Mercedes is forging ahead with the electrification of its van lineup, today announcing the arrival of the eSprinter. Set to arrive in 2019, the electrified version of Mercedes' light commercial van will be optimized for city driving, with it and the other newly announced third-generation Sprinters billed as the German automaker's first fully connected vans.
The reveal of the eSprinter follows warmly on the heels of the eVito announcement in November last year, although the specs are a little more scarce this time around. There's no word yet on performance details such as range, torque or recharge times, with Mercedes noting that the vehicles will be individually tailored to customer needs.
Built to be used as anything from an ambulance to a minibus to a courier or camper van, the new-look 2019 Sprinter is available in more than 1,700 configurations. The non-electric version will be powered by diesel, with Mercedes claiming the operating costs of both will be comparable.
All come loaded with Mercedes Pro connect services, which means a "comprehensive" internet connection and fleet management services for business owners. This allows things like fuel levels, maintenance requirements and the location of individual vehicles to be tracked remotely online, along with dynamic route guidance.
There's also a new 10.25-inch HD infotainment display with voice-control and a host of new safety features. These include active brake assist, lane keeping assist, an optional parking package that uses a 360-degree camera, along with an optional blind spot assistant to autonomously brake if the driver is backing up towards a pedestrian or other traffic.
The camper van variant of the new Sprinter will come with a new control center designed to turn the vehicle into a connected home on wheels. Through a companion smartphone app, owners will be able to connect with the vehicle from anywhere, switching on the heating or cooling in advance, for example.
"Our new Sprinter is the first van of a new type – a fully connected integral system solution," says Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes‑Benz Vans. "We have made it even better with regard to its traditional strengths and have supplemented it with intelligent products and services. This makes the Sprinter an integral part of the value chain. So we are unlocking a new dimension in terms of efficiency, flexibility, connectivity and profitability for our customers. And we are doing it precisely tailored to each particular industry."
The non-electric versions of the new Sprinter are now available for order. They will launch in Europe in June 2018 and to other markets thereafter, with prices starting at €19,900 (US$24,800) for the entry-level model. The electrified eSprinter will follow in 2019.
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