Mercedes-Benz has bought an electric edition of the Sprinter on the other facet of the pond for several a long time, but the van didn’t obtain clearance to travel to the United States. That is about to modify: The battery-powered cargo hauler just gained a collection of sizeable powertrain updates, including additional driving selection, and it can be scheduled to attain our shores in the 2nd half of 2023. It will be built below as very well.
If you are thinking “the new eSprinter seems just like the outdated just one,” you might be appropriate on. Mercedes hasn’t designed any significant modifications to the van’s style and design, and it has not carried out significantly to differentiate the electric design from its diesel-burning counterpart. I figured out that this was intentional.
“We explained, ‘Let’s preserve the exterior design as-is and place the new technology in the underbody, that way absolutely everyone even now is familiar with this is a Sprinter,'” Benjamin Kaehler, the main engineer of Mercedes-Benz’s electric powered vans division, advised me. There are other explanations for not earning big improvements: The Sprinter desires to be a large amount of issues to a large amount of people, and trying to keep the system, system panels, and trim items unchanged guarantees repair service costs keep lower for fleet operators and tends to make the van simpler to modify for the numerous corporations currently performing with diesel designs.
The noteworthy changes are beneath the entire body. Mercedes-Benz divided the powertrain into 3 standard modules: the front area features the superior-voltage parts, the middle portion is fundamentally the battery pack that’s mounted less than the floor, and the rear segment is made up of the electric powered motor, the axles, and all related components. This method tends to make the eSprinter modular: it is really form of like a Lego kit. The business can put in various battery pack without getting to layout distinctive underbodies for each individual, which in turns delivers down production costs.
In the United States, the eSprinter will only be available with the major battery pack in the lineup. It can be a 113-kilowatt-hour lithium-iron-phosphate device that zaps a rear-mounted motor into motion. Driving variety checks in at up to 248 miles, in accordance to the screening cycle made use of in Europe, and the agency pegs the van’s vary in city website traffic at up to 311 miles. It demonstrated what the new eSprinter is able of by driving a prototype for 295 miles on a solitary charge in November 2022, however I figured out that the the van was carrying merely 88 lbs . in the back.
The motor is accessible in two states of tune rated at 134 and 201 horsepower, respectively, and both equally variants produce 295 pound-ft of torque. The drivetrain is appropriate with 115-kilowatt fast-charging, and heading from 10% to 80% takes about 42 minutes. Potential buyers in Europe will have accessibility to two lesser battery packs with a ability of 56 and 81 kilowatt-several hours, respectively, but these will not be presented in the United States, mostly for the reason that driving selection drops to a amount that Mercedes-Benz does not imagine is suitable for our sector.
Placing the battery pack less than the ground gives the eSprinter the similar cavernous loading area as a similar diesel-run design buyers will have 488 cubic ft to fill with their things or parcels. Nevertheless, the limitations of electric technological know-how give the battery-powered van payload and towing capacities of about 2,624 and 3,300 lbs, respectively, which tumble properly brief of what the typical Sprinter is capable of (up to 7,429 and 7,500 kilos, respectively, in its most able configuration). In the same way, the eSprinter wasn’t created as a folks-hauler.
“We are a little bit limited about the payload, particularly when we’re chatting about a van equipped with the even larger battery. For absolutely sure, [the payload] is lowered, and then it is really very a tricky use circumstance. You have two selections: lower the battery capacity and limit range to get extra seats inside of, or go with considerably less seats and a lot more range, which is also not properly ideal,” Markus Reis, the eSprinter’s solution manager, advised me. The identical goes for RVs. “[Most RV customers] want more array, which at the second isn’t simple to reach,” he included. He also noted that the new eSprinter is largely aimed at businesses with a fleet of supply vans and people in the services and craft sectors.
Mercedes-Benz sellers in the United States and Canada will start out receiving the eSprinter in the second 50 % of 2023. The only configuration presented right here will be a prolonged-wheelbase van with a large-roof other marketplaces will get other configurations, which include a chassis-taxi. Pricing data hasn’t been introduced however, but Mercedes notes that American-marketplace vans will be constructed in Charleston, South Carolina.
At launch, the list of conventional characteristics will incorporate 50-kilowatt charging ability, a heated driver’s seat, a multi-perform steering wheel, remote EV services (like cabin pre-conditioning), and wiring for a trailer hitch. Options involve 115-kilowatt rapid-charging ability, a 10.25-inch touchscreen for the MBUX infotainment system, a digital rear-perspective mirror, power-adjustable front seats, and a heated steering wheel.
What is actually next?
Mercedes-Benz is establishing a modular electrical platform referred to as Van.EA that it will use to underpin electric powered professional autos starting up in 2025. The architecture is currently being created completely with electric powered technologies in thoughts, and it’s not suitable with interior-combustion engines. Time will convey to how switching to an electric-only platform has an effect on the Sprinter in phrases of style and design, practicality, and driving assortment.
Hydrogen isn’t on the firm’s radar — at the very least not still.
“We have some idea vehicles [powered by hydrogen]. As of now, we imagine that the major, 113-kilowatt-hour battery pack should really be adequate for, let us say, 95% of the consumers. With the future new cars and trucks primarily based on this Van.EA platform the array will even get higher, so as of now we do not see the need for hydrogen. But, in no way say by no means,” Kaehler instructed me.