Mercedes-Benz Vans is a pioneer and leading manufacturer in the field of electric vans. To date, significantly more than 25,000 all-electric vans have been produced. The top seller for electric vans is the eVito, followed by the eSprinter and EQV.
“We have a clear goal, we want to be the leading manufacturer in the field of electric vans in the long term! And for this we have an excellent starting point: At the end of 2021, we were once again the market leader in both midsize and large eVans in Europe,” says Mathias Geisen, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. “We have clearly aligned our strategy to further expand this position. With the eCitan and, in the future, the EQT, we are completing our product range this year, offering eVans in all segments.”
As early as 2010, the Vito E-Cell was the first small series of battery-electric vehicles to roll off the production line. Today’s electric portfolio includes both mid-size (EQV, eVito and eVito Tourer) and large-van (eSprinter) vehicles and will be supplemented by all-electric small vans (eCitan, EQT) in 2022. The eVito was already presented in 2017, followed by the eSprinter in 2019 and the EQV in 2020. Mercedes-Benz Vans is thus offering an all-electric model variant in all segments and has electrified its entire portfolio. Production of the next generation eSprinter will begin in Charleston (South Carolina, USA) in the second half of 2023 and will then start in Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde. Mercedes-Benz has invested around 350 million euros in the next generation of the eSprinter. Thereof around 150 million euros will be invested in the adjustment of production at the three plants. Sustainability is a central guiding principle at Mercedes-Benz, which is why production at all Mercedes-Benz Vans plants will be CO2-neutral from 2022, and thus also the production of the next generation of the eSprinter.
Flexible production on one line
Since 2010, Mercedes-Benz Vans has built up extensive expertise in the production of eVans, especially with regard to flexible production on a single production line. eVito, EQV and eSprinter run from the same production line as their internal combustion engine counterparts. This offers the advantage that the production can be adapted very precisely to the actual market needs and no additional production lines had to be set up.
The BEV strategy of Mercedes-Benz Vans – transformation towards ‘all electric’
With the next generation of the eSprinter, Mercedes-Benz Vans is consistently implementing its strategy and underlining its claim to leadership ‘Lead in Electric Drive’. And: The course has been set for an all-electric future. By the end of the decade, the brand with the star will be ready to become fully electric – wherever market conditions permit. This means: From the middle of the decade, all newly developed vans will be exclusively electric. They are based on the fundamentally new, modular and all-electric van vehicle architecture VAN.EA.
Further eVans shortly before market maturity
EQT: On large test drives
With the future EQT, which is still under development, Mercedes-Benz Vans will offer an electric model variant for commercial and private customers throughout the entire portfolio after eVito, eSprinter, EQV and the upcoming eCitan.
After the successful winter testing with a focus on driving performance, preconditioning functions and climate comfort, further tests with the all-electric premium small van in southern Europe are scheduled for the coming months. Among other things, the pre-air conditioning is also protected during charging and driving under full load in the heat. The EQT rounds off the portfolio this year with a 5-seater, followed next year by a 7-seater.
The next generation eSprinter: Cold test successfully passed
The requirements for the next eSprinter generation were defined in close cooperation with customers, for example from the CEP sector (courier, express and parcel service), as well as body manufacturers.
Because customers depend on their van not to let them down even in ice and snow, Mercedes-Benz put the next generation of eSprinter near the Arctic Circle to an endurance test at the beginning of the year: At the test site in Arjeplog, Sweden, near the Arctic Circle, the vehicles were intensively tested, including the effects of extreme cold on handling, ergonomics, thermal management and interior comfort. In cold chambers, the vehicles were additionally cooled down before the start of the journey in order to check the cold protection of drive components, heating systems, software and interfaces. Charging behavior and charging management were also specifically investigated and optimized. Already after a good half of the multi-week test period, it became clear: The next generation eSprinter defies ice and snow, extreme cold and masters even the most demanding test cycles.
With three battery and several body variants from panel vans to chassis for box bodies, for example, the next generation eSprinter is not only intended to open up new customer segments, but also new markets, including the USA and Canada. The range will more than double compared to the current eSprinter, depending on the configuration.