As the automotive world systematically goes green, Mercedes-Benz has revealed its latest step in making all its vans electric by 2025. The new Mercedes-Benz eSprinter Cargo Van doesn't look any different from the ICE-powered cargo van, and using the same platform makes it particularly versatile; the electric van doesn't lose out on cargo-carrying ability or practicality in any way, but the all-electric powertrain ticks the boxes for efficiency and range. As Mercedes moves towards exclusively selling EVs in most markets by 2030, the eSprinter will launch in the USA in just one configuration, with the shorter wheelbase and smaller battery pack joining at a later stage. The 2024 eSprinter comes to the fray with a maximum of 201 horsepower and a cargo hold that can haul up to 2,624 pounds of cargo - and it can manage over 300 miles on a fully charged battery. While rivals like the Ford E-Transit offer more power at 266 hp, their range is limited to just 108 miles. Barring excellent targeted range, you also get the benefits of a classic Merc van interior in the eSprinter, and up to 488 cubic feet of cargo space. Just like the gas Sprinter, the eSprinter promises to be everything you need. For fleet owners and business folk, this is how the future looks: not very different, but different entirely.
A specific release date for the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter Cargo Van isn't known, but Mercedes notes that the cargo van with the highest range will be launched in the second half of 2023.
We don't have a price for the 2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter Cargo Van just yet, but a hefty destination fee of $2,295 is known. Based on the fact that EV derivatives are generally a few thousand dollars pricier than their gas counterparts, we can estimate an MSRP, however. The entry-level Sprinter Cargo Van with the long wheelbase and high roof currently retails for just over $50k; we'd expect the eSprinter to start somewhere between $53k and $55k. This also positions it within the same price bracket as the 2023 Ford E-Transit, which goes on sale at a starting price of $53,790.
What makes the 2024 Merceds-Benz eSprinter stand out from the current crowd of electric vans is that it doesn't. Unlike other electric laborers that capitalize on futuristic looks, the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter shares an exterior with the gas cargo van to still benefit from the same cargo capacity and practicality. Based on this, the eSprinter will feature the same windowless panels, solid black lower bumper, 16-inch wheels, a passenger-side sliding door, and swinging rear doors that open up to 270 degrees.
Similarly, exterior colors for the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter Cargo Van will likely be the same as what we find in the palette at present: standard colors ranging from white, through silver and grey, to various blues and reds. A few no-cost standard colors go a long way and do well to provide a canvas for branding and signage on the van. Otherwise, premium colors will add anywhere from $750 to $1,200 to your bill.
For now, the USA will only get the long-wheelbase version with the high roof, and dimensions for the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter echo those of the gas model with a width of 92 inches, including mirrors, a height of 107 inches, and a wheelbase of 170 inches. Merc indicates that it's slightly longer, overall, at 280 inches to the standard model's 274 inches.
The automaker hasn't specified a curb weight yet, but it has noted that the GVWR is 9,370 pounds, around 320 lbs more than the regular gas model. Based on that, we'd expect curb weight for the eSprinter to be in the region of 5,300 lbs.
For now, the eSprinter will be equipped with one battery, the largest available, with a usable capacity of 113 kilowatt hours. The permanent magnet synchronous motor weighs just 286 lbs and will be available in two output levels: 100 kW or 150 kW of peak outputs, which results in horsepower of 134 and 201, respectively. Its torque peaks at 295 lb-ft. An 81 kWh battery will be available on shorter wheelbase models later on. The top speed is limited to 75 mph.
The automaker outlines the three-module design of the new eSprinter Cargo Van, with the front module housing all the high-voltage hardware where the engine would normally sit, the middle module comprising the battery, mounted low in between the two axles, and the rear module featuring the electric motor mounted to the rear axle. Both the efficient electric motor and the electric rear axle are new developments and will be used for the first time in a BEV from Mercedes-Benz.
Since the design mounts the battery between the axles in the floor, a low center of gravity is a boon for handling and improved safety. Three driving modes are standard; Eco, Comfort, and Max Range, each doing exactly what it says on the box.
The aim of the eSprinter is to provide efficiency and range, and Mercedes seems to have managed this fairly well. Range, based on simulations using the WLTP combined cycle, comes to 248 miles, but Mercedes states that the city cycle will target up to 311 miles, making it the ideal cargo hauler for longer journeys. In testing, the cargo van managed a 295-mile highway trip in Germany at a steady 60 mph.
Using 400-volt architecture, the eSprinter is compatible with Level 1 and 2 charging, as well as DC fast charging. The maximum output on Level 1 and 2 is 9.6 kW, meaning overnight charges will be standard on household outlets. At a fast charger, charging from 10 to 80% can be accomplished in 42 minutes.
Not much changes inside the cabin of the eSprinter, and much of the regular gas model carries over. This means we can expect standard fabric upholstery in hard-wearing materials and darker shades, with optional leatherette and seating for two. A front seat bench with space for three occupants is likely. Cargo vans are designed for function over form, but Mercedes-Benz has also offered just a bit more than the bare essentials in this segment. To this end, the eSprinter will come with the MBUX infotainment system with the latest software, features, and services that "make life easier," according to Mercedes.
Navigation is standard and will come with a built-in route planner that accounts for the available range in real-time, taking the topography and traffic into account. It can also offer a charging strategy and pre-empt stop required to fill up the battery again. As for features, crosswind assist is standard, as is cruise control, electrically adjustable mirrors, keyless start, and air conditioning. The blind-spot monitoring system can detect traffic up to 11 feet on either side of the van and nine feet behind it, while a surround-view park assist camera is also included free of charge.
On the options list for the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter are power seats, an electrically operated sliding door and steps, a heated windshield, and automatic climate control. For the convenience of the occupants, the steering wheel can be heated too, and a smartphone tray with wireless charging can be optioned.
Cargo space is the purpose of the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter, and it comes with up to 488 cubic feet in the back. The cargo hold can be upfitted in all the ways the regular model can. Hampered by the weight of its batteries, the eSprinter can only manage payloads of 2,624 lbs. This is substantially less than its comparably-configured combustion sibling, which can carry upwards of 4,000 lbs.
Still, Mercedes-Benz feels that by ticking the boxes for high efficiency and excellent range, that middling payload capacity will be accepted for the additional benefits the eSprinter brings with it.