October 08, 2018
With the all-new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter hitting UK roads, Mercedes vans are now set to focus on electric vans, Vansdirect looks ahead to their latest developments!
Mercedes vans have stepped up their new van offerings significantly over recent times, with the development of their first ever pick-up in the form of the Mercedes X-Class and the release of the all-new third generation Mercedes Sprinter van. Now the focuses of Mercedes vans have switched to their electric van line-up, with the launch of their first ever electric van based on the Mercedes Vito, expect the launch of the Mercedes eVito van later this year! The launch of the eVito will be followed by the eSprinter next year, with an electric Mercedes Citan also expected to follow at some point in the future, which may not be as far away as some think, with the Citan being based upon the Renault Kangoo which has already gone electric.
The electric version of the Mercedes Vito will be offered in two wheelbases with 6.0 cubic metres or 6.6 cubic metres of load volume. The electric Mercedes Sprinter van will be based on the short wheelbase medium height Sprinter offering 10.5 cubic metres of load capacity. Both new electric vans will use lithium-ion battery packs mounted below the load floor, so they have no effect on the load areas of the vans.
Three battery packs will give the Mercedes Vito electric van a 41 kWh output and a potential range of 93 miles, you’ll be able to choose a top speed of 50, 62 or 75mph. The short wheelbase model offers a payload of 1,073kg, whilst the longer model offers 1,048kg, both have a gross weight of 3.2-tonnes and an electric motor which delivers 122ps and 300Nm of torque.
The eSprinter will be offered with the choice of three or four battery packs, the three battery model delivers a range of 71 miles and the same 41 kWh output as the eVito and a payload of 1,040, whereas the four battery model offers up to 93 miles of range and a more powerful 55 kWh output, with the fourth battery pack limiting payload to 900kg.
Not confirmed for production unlike the two models above, Mercedes vans have also developed a concept model of the Sprinter using fuel cell technology to potentially address the age old worry when looking at electric vans, that of range anxiety. If an electric van is limited to say 80 to 90 miles on a single charge, would that leave you stranded at the side of the road with no power remaining? The F-CELL concept is designed to conquer this issue, with a compact hydrogen fuel cell designed to fit in the engine bay of a van or car, the cell stack has 412 cells delivering 75kW of power, which is passed to an underfloor battery pack similar to those used in both electric vans above, through an inverter.
There is a 105 kW battery which can be charged for plug-in use, powering an electric motor which drives through a transmission which has been incorporated into the rear axle of the van, capable of 197ps and 350Nm of torque. Hydrogen gets stored in four pressurised tanks, one in the rear of the van and three beneath the floor of the van. Underfloor tanks carry 4.5kg of hydrogen at a pressure of 700bar, with the tank at the rear adding a further 2.9kg, this can deliver a driving range up to 310 miles in addition to the battery delivering 18 miles of pure electric driving.
Mercedes vans boast that the fuel cell driveline would suit those searching for electric drive with longer, inter-urban requirements, this may include people-carrying transport, goods vehicles or using the concept as an example, a motorhome. In the case of the motorhome, the batteries would also be used to power living accommodation features including fridges, fuel cells add just 200kg to the weight of the van making it suitable for delivery use.
The main stumbling block is that hydrogen is not commonly available as of yet, however when it is, it will offer a rapid fill time unlike battery charging. Mercedes vans have not yet committed to production of the F-CELL model, unlike the eVito, eSprinter and electric Mercedes Citan vans which will all definitely be coming to the market at some points in the future.
Mercedes vans are renowned for their quality and innovation, Vansdirect has the entire range available, from the small and economic Mercedes Citan to the new Mercedes Sprinter and Mercedes X-Class pick-up with cheap van finance available including van leasing and contract hire. Interested? Simply fill in a contact form online or call us on 0800 169 69 95, we also offer cars!