Mercedes Benz have announced its new eSprinter electric van. The German carmaker has invested around €350 million euros in this new electric vehicle (EV) designed for commercial use. Part of this investment by Mercedes has included around €50 million in each of its three production plants of the model at Charleston, Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde.
The new Mercedes eSprinter will be launching in the USA and Canada in the second half of 2023, initially. Customers in these markets will be able to purchase a long-wheelbase panel van with a high roof, equipped with the largest battery available, with a usable capacity of 113-kilowatt hours, load capacity of 14 cubic metres and a gross vehicle weight of up to 4.25 tonnes.
This first variant of the panel van will launch in Europe at the end of 2023, with the cab chassis variant and other battery variants gradually following. This makes the eSprinter a viable option for numerous new sectors, as well as for converters and body manufacturers.
The vehicle will be based on an original concept consisting of three modules. The front and back modules can be used with all available variants, regardless of wheelbase and battery sizes, ensuring maximum synergies in production and greater economies of scale.
The module for the integrated high-voltage battery is housed in the underbody of the front module between the axles to save space and creates a low centre of gravity. This has a positive influence on handling and increases driving safety.
The rear module features an electrically driven rear axle and a powerful electric motor. The electric range, based on a simulation using the WLTP cycle, will be up to 248 miles (400km). The simulated range based on the WLTP city cycle will be up to 310 miles (498km).
Mathias Geisen, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, said: “With the new eSprinter, we are taking the electric large van segment to a new level. The triad of efficiency, range and load capacity with simultaneous total cost of ownership optimisation makes the new eSprinter the most versatile Mercedes-Benz eVan ever.”
The main components of the electric powertrain (eATS) in the new eSprinter are two new developments; the efficient motor and the innovative electric rear axle. Both of which are being used for the first time in a battery-electric van from Mercedes-Benz.
The permanent magnet synchronous motor (PSM), which weighs only around 130 kilograms, is characterised by particularly high efficiency and optimised thermal management. The motor is available in two power levels, with 100 or 150 kilowatts of peak output, and delivers a torque of up to 400-newton metres.
The electrically driven rear axle makes cab chassis variants possible in addition to the classic panel van. For the customer, this brings advantages with regard to conversions and superstructures, vehicle lengths (A2 and A3), maximum gross vehicle weight (up to 4.25 tonnes) and trailer loads (up to 2 tonnes).
In keeping with the three modules, customers will also be able to choose between three different batteries for the new Mercedes-Benz eSprinter, depending on their individual range and payload requirements, with usable capacities of 56, 81 or 113 kilowatt hours. Lithium/ion phosphate (LFP) cell chemistry allows the battery variants to be kept free of cobalt and nickel while active thermal management to ensure maximum efficiency.
Like all electric vans from Mercedes-Benz, the new eSprinter is capable of charging with both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). The on-board charger, which converts the current in the vehicle when charging with alternating current, for example at a Wallbox, has a maximum output of 11 kilowatts.
The new model can be charged with up to 1151 kilowatts at rapid-charging stations. This enables customers to charge from 10 to 80 per cent in around 28 minutes for the 56 kWh battery and around 42 minutes for the 113 kWh battery.
The new eSprinter will offer a multitude of technical innovations, including and the cloud-based services in the ‘Mercedes me’ digital ecosystem. It also comes with the latest software generation of Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX).
Features include Navigation with “Electric Intelligence” which helps customers plan ahead efficiently and effectively. For example, it shows the current range in real time depending on the current traffic situation and the topography of the route.
It also calculates the best possible charging strategy to get to the destination as quickly as possible or to have the desired state of charge (SoC) at the destination. Authentication at the charging station is simple via MBUX, with payment via Mercedes me. Other highlights include increased performance, extensive personalisation options and optimisations of the “Hey Mercedes” voice control assistant.
With this new model, Mercedes-Benz has electrified all segments from the small van to the mid-size van and the large van. From the middle of the decade, Mercedes-Benz Vans will be implementing the next stage of its electrification strategy with VAN.EA (Mercedes-Benz Vans Electric Architecture). From 2025, all new models will all be electric.
Alongside vans, Mercedes are also driving forwards with bigger commercial electric trucks. Back in June 2022, the company unveiled the eActros LongHaul electric truck with a 311-mile (500km) range.
To help the logistics industry transition to electric vehicles in Europe Daimler Truck, TRATON GROUP and Volvo Group have signed a binding agreement to establish a joint venture for public charging for long-distance transport. This will help to support the transition to electric trucks.