Why a company that has specialised in converting vehicles is now becoming a manufacturer too

EFA-S starts production of its new electric van

PI-ET-35-EFThe Swabian SME EFA-S, which previously specialised in convertingused vehicles into all-electric trucks, is starting production of its own brand-new electric vans. “Conversion of high-quality used vehicles continues to make sense, as it is both especially environmentally-friendly and cost-effective. It is a means of giving vehicles, where only the drive was no longer compliant with modern environmental standards, a second life”, says Bastian Beutel, Managing Director of EFA-S. “But we also want to give those customers, who do not have old vehicles to convert, quiet, clean and economical electric drives.” This is why EFA-S has agreed to purchase brand-new vehicles without engines and gearboxes from the Russian commercial vehicle manufacturer GAZ, which will then be equipped with electric drives by EFA-S and launched on the market under the model name E35. The first flatbed models with a tarpaulin cover will celebrate their world premiere at the commercial vehicle trade fair NUFAM in Karlsruhe from 26 to 29 September 2019. Delivery of the vehicles, which can be ordered immediately from EFA-S, is expected to start in the fourth quarter of this year.

Besides the standard flatbed models, EFA-S will produce customer-specific bodies for individual applications in collaboration with ORTEN Electric-Trucks. “We want to offer our customers an optimal solution based on a one-stop service. Instead of having to purchase the vehicle from one company and the body solution from another, we are focusing on one stop shopping. Here, the customer will buy a complete system from EFA-S: an environmentally-friendly vehicle offering both cutting edge technology and, at the same time, an individual logistics solution.” Bastian Beutel is convinced that this combination will save time, expense and trouble.

Battery power is twice the market standard for electric vans

Consideration of individual customer requirements applies not least to the heart of electric vehicles, namely the battery and drive. “We shall remain true to our philosophy and, with the E35, offer customers electric vehicles whose range and payload is tailored to the purpose for which they are being used”, explains Bastian Beutel. “The basic version of the vehicles is designed for a payload of around a ton and a range of 200 kilometres. This is quite sufficient for many applications in city logistics, in the community sector and for tradesmen.” EFA-S uses a new generation of lithium iron phosphate batteries with ceramic separators for this purpose (LFP). The latest generation, which do not require nickel and cobalt either, have a power density of 170 Wh/kg. “This is over 40 percent more than the previous generation, which reached 120 Wh/kg.” EFA-S has been using the LFP standard very successfully for eight years and is one of the first users of the latest generation in Germany. “With our 80 kWh battery, we offer twice the battery power that is currently standard for electric vans.”

If required by the customer, EFA-S will install even bigger batteries. “We already have experience with batteries such as those for electric mobile homes, lifting work platforms or tunnelling machinery, which offer between 120 kWh and 244 kWh.” EFA-S electric vehicles have already driven more than five million kilometres in total, the majority of which has been in the challenging stop-start environment of the parcel and express service operated by UPS.

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