Following in the wake of Mitsubishi came out of nowhere with their i-MiEV, and here comes Suzuki with an electric version of their kei (mini) van, the Every. Suzuki has reportedly manufactured 13 of the electrified vans, which will be handed out to its dealerships in Japan on a trial basis. This, according to Integrity Exports, will allow Suzuki to test out its electrified people-moving machine ahead of the automaker’s launch of a mass-produced battery-powered vehicle.
While vans like the Every may seem rather quaint to western, and especially North American, eyes, these smaller vans are actually a stalwart of Japanese business and agricultural users. In ICE form, their small engines make them very fuel efficient, and their size means they can navigate country roads and tight city streets with equal ease.
The EV Every test vehicles are fitted with high-capacity compact Lithium Ion batteries which can be fully charged in 5 hours using a 200V outlet, giving the EV Every a maximum range of 100 kilometers. Although this may not sound like a lot, as I mentioned in an earlier post about the Minicab-iMiEV, this is more than enough for the typical delivery vehicle in Japan as it jets from street to street. The weight has increased 200KG over the base ICE model, but the cargo capacity remains the same at 250KG. There is no indication as to how the range might be affected if run with a full cargo. For now, Suzuki is sending out just 13 vehicles to a handful of Japanese dealerships, in the hopes of testing the market before a potential widespread launch.