Are you sitting down? Mercedes-Benz has introduced that it will launch an all-electric Sprinter van, the eSprinter, in North America beginning in 2023. Mercedes is utilizing an solely new building, somewhat than adapting an existing architecture which is developed all around a gasoline-burning motor, which really should enable a more multipurpose structure that maximizes inside ability and pretty much for selected raises the rigidity of the eSprinter—always a substantial obstacle when the car or truck you are designing is a large, open box. It at present sells electrical Sprinters in Europe.
For environmentally oriented vanlifers and campers, this is the aspiration. Other than the van becoming absolutely free, of course.
Also, Mercedes has dedicated to creating the van in several configurations, not just as a professional products, but as a persons mover and a flatbed truck, far too. Major battery configuration is 120 Kwh, which could deliver concerning 200 and 300 miles of assortment.
Mercedes is paying $425 million on this new platform, no compact chunk of transform. Correct, Rivian has elevated much more than $5 billion, but Mercedes-Benz doesn’t have to have to generate all-new factories or an entire production infrastructure. And, out of the gate, this announcement was concentrated on the US market place, too. So nearly 50 % a billion bucks devoted to the Sprinter is truly really a large statement. This dovetails, yes, with Americans’ shift toward acquiring anything on the web and the voracious needs of Amazon, UPS, and Fedex to satisfy that demand from customers (Amazon has requested 100,000 vans from Rivian), but you really don’t have to be a genius to see that a whole lot of new e-vans would indicate a more substantial aftermarket for conversion and that good carmakers want to be concerned in that sport, way too.
Whilst Mercedes is coy on irrespective of whether the electric powered design will have AWD or an journey-spec, a spokesperson did say, “We are consistently examining the even further growth potential of our absolutely electrical portfolio, also with an eye toward the rising motorhome market.”
If historical past is any guidebook, it’s noteworthy that Mercedes was not shy about bringing People in america the Metris Weekender camper van, so our guess is that if they see room inside an electrified adventure van specialized niche, they’ll happily dive in—also, they may possibly do so not to cede any area to rivals Rivian, Ford, or Tesla. And never forget that VW will be entering the current market, also, with its extensive-promised, reborn electrical microbus.
This should really direct to much better opposition, which hopefully signifies affordable prices for autos like the eSprinter. Context: An AWD diesel Sprinter these days runs about $50,000.
The only negative news? No subject what, we’ll have to wait until 2023 to see an eSprinter in the flesh.