill with fuel once on the 623 km route from Hannover, the capital of Lower Saxony, to the Bavarian metropolis of Munich. Duration of the filling stop: four minutes.

Fuel cell drives like the one in the Crafter HyMotion are still significantly more expensive than all-electric drives. However, forecasts based on analyses by the Volkswagen Group indicate that manufacturing costs for these two zero-emission drive systems are likely to equalise by 2025. By then, the infrastructure of hydrogen filling stations will also have improved substantially. Take the example of Germany: today there are 50 filling stations across Germany. By the end of this year there will already be around 100. The network is expected to grow to 400 filling stations by 2023. This means that the infrastructure will be good enough within the next five years to make commercial vehicles with hydrogen fuel cells relevant in business practice. Between 2025 and 2030, the number of hydrogen filling stations could rise to as many as 1,000 across Germany. If, at the same time, prices for components of this pioneering drive system drop, this could enable a market breakthrough by hydrogen fuel cells from 2025. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is prepared for this eventuality with innovative vehicle concepts like the Crafter HyMotion.

Mode of operation of the fuel cell

This can be explained in two sentences: a hydrogen fuel cell utilises energy from the chemical reaction between hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O) to generate electrical energy. The "exhaust gas" is nothing more than clean water vapour.

Explained in detail: the central element of each individual fuel cell is a proton-conducting membrane – several of which are combined to form a stack. Each membrane is positioned between the anode and the cathode. Hydrogen flows on the anode side, and air flows into the cell on the cathode side. In this process, hydrogen reacts with oxygen and combines to form water at the cathode. Here, the fuel cell converts the chemical energy of an oxidation process – also known as "cold combustion" – directly into electrical energy.

Overview of the Crafter model series

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has one of the most innovative and efficient large vans in the form of the current Crafter. There is hardly another commercial vehicle in this class that offers better space, economy, more optimal payloads, a similarly innovative range of assistance and infotainment systems, more connected online fleet management systems or a comparably large range of drive systems and body variants.

When it made its debut in autumn 2016, the Crafter was offered with front-wheel drive and a maximum gross weight of 3,500 kg. Since then, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has been systematically extending the number of drive and body combinations so that it can offer tailor-made solutions for all conceivable transport tasks. For example, both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive (4MOTION) have been available in the Crafter since mid-2017. The youngest offspring of the model series is the new e‑Crafter. As a panel van it is ideally suited for urban delivery transport. The launch of this innovative zero-emission van in the market coincides with the IAA on 20 September 2018. Just as for the e-Crafter, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is also offering the Crafter as a panel van, a kombi, single and double cab (pickup, tipper and chassis) as well as a box body. In addition, two wheelbases (3.64 and 4.49 metres) and various overall lengths are available. The Crafter is designed for a gross weight of 3,000 to 5,500 kg, depending on the drive, engine and gearbox combination.

The Crafter TDI vehicles are powered by four-cylinder turbodiesel engines, and the e-Crafter, as mentioned, by an electric motor. A particulate filter and SCR catalytic converter reduce emissions of the efficient TDI engines. These engines are available at the output levels of 75 kW / 102 PS, 90 kW / 122 PS, 103 kW / 140 PS and 130 kW / 177 PS.

Fore more information about VW, please visit