With a growing number of cities threatening to penalise or even ban combustion-engine vehicles, more urban deliveries will have to be completed using zero-emissions alternatives.
In response to that situation, Mercedes-Benz has announced the electrification of its van range. The new eVito, which should arrive during the second half of 2018, can be ordered now in Germany. An eSprinter (based on the next-generation model) is promised for 2019, then the eCitan is due to complete the line-up.
Prices for the eVito start from €39,990 (excluding VAT). Clearly a regular diesel Vito is cheaper in terms of initial outlay, but an eVito will incur less spend on maintenance and fuel. Indeed, Mercedes-Benz reckons that overall running costs are likely to be broadly similar, especially after tax savings are taken into account.
Customers can choose either long-wheelbase or extra-long-wheelbase versions. A maximum gross vehicle weight of 3,200 kg (7,054 lbs) permits a payload of up to 1,073 kg (2,365 lbs), while the usable load volume is unaffected by the conversion to electric power.
However, the battery pack has a fairly modest 41.4 kWh capacity. Consequently, range is expected to be around 93 miles (150 kilometres) in normal running, or just 62 miles (100 kilometres) under adverse conditions such as very cold weather. Recharge time is approximately six hours – another figure that might limit the eVito's appeal.
An electric motor delivers 112 bhp (84 kW / 114 PS) with 300 Nm (221 lb/ft) of torque, so at least performance won't be lacking. Incidentally, top speed can be set to either 50 mph (80 km/h) or 75 mph (120 km/h), depending on how important conserving energy is.
UK availability has yet to be confirmed.
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