Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler just unveiled the newest version of the company’s eVito commercial electric passenger van for the European market, and the company claims it can now travel up to 421 kilometers (about 262 miles) on a full charge.
That’s more than double the previous eVito’s 150-kilometer (93-mile) range even when taking into account that Daimler seems to be using the extremely optimistic New European Driving Cycle standard. The big gain in usable range is largely thanks to a new 90kWh battery pack, which dwarfs the 41kWh pack used by the previous model. And it’s all despite a hefty 3,500-kilogram (7,716-pound) gross vehicle weight.
The eVito comes standard with 50kW charging, but buyers can add 110kW fast-charging capability, which gets the battery pack from 10 percent to 80 percent in under 45 minutes. The van has a 150kW motor on board that the company says generates the equivalent of 204 horsepower, which should be plenty to move the up to nine passengers on board.
The new van is also loaded with the kinds of creature comforts one would expect from a luxury automaker. It rides on an air suspension and is equipped with active brake assist and adaptive cruise control. There’s a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay compatibility, and the van is outfitted with an LTE modem and the company’s “Mercedes PRO” service, which helps fleet owners better manage their operations in real time and even lets them see the battery’s state of charge.
While this is a vehicle aimed at the commercial market, it’s a sign that Mercedes-Benz is moving closer to offering an all-electric van for general consumers. In fact, the eVitoroughly resembles the EQV electric van conceptthat the German automaker unveiled at last year’s Geneva Motor Show, which is meant to be its first mass-market EV van. Mercedes-Benz also has an electric version of its Sprinter cargo van.
But Mercedes-Benz is not alone in trying to capture the early electric van market. Just last week, Ford announcedan all-electric version of its Transit cargo van. Michigan-based startup Rivian is alsoworking on electric delivery vans for Amazon. Even Nissan has gotten into the electric van game, withits Leaf-powered e-NV200.