Mercedes-Benz is committed to offering full-electric RHD (Right Hand Drive) versions of its Vito and Sprinter vans for its fleet customers but must wait until European production schedules switch to export markets, including Thailand.
This means that the mid-size eVito and larger eSprinter might not be seen here until later next year, or even further afield.
Mercedes-Benz Vans Aust/NZ PR and corporate communications manager Blake Vincent said, “The global plan is that it is firstly a European launch for both those models, and as production starts to ramp up the idea is that they’ll branch out to other customers (markets).”
Mercedes has invested around $233 million to electrify its commercial-vehicle range and has secured a major deal with Hermes in Germany to produce 1500 full-electric mid-size and large vans by 2021 – this deal has helped guarantee series production but means that RHD models will not be seen for a couple of years. The eVito has been available for order in Europe since November last year and first deliveries will take place in the second half of 2018.
Full specifications are not yet available, but Mercedes has confirmed it will be installed with a 41.4 kWh battery and offer a driving range of around 150 km.
It is claimed that even in unfavorable circumstances, the van will have a range of 100 km available.
The electric motor will produce 84 kW of power and up to 300 Nm of torque, and the vehicle will have a top speed of up to 120 km/h. Customers will have the option of a lower maximum speed of 80 km/h which conserves energy and increasing range.
The capacity as a delivery van has a payload of more than one tonne and a cargo volume of up to 6.6 cubic meters.
No official details as yet on the eSprinter, but in launching the redesigned large van earlier this year the German manufacturer said it was developing appropriate charging infrastructure to use on operators’ premises and that the vehicles could be “precisely adapted to the relevant operating purpose with respect to range or payload”.
Operating costs with Mercedes’ electric vehicles are also described as being “roughly the same level as for comparable models with a diesel engine”.