All-electric van coming soon to eco-conscious couriers

Mercedes-Benz has elaborated on specifications about its upcoming eSprinter van, after initially unveiling the car early in February.

Measuring up at 5932mm long on a 3924mm wheelbase, the electric van will be available with a 55kWh or 41kWh battery pack. The former claims a 150km range – Mercedes says it's a reliable figure in unfavourable conditions – and offers a 900kg payload.

It's aimed at urban delivery drivers who rarely challenge the payload limitations of their vehicle, but might want to push the range envelope to the edge of town.

The 41kWh model has a 1040kg payload, but offers just 115km of driving on a charge. When you run flat, Mercedes-Benz says a full recharge takes eight (55kWh) or six (41kWh) hours using a home wall box, or 45 minutes to 80 per cent at a DC fast-charge station.

Both models offer the same outputs – 84kW of power and 300Nm of torque – identical to entry-level diesel Sprinter. Although it's limited to 80km/h in town, owners can throw range anxiety to the wind and hit 120km/h on the highway.

“I have to say that some years ago we made some big research about which kind of drivetrain when it comes to electric cars,” Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, told CarAdvice earlier this year.

“Is it hybrid, or should it be full electric? We made some research with customers and also looked at cities and regions and what might be an appropriate approach," he continued.

“We had a look at our huge markets at what are the circumstances there. Therefore, we saw that it’s difficult for the hybrid. The hybrid is quite expensive, on the one hand. On the other hand, you have then two powertrains inboard which means you will lose payload for our customers… therefore we said it makes not a lot of sense.

“We will go 100 per cent for full electric.”

Australia

A spokesperson from Mercedes-Benz Australia has told CarAdvice: "Yes, we expect to sell the eVito and eSprinter in Australia. The eVito, which became available for ordering in Germany late last year, kicked off the process and in 2019 it will be followed by the eSprinter."

"When series-production of electric Sprinter and Vito starts to ramp up, 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 enough interest in both Australia and New Zealand to justify launching electric drive variants."

"We already 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. "