Update (21 November 2017): Mercedes-Benz Vans Australia has released a statement regarding the local introduction of electric commercial vehicles. See bottom of article for details.
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz eVito has been revealed this week, ahead of a European launch in the second half of next year.
Powering the eVito is an electric motor with 84kW of power and 300Nm of torque, hooked up to a 41.4kWh battery pack.
Mercedes-Benz claims the eVito can drive around 150km on a single charge, though in "unfavourable conditions" such as low temperatures or full load, the company says the electric van should still achieve a driving range of around 100km.
Charging the battery to full capacity takes "around six hours", while the top speed is rated at 120km/h.
In addition to the eVito, Mercedes-Benz Vans says it plans to electrify all of its commercial model ranges over the next few years, with the eSprinter next to come in 2019. Rounding out the range will be an electric version of the little Citan.
Both 'standard' long-wheelbase and extra-long-wheelbase versions will be offered, while the first 1000 customers to order their eVito on the company's European microsite will get a complimentary 'service package' which includes a Wallbox charging system.
The German manufacturer also aims to provide a "holistic ecosystem" to help businesses and tradespeople buy, charge and maintain their electric vans, including connectivity solutions such as mobile apps, and driver training programmes for electric fleets.
Update - Speaking with CarAdvice, a spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz Vans's local divison issued the following statement:
"When series-production of electric Sprinter and Vito starts to ramp up at the end of 2018, the intention is that electric vans will start to be offered to all our customers, including those in key markets outside of Germany- however when this translates to production availability specifically for Australia is still unclear.
We expect there to be significant interest in both Australia and New Zealand. We already regularly receive enquiries about electric vans from major fleet companies who are looking to improve efficiency and sustainability in their operations.
Initially only one electric van was planned, but now both Sprinter and Vito will be available, which only strengthens the potential and our interest in launching locally."