The Mercedes-Benz eSprinter van is coming and should have Tesla worried.
The EV space is hotting up with just about every major manufacturer announcing their intentions to introduce a range of fully-electric sedans and sports cars in the coming years. Mercedes-Benz is also adding electric power to its commercial range, starting with the eSprinter, a model first unveiled early in 2018. We now have the specs for these new EVs. When they arrive in 2019 customers will have a choice of either 41 or 55 kWh battery packs.
A 112-bhp, 221 lb-ft electric motor will be standard and the smaller battery will allow for a range of around 71.5 miles while carrying a load of 2,292-pounds. The larger 55 kWh battery offers a longer 93 miles of range but this is with a smaller 1,984-pound payload due to the heavier battery pack. These ranges may seem a bit on the low side but according to Mercedes, the eSprinter is intended for inner-city traffic and should achieve these distances regardless of ambient conditions. Charging is quick too, taking between 6 to 8 hours when using the onboard 7.2kW charger or a short 45 minutes if using the DC fast charger.
Now Tesla's current models offer far greater range and performance but we shouldn't underestimate Mercedes' plans as this is just the first step in its EV onslaught. Future models will offer far greater performance and Mercedes' knowledge in trucking is sure to make things tough for the upcoming Tesla Semi. The eSprinter will launch in 2019 in Europe and will be limited to a single panel van body style for now. Pricing for the eSprinter should be similar to conventionally powered models once the various state and federal tax incentives are taken into account. While no exact date has been announced for the US launch it should make its way here in the coming years.