Mercedes-Benz lays course for more electric camper vans and MPVs
Mercedes was one of the very first automakers out of the gate with an electric camper van, and it's revealed two different e-camper packages and a capable 250-mile (402-km) forthcoming eSprinter that promises to make a solid RV base vehicle. It plans to continue that market leadership as its vans division prepares for the future with a modular, scalable electric architecture called VAN.EA, which will underpin its next generation of electric van products. From there, Mercedes will aggressively expand offerings, launching more e-camper van products and its first midsize luxury van for the US.
Mercedes non-commercial midsize passenger vans like the V-Class and EQV have never been on offer in the US, but that's all set to change in the coming years. Mercedes announced on Tuesday that it will offer a midsize luxury passenger van in the States for the first time.
The new electric midsize will be based on the Van Electric Architecture (VAN.EA) that Mercedes will introduce in 2026. The passenger vehicle side of that architecture, VAN.EA-P, will offer a planned range above 310 miles (500 km). The vans will launch with Level 2 automated driving capabilities, and Mercedes plans to up the ante to Level 3 by the end of the decade.
The VAN.EA platform will also underpin a full lineup of midsize and full-size commercial vans. Mercedes does not give an estimated range for those products, but it is aiming to advance to Level 4 autonomy on the commercial side by decade's end.
The new Van Electric platform will also be designed with RV conversions in mind. Mercedes-Benz plans to leverage the platform toward becoming a leader in factory-built camper vans, launching both midsize and full-size VAN.EA Class Bs. Mercedes doesn't specify whether the new e-camper van lineup will follow its electric luxury van to the US, where the company previously experimented with the short-lived Metris Weekender, but it does qualify the US as a critical part of its greater plan to increase global van sales.
The VAN.EA platform itself will feature a scalable, three-module design, starting with a front module comprising the electric powertrain and front axle. This area will be the same across all van sizes and styles. The middle module will scale the van length and also contain the battery, which will be offered in different capacities. The rear module will be available with an electric motor for all-wheel-drive vans and without for front-wheel-drive models.
Before Mercedes-Benz Vans gets to introducing the VAN.EA family, it will revamp its European midsize lineup this summer. The company says that the new midsize vans will include exterior and interior design modifications, along with comfort improvements and feature updates.
And judging from the below teaser, the new vans will also include an massive amount of grille.
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