Mercedes-Benz is preparing to release an improved version of the electric eSprinter, and this time the van will be sold in the United States. The model hasn’t been fully unveiled yet, but a pre-production prototype recently completed a 295-mile trip on a single charge in Germany.
Vans are not supposed to be exciting as their primary role is to get the job done. Whether it’s hauling people or cargo, these must be versatile and keep running costs low for fleet operators. Mercedes is gradually transitioning its passenger cars to electric propulsion, and at the same time, the workhorses are getting the EV treatment as well. Curing range anxiety won’t be done overnight, but the eSprinter is getting there.
A near-production prototype of the electric van completed an important milestone ahead of its official reveal at the end of February 2023. It underwent a consumption measurement test on October 19 in the real world rather than in a lab where conditions are typically less stressful on vehicles. The route involved traveling from the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart to Munich Airport and back again without stopping to recharge the battery pack.
The test was conducted out on the open road without traveling on closed sections. It involved federal roads and motorways as well as tackling some inner-city traffic. Mercedes wishes to point out it didn’t pick the most efficient route to boost the eSprinter’s range, deliberately deciding to take the electric van up the Swabian Jura. it’s a mountainous area in the Baden-Württemberg land.
TÜV Süd certified the purely electric Sprinter with an average fuel consumption of 21.9 kWh per 62 miles (100 kilometers). The road elevation varied between 210 to 785 meters (689 to 2,575 feet) above sea level. The test vehicle covered 295 miles (475 kilometers) on a single charge, with enough battery juice left for another 12 miles (20 km).
As a refresher, the eSprinter will be assembled in Charleston (South Carolina) as well as in Germany at the factories in Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde from the second half of 2023. Two years later, the Mercedes-Benz Vans Electric Architecture will be inaugurated as a dedicated EV platform tailored to commercial vehicles. All midsize and large vans arriving from 2025 will be underpinned by the VAN.EA.