The freezing temperatures were designed to not only test the vehicle's handling and functionality below freezing, but to see if the battery-electric drive system would operate in similarly harsh conditions to those faced by Vito EV's conventionally powered siblings.
Faced with temperatures of up to minus 30 degrees Celsius night and day, the Mercedes-Benz Vito Electric was put through a series of complicated handling courses, steep inclines and a range of cornering circuits under critical conditions or braking measurements. The tests were aimed at proving the van's safety systems, driveline, suspension, brakes - including energy recuperation system - and other components.
Mercedes-Benz developers often test new vehicles and their components during the northern winter in Arjeplog, Sweden or Lapland, Finland - both close to the polar circle. Prior to full-scale production, the battery-powered van will also undergo hot-weather testing in Spain, endurance testing in the Swiss Alps and continuous operation testing on other selected European routes.
The Mercedes-Benz Vito Electric, the world's first van available with an electric-drive system from the factory, has a range of 130 kilometres with no loss in payload capacity (900kg) and a top speed of 80km/h (electronically limited). The van has an electric motor with a peak output of 90kw and is designed to meet transportation needs in built-up inner city and urban areas. The drive system operates solely on battery power supplied from a 400 volts / 16 amps lithium-ion battery pack with an available capacity of 32kWh.
Safety equipment is on par with regular Vito vans, Mercedes-Benz Vito Electric offering ESP, ABS and Traction Control as standard. Airbag numbers vary depending on model grade.