Mercedes originally announced the eSprinter five years ago for European markets but the electric van never made it to the North America. That will change in the second half of 2023 when the EV workhorse will be launched in the United States to fight the Ford E-Transit. Unveiled today, the production-ready model may look familiar on the outside but it actually rides on a new "Electric Versatility Platform" developed after a €350-million investment.
To be sold in Canada as well from H2 2023, the second-generation eSprinter is motivated by an electric motor mounted at the back. Mercedes-Benz Vans will offer a base version with 134 bhp (100 kilowatts) and a more potent configuration with 201 bhp (150 kW). Tipping the scales at about 130 kilograms (286 pounds), the e-motor will generate a maximum torque of 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-metres).
2024 Mercedes eSprinter
In North America, Mercedes intends to sell the eSprinter with the biggest battery available. It’ll feature lithium/iron phosphate (LFP) cell chemistry and provide a usable capacity of 113 kWh. The battery boasts active thermal management while doing away with cobalt and nickel. Details about the range for the US-spec model have yet to be revealed but the Euro version will do 248.5 miles (400 kilometres) on a single charge per the Worldwide Harmonised Light-Duty Vehicles Test Procedure.
In the WLTP city cycle, the battery will have enough juice for as much as 311 miles (500 kilometres). The three-pointed star says US-specific range figures will be announced closer to launch in the latter half of the year.
In the build-up to today's world premiere, Mercedes did a range test in Germany with a near-production prototype in October 2022. The revamped eSprinter managed to cover 295 miles (475 kilometres) on a single charge. At the end of the run, it still had enough energy for an additional 12 miles (20 kilometres).
Once the battery is depleted, it can be charged at a maximum power of 115 kilowatts, in which case it takes about 42 minutes to charge from 10 to 80 percent. Alternatively, the onboard charger has a maximum output of 9.6 kilowatts.
Although the interior also looks quite familiar, it does host the MBUX infotainment system for the first time on a commercial vehicle. It should prove to be a handy tool when the navigation is turned on since it’ll be able to estimate range in real time depending on traffic and topography. In addition, it can also allow the driver to reach their destination with a desired battery level.
The 2024 eSprinter will offer a maximum load capacity is 13,818 litres (488 cubic feet) and have a permissible gross vehicle weight of 4.25 metric tons (9,370 pounds).
In addition to the plant in Düsseldorf (Germany), Mercedes will also assemble the new eSprinter in Charleston (South Carolina) and in Ludwigsfelde (Germany). The electric van will be sold in approximately 60 markets, with Europe to follow North America near the end of 2023.