Mercedes has been electrifying its commercial Vito since 2010 with the Mercedes Vito E-cell. As part of its push to offer fully electric versions of its entire commercial van line-up, Mercedes is now taking orders for the 2018 eVito. Mercedes claims that the fully-electric mid-size commercial van provides the same performance as its diesel counterpart, but with lower long-term running costs.
The new eVito is powered by an 41.4-kWh fully-electric drivetrain generating 113 hp (84 kW) and 222 lb-ft (300 Nm) of torque, which is similar in performance to the 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine offered in the diesel Vito.
With a maximum 1,073-kg (2,366-lb) payload capacity, 6.6-m3 (234-cu ft) maximum load volume and 3,200 kg (7,055 lb) gross vehicle weight, Mercedes is claiming the a full charge will deliver a range of 150 km (94 mi) unladen and 100 km (63 mi) when carrying a full load or driven in unfavorable driving conditions. Said recharging will take up to around six hours.
If you're a speed-demon and range is not a concern, the top-speed is 120 km/h (75 mph), but if you're driving within city limits, the speed limit can be capped at 50 mph (80 km/h). At launch Mercedes is offering two wheelbase options: the long-wheelbase option that measures 5,140 mm (16.8 ft) and the extra-long wheelbase option that measures in at 5,370 mm (17.6 ft).
With the figures that Mercedes is claiming, it seems that the only compromise in the switch to electricity is a small difference in drivetrain performance. The functional parts of the van, such as the load volume and payload capacity, remain relatively unchanged from its dinosaur-drinking twin.
As part of its push to use electric drivetrains, Mercedes is offering its commercial customers advice on creating intelligent charging infrastructure on company premises, a smartphone app that will help monitor driving behavior and running costs, as well as a driving program to help customers squeeze as much range out of their van as possible.
Mercedes is initially restricting pre-orders to Germany, with the first 1,000 customers receiving a complimentary Wallbox charging system as part of the €39,990 (US$47,000) starting price. Mercedes is claiming that the higher purchase price is offset by electric vehicle benefits, such as lower emissions, lower maintenance and government subsidies.
The eVito's Europe-wide launch is set for the second half of 2018, and Mercedes is planning to launch an all-electric commercial Sprinter in 2019, followed by a new Citan.