Mercedes-Benz has announced their plan to "systematically electrify all model series." Their latest vehicle, an update to the eSprinter, boasts improved range and charging. Produced in both North America and Europe, this van is designed to be a true global vehicle and will soon be available in around 60 markets, helping Mercedes-Benz reinforce their position in the light commercial vehicle segment worldwide.
The eSprinter is packed with cutting-edge technology and is built on a new three-module concept, which offers unparalleled flexibility in the development and design of different conversions and superstructures. This modular approach allows for the integration of features that were previously only available in conventionally powered Sprinter van models.
The first section is the front module, which features a uniform design that houses all of the high-voltage components (AC charger, power inverter, etc). This module can be used across all vehicle variants, regardless of wheelbase or battery size. The second section contains the high-voltage battery and is located in the underbody to maximize space and optimize weight distribution. This positioning ensures a low center of gravity for improved handling and driving safety. The third pillar is the rear module, which includes the electrically-driven rear axle and a compact yet powerful electric motor. This rear module is used across all variants of the eSprinter, thanks to the common parts strategy employed in its design.
The eSprinter has received a significant investment of approximately 350 million euros from Mercedes-Benz. To adapt production in the Charleston, Düsseldorf, and Ludwigsfelde plants, around 50 million euros will be invested in each location. The modular design of the eSprinter offers maximum synergies in production, resulting in a significant "economies of scale" advantage. This streamlined approach in the production process makes the assembly of the eSprinter more efficient and cost-effective as the production lines will all be the same regardless of geographic location.
The launch of the all-new eSprinter will take place in the second half of 2023 here in North America, where it will be available as a long cargo van with a high roof. The vehicle is equipped with the largest available battery, boasting a usable capacity of 113 kilowatt hours. With a load capacity of 488 cubic feet and a permissible gross vehicle weight of 4.25 tons, the eSprinter is designed to meet the needs of businesses that require spacious, versatile, and sustainable transportation solutions.
The company claims the range, which is based on a simulation using the European WLTP cycle, will be up to 400 kilometers (248 miles). Their simulated range based on the WLTP city cycle is expected to be up to 500 kilometers (310 miles). There is no EPA range estimate at this time, but it can be safely assumed to be roughly 11 percent less. Even still, this is an upgrade from the original version of the eSprinter which had a significantly limited range of just 100 km.
Electric Powertrain (eATS)
The eATS (electric auxiliary powertrain system) in the all-new eSprinter features two main components - an electric rear axle and an efficient motor - which are being used for the first time in a Mercedes-Benz battery-electric van.
Weighing in at just 286 pounds, the permanent magnet synchronous motor boasts exceptional efficiency and optimized thermal management. It will be available in two power levels - 100 or 150 kilowatts of peak output. Additionally the motor can deliver up to approximately 295 ft-lbs of torque.
High Voltage Battery and Charging
Mercedez-Benz will be offering the largest battery available for the eSprinter to North American customers with a usable capacity of 113 kilowatt hours. The battery uses a lithium/iron phosphate (LFP) cell chemistry which eliminates cobalt and nickel. Additionally, active thermal management will keep the battery at optimal operating temperature and extend battery life.
AC charging will be at 9.6 kW for overnight "refueling" while DC Fast Charging will be available as well when needed at a max rate of 115 kW. That's nothing spectacular, but the company says that it should still be able to recharge from 10 to 80 percent in roughly 42 minutes. Even while being a slower charge rate, this should not be a significant issue for any potential customers.
There is no information yet about pricing for the van, but a safe bet is that it will be roughly $50,000 or so.
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