Podcast: The Future of Van Life? We Cover the Van-Tastic Newest Offerings!

There is about to be huge battle with upcoming vans – and we are covering it!

With the insane popularity of pickup trucks, vans tend to be covered as an afterthought by many; however, they are remarkably important to commerce. In the past few years, we’ve gone from the van seeming to be somewhat insignificant (news-wise) to the hottest thing. Seriously.

Lots of all-electric vans are coming soon. You can hear our full TFL Talkin’ Trucks podcast discussion on this topic.

There will be a multitude of new vans hitting the streets in the next few years; some sporting the absolute latest in cutting-edge technology. At the same time, some automakers are still chugging along with vans that are based on decades-old platforms. Some of the vans we cover will not be available for public consumption, being slated as fleet vehicles. Still, the tech from these vehicles will work its way to future vehicles that anyone can own.

Here are some of the vans we covered in this video:

Image: Amazon

Amazon / Rivian delivery van.

Despite the financial relationship with Ford and other investors, the Amazon / Rivian delivery van is bespoke for the retail giant. There is very little technical information available about the all-electric van, but we know it is based on Rivian’s flat, skateboard platform. It is supposed to have a 150-mile range, with a very low load-in height. Amazon is ordering 100,000 units and wants to have a completely zero-emissions fleet soon.

Image: Arrival

Arrival / UPS.

Investing $100-million dollars, UPS signed a deal with Arrival to buy 10,000 of its electric delivery vans between now and 2024. If the van is successful, UPS may purchase another 10,000 after that. Similar to the deign principals behind the Amazon van, the Arrival is supposed to have (up to) 150 mile rage.

Image: Canoo

Canoo Vans.

Canoo has garnered a lot of interest from major automakers like Hyundai/Kia and high tech organizations like Waymo. Their vans are slated to have up to an 80 kWh battery and up to a 250-mile range. According to Canoo’s website, their front-wheel-drive vans will have two sizes, with up to 200 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. Hyundai/Kia and Canoo will jointly develop an all-electric platform based on Canoo’s fully scalable, proprietary skateboard design for upcoming Hyundai and Kia EVs.

Image: Bollinger

Bollinger Deliver-E van.

Bollinger is currently working on funding to produce their off-road EV trucks which we’ve covered in the past. The announcement of the Deliver-E electric van came as a surprise. Currently, it exists as sketches with no working prototype that we know of. According to Bollinger, the front-wheel-drive platform will be engineered to fit Classes 2B, 3, 4, and 5. It will have a variety of battery pack sizes, including 70 kWh, 105 kWh, 140 kWh, 175 kWh, and 210 kWh.

Image: GM BrightDrop

GM/BrightDrop EV 600.

General Motors has partnered with BrightDrop to build the EV 600. Based on GM’s Ultium skateboard battery platform, the large delivery van will have an up to 250-mile range. It will be all-wheel drive and have a maximum payload capacity of 2,200 lbs.

Image: Ford

2022 Ford E-Transit.

Ford is taking a more pragmatic approach with their upcoming Ford E-Transit van. It will be a mix of old and new tech, which is similar to Mercedes-Benz’s approach. Using the Transit van’s platform and many of its components, Ford will synthesize an EV drivetrain into the vehicle. Just like the internal combustion version, there will be a variety of shapes and sizes available. The smaller of which will have up to 126 miles of range.

Image: Volkswagen

Volkswagen ID Buzz Cargo.

Volkswagen has begun, in earnest, to produce all-electric vehicles for public consumption. We know they intend to eventually sell the ID Buzz EV family van in the U.S. soon. There’s also a ID Buzz cargo concept that is based on the same MEB platform. It looks like this rear-drive van may be meant for production sporting a 1,760-lbs payload capacity.

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.