The Daimler Group said all commercial model ranges in the Mercedes-Benz Vans line-up will be available with electric drive, starting with the mid-size eVito electric van that is already available for pre-orders and will be delivered starting in the second half of 2018. Further model ranges will follow as of 2019. The company said it will invest €150 million in the electrification of its commercial line-up over the next years.
“We are convinced by the necessity of electric drive in our vans, especially in city centre 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. The eVito is the starting point and will be followed by the new generation of our Sprinter as well as the Citan,” said Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.
The eVito van – the second all-electric production model from Mercedes-Benz Vans after the 2010 Vito E-Cell – will sell starting at €39 990 (in Germany, excluding Value Added Tax).
With an installed battery capacity of 41.4 kWh, the range of the new eVito will be around 150 km. Even in unfavorable conditions such as low outside temperatures and with a full load, it will have a range of 100 km. The battery can be fully charged in around six hours, Mercedes-Benz said.
The vehicle will reportedly have a power output of 84 kW and up to 300 Nm torque. When it comes to top speed, Mercdes-Benz said there is a choice of two options: a maximum speed of 80 km/h fulfils 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.
The company also introduced its eDrive@VANs initiative, based on five cornerstones: a holistic ecosystem, industry expertise, profitability, co-creation and technology transfer.
Mercedes-Benz Vans will insure an holistic ecosystem that includes : a robust and intelligent charging infrastructure; connectivity solutions for charge status, battery range and optimum route planning in real-time; eVAN Ready App and TCO tool; rental vehicles for peak periods; and driver training program for electric fleets.
As for total cost of ownership (TCO), the eVito van stands on an equal footing with the diesel-powered Vito, said Mercedes-Benz Vans. The higher purchase price is offset by lower energy and maintenance costs as well as tax savings.
But the company also said that a prerequisite is the appropriate framework, such as attractive electricity pricing. The 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.
According to Mercedes-Benz Vans, the electrification of its model line-up is accompanied by a paradigm shift in development – with customer co-creation taking center stage.
For instance, 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, Germany, 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 could reach a total of 1500 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.
The Group said it is investing heavily in electric mobility and making systematic use of the synergies between car and commercial vehicle divisions. Deutsche Accumotive – a Daimler subsidiary – supplies batteries for the eVito. In addition to high investment in other areas of the Group, Mercedes-Benz Vans will invest a further €150 million in the electrification of its commercial line-up over the next years.