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Mercedes-Benz will offer electric drive on all commercial van lines; electric eVito now available to order, eSprinter in 2019

20 November 2017

Mercedes-Benz Vans will offer electric drive options on all its commercial van model lines. This will start with the mid-size eVito, with deliveries commencing in the second half of 2018. Further model ranges will follow, starting in 2019.

The eVito, the second all-electric production model from Mercedes-Benz Vans after the 2010 Vito E-Cell, starts at €39,990 (US$47,000) (in Germany excl. VAT). The exclusive pre-ordering phase for the mid-size van begins today in Germany, with market launch scheduled for the second half of 2018. The first 1,000 orders on the microsite will also be rewarded with a service package including Wallbox. The eVito will be followed in 2019 by the eSprinter. The line-up will then be rounded off by the Citan. The commercial model ranges with electric drive will thus cover all requirements from people moving to goods transport.

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With an installed battery capacity of 41.4 kWh, the range of the new eVito will be around 150 km (93 miles). Even in unfavorable conditions such as low outside temperatures and with a full load, it will have a range of 100 km (62 miles). The mid-size van is thus suited for city-center use by delivery companies, tradespeople and public transport providers.

The battery can be fully charged in around six hours, while an output of 84 kW and up to 300 N·m of torque deliver dynamic performance. When it comes to top speed, the customer can choose between two options: A maximum speed of 80 km/h (50 mph) fulfills all requirements in city traffic and urban areas, while conserving energy and increasing range. If more speed is needed, the customer can choose a top speed of up to 120 km/h (75 mph).

Initially, it will be possible to pre-order the eVito with one of two wheelbases. The long-wheelbase version has a total vehicle length of 5140 mm, while the extra-long version measures 5370 mm. The electric model can accommodate a maximum payload of 1,073 kg and a maximum load volume of 6.6 m3. Installation of the battery beneath the vehicle contributes to the unrestricted usability of the entire load space. The maximum gross vehicle weight stands at 3200 kg.

Electric drive strategy. Mercedes-Benz presented its electric drive strategy at its eDrive@VANs workshop in Berlin. The focus was not just on the electric van itself, but also on a technology ecosystem tailored specifically to customers’ business needs.

We are convinced by the necessity of electric drive in our vans, especially in city center applications. That said, electrification of the commercial fleet is not an end in itself, but follows the same principles as a classic drive when it comes to profitability. With our eDrive@VANs initiative, we’re showing that only holistic mobility solutions extending beyond the drive itself present a real alternative for commercial customers. The eVito is the starting point and will be followed by the new-generation of our Sprinter as well as the Citan.

—Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans

A commercial fleet must be able to meet transport needs economically and competitively, regardless of the type of powertrain. If fleet electrification is to compete on equal terms with the classic internal combustion engine, it will need more than the right economic parameters such as the cost of purchasing and operation. Just as important from the perspective of total cost of ownership is the integration of a robust charging infrastructure as well as comprehensive service and maintenance management.

The Mercedes-Benz Vans electric mobility strategy is based on five elements: a holistic ecosystem, industry expertise, profitability, co-creation and technology transfer:

  1. Holistic ecosystem augments vehicle development. Mercedes-Benz believes that an off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all electric model for tradespeople, couriers and people movers has no long-term future; Mercedes-Benz Vans is pursuing tailor-made total-system solutions based on expert advice. Dialogue between customers and the specialists at Mercedes-Benz Vans will enable the individual adaptation of operating concepts to meet sector needs, fleet size and driving profile as well as the structural prerequisites for creating a dedicated charging infrastructure on company premises. The advice provided thus extends well beyond choosing the right vehicle variants and industry-specific equipment details.

    The use of connectivity solutions specific to electric vehicles as well as financing and mobility concepts will also be addressed at the early planning stages.

  2. High level of industry expertise.Diverse types of trades and services, providers of courier or package delivery services and companies involved in the public or private transportation of people call for very different solutions. Starting with the Vito and following in 2019 with the Sprinter, Mercedes-Benz Vans will offer versatile and flexible base electric vehicles that can be adapted during the purchasing process in their range and load facilities to suit their specific usage scenarios. The new eVito will embody this very variability from market launch.

  3. Focus on profitability and low TCO. When it comes to operating costs (total cost of ownership), the eVito stands on an equal footing with the diesel-powered Vito. The higher purchase price is offset by lower energy and maintenance costs as well as tax savings. A prerequisite is the appropriate framework, such as attractive electricity pricing. Rapid developments in battery technology promise that, going forward, electric-drive vehicles will be amortized faster than those with conventional engines and will offer distinct commercial and environmental benefits. Furthermore, the holistic approach and the provision of a complete eDrive ecosystem significantly reduces operating costs across the entire lifecycle compared with piecemeal, isolated solutions, and offers customers of the eVito significant efficiency benefits and thus commercial added value.

  4. Customer co-creation a new focal point of development. The electrification of the model line-up is accompanied by a paradigm shift in development, with customer co-creation taking center stage. For example, strategic customers such as logistics service provider, Hermes, and its specific requirements are integrated directly into the ongoing development of the electric vehicles and services. Hermes and Mercedes-Benz Vans agreed on a cooperation earlier this year, and will embark on a pilot phase in Hamburg and Stuttgart at the start of 2018. The electric fleet, which will be used for parcel deliveries, will subsequently be rolled out to other urban areas and reach a total of 1,500 electric Vito and Sprinter vans by 2020. The strategic cooperation also includes working together to generate a concept for an efficient charging infrastructure at Hermes logistics centers, and IT services for optimum control of the electric fleet. In addition, the entire delivery process will be accelerated through the likes of automatic load-space systems that facilitate automated loading and unloading of packages.

  5. Expertise and technology transfer from the Daimler Group. The core brand promises of Mercedes-Benz Vans apply regardless of the type of drive. In order to guarantee these hallmark attributes, Mercedes-Benz Vans is building on proven vehicle concepts and further augmenting them with an all-electric powertrain developed in-house. This is founded on its access to the extensive technological resources of Daimler AG. Carrying over modular elements from car development that have a high degree of maturity guarantees first-class quality.

    The Group is investing heavily in electric mobility and making systematic use of the synergies between the car and commercial vehicle divisions. Deutsche Accumotive—a Daimler subsidiary based in Kamenz near Dresden—supplies batteries for the eVito. Different battery charging systems and tiered battery sizes set new benchmarks in economy and the cost/benefit ratio. In addition to high investment in other areas of the Group, Mercedes-Benz Vans will invest a further €150 million (US$177 million) in the electrification of its commercial line-up over the next years.

November 20, 2017 in Electric (Battery), Fleets | Permalink | Comments (4)

Comments

In a number of ways, this is a more important announcement than the Tesla semi. If they can make the cost of ownership less than the cost of a comparable diesel, good bye diesel for local delivery. I have no doubt that this can be made to work. My only question would be whose standards they used for the range estimate. Hopefully EPA.

I'd venture that 80 km/h (50 mph) top speed is outright dangerous...

Why the sudden regression back to under-powered golf-cart capacity?

Less power than a Nissan Leaf. About the same capacity in a vehicle way more expensive and with 2-3 times higher Wh/mile usage.

I am seriously underwhelmed. And this is coming from a non-Tesla-fanboi, who usually defends German auto makers for their late entrance to the party.

Thomas, please reread the article. "The mid-size van is thus suited for city-center use by delivery companies, tradespeople and public transport providers." If it stays on city streets why would it need to go faster? OTOH, the customer can choose between two options in top speed: "If more speed is needed, the customer can choose a top speed of up to 120 km/h (75 mph)."

*If more speed is needed*, the customer can choose a higher top speed, up to 75 mph.

That sort of speed would be perfectly adequate for any urban area in the States, let alone the crowded more compact urban areas of Continental Europe

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