Mercedes-Benz Vans Unveils eVito & Updates Its eSprinter Vehicle

Mercedes-Benz Vans, the commercial van arm of Daimler, is releasing new electric vehicle dubbed eVito, which is designed primarily for urban delivery traffic and boasting a range of about 100 miles.

The eVito’s top speed can be adapted to different uses, and when driven largely in center city environments, it offers a top speed limit of 50 MPH in order to conserve energy and increase the range.

The van can also be configured for a top speed of up to 75 MPH, and the eVito can be ordered with one of two available wheelbases, with energy storage units located underneath the vehicle to avoid impinging on cargo space.

Mercedes put a special emphasis on testing the charging and driving characteristics of the eVito in the cold, as well as the low-temperature resistance of the powertrain components and software.

Handling and efficiency in extreme conditions were closely examined at temperatures of as low as minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit (-30 Celsius), in snow and on icy roads.

In addition, the updated eSprinter will be offered initially as a panel van with a high roof and weighing in at nearly four tons, with an installed battery capacity of 55 kilowatt hours (kWh), and an anticipated range of roughly 100 miles.

A second battery option consists of three battery units with a capacity of 41 kWh deliver a range of around 70 miles, while the maximum payload increases.

The company also took the wraps off the Concept Sprinter F-Cell, which features a fuel cell and is suited for commercial purposes such as longer courier routes or minibuses in inter-urban traffic.

All the vehicles are part of Daimler’s eDrive@VANs strategy, designed to serve the needs of as many transport requirements as possible while furthering zero-local-emissions electric mobility across an array of sectors.

The company plans to enhance the powertrain line-up in the medium term by the fuel cell, currently showcased in the Sprinter F-Cell concept, with a range of 186 miles.

The vehicle, which recalls the silhouette of the classic motor home, combines fuel cell and battery technology to create a plug-in hybrid, and alongside hydrogen, it can also be refueled with electricity, raising the range by up to almost 20 miles.

In addition, the integration of the hydrogen tank in the substructure, the positioning of the fuel cell at the front of the vehicle and the rear-wheel drive were designed to offer maximum interior design freedom.

“We will offer every commercial range with an electric drive — starting this year with the eVito and in 2019 with the eSprinter,” Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, wrote in a July 2 statement. “We are enhancing our strategy with fuel-cell drive, which offers substantial medium-term opportunities, especially in long-distance operation, regardless of whether a fuel-cell vehicle is used as a motorhome or in other commercial applications.”

Nathan Eddy is a filmmaker and freelance journalist based in Berlin. Follow him on Twitter @dropdeaded209.

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