It’s neither a sedan or an SUV this time, but Mercedes-Benz introduced its newest electric car on Tuesday. The workhorse of Mercedes-Benz Vans is getting an electric makeover, and it’s called the eSprinter. Sales of it will begin in North America later this year, and they will likely go to Europe before the end of 2023.
Despite the fact that American consumers have mostly given up on vans, the shed-on-wheels seems to be gaining appeal in the commercial sector, particularly since European imports like the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter began making a splash on US highways.
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In the beginning of 2022, we drove the E-Transit, which was the first commercial van to be electrified by Ford. As soon as the eSprinter is released for purchase in the second half of this year, it will have competition for emissions-free vantime. Ahead of schedule, eSprinters will also be produced in Charleston, South Carolina, and Ludwigsfelde, Germany. Production is expected to begin in Düsseldorf, Germany.
The eSprinter is intended to be modular, but the US will only receive the long cargo van model with a high roof and the largest battery pack, which has a usable 113 kWh. The Ford E-Transit manages with a battery pack that is about half the size of the eSprinter’s, even though it is still too early for an official EPA range estimate. The eSprinter appears to have a little more legs than the Ford E-Transit. (The eSprinter’s WLTP range is 400 kilometers; in city driving, it is 500 kilometers.)
Curiously, the eSprinter’s battery pack uses lithium-iron phosphate chemistry rather than lithium-ion chemistry. Up to 115 kW of DC fast-charging power can be used for onboard AC charging, which should allow the battery pack to reach an 80 percent state of charge in 42 minutes. Onboard AC charging is also feasible at a maximum of 9.6 kW.
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The 134 hp (100 kW) or 201 hp (150 kW) or up to 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque available on all eSprinters are rear-wheel drives. The eSprinter has a gross vehicle weight rating of 4.25 tons and a capacity of 488 cubic feet, but Mercedes-Benz hasn’t disclosed how much weight may be carried at once (13,819 L).
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Inside, eSprinter drivers will enjoy one of the best infotainment systems available, since the van has the same MBUX system used in Mercedes-Benz consumer vehicles, albeit with a lot less glitzy touchscreen screen. The voice recognition feature of the system is its standout feature, but range-aware navigation will likely be useful as well.