Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Van (road vehicle)
A van is a vehicle used for transporting goods or groups of people. It is generally a rather box-shaped vehicle on four wheels, about the same width and length as a large automobile, but taller and usually higher off the ground. It can either be a specially designed vehicle or be based on a saloon/sedan car, the latter type often including derivatives with open backs (pick-ups etc). Some vans can be really small, like the van versions of the Mini or can be really large like some Mercedes-Benz vans. Larger vehicles are classified as trucks or lorries.
The word "van" has slightly different, but overlapping, meanings in British and American English; while the word applies equally to boxy cargo vans on both sides of the Atlanitc, British speakers will generally refer to a passenger minivan as a people-carrier or MPV and a larger passenger van as a minibus. British speakers, mostly older ones, will also sometimes call a pickup truck a "van", something Americans never do! In America a "van" can also be to a box-shaped trailer or semitrailer used to carry goods. In this case there is a differentiation between a dry van, used to carry most goods, and a refridgerated van (a "reefer") used for cold goods. A railway car used to carry baggage is also called a "van".
Many mobile businesses use a van to carry almost their entire business to various places where they work (for instance, people who come to homes or places of business to perform services or to install or repair appliances).
Makes of Van
- British Leyland, United Kingdom
- Bedford : Rascal, Midi
- General Motors : Chevrolet Express, United States
- DaimlerChrysler : Dodge, United States
- FSC, Poland
- GAZ, Russia
- Ford : Transit, Econoline, United States
- Nissan, Japan
- Renault : Master, Trafic
- Volkswagen : Eurovan, Germany
- Holden : Combo
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