Next-gen battery-powered Mercedes-Benz eSprinter is boxed up and ready to go.Electric Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans are already A Thing in Europe, and the silent eSprinters will soon sneak stealthily onto our shores here in America. Mercedes-Benz has posted details of the next-generation eSprinter, an electric version of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van that could come to the United States and Canada as early as 2023.
The next-generation Mercedes-Benz eSprinter will be built around a new Electric Versatility Platform, on which Mercedes has spent some €350 million (about $425 million). The new platform is divided into three modules: A front module that holds the high-voltage controller in the space usually occupied by the engine, an underfloor module for the battery, and a rear module that houses the motor and drive axle. The platform will be available in two wheelbase lengths and is designed to underpin a variety of Sprinter variants, including a flatbed, cargo, passenger and ambulance (which we’ll refer to using the way better German word, “krankenwagen”).
Mercedes plans to offer three battery sizes, which Automotive News reports as 60 kWh, 80 kWh and 120 kWh, the latter potentially offering a range in the neighborhood of 200 miles. Mercedes currently offers an electric Sprinter in Europe, but its 96-mile range (which comes courtesy of a 55 kWh battery) is considered too short for use in North America.
Expect electric vans to become More Of A Thing in the next few years as European countries place restrictions on the sale of internal-combustion vehicles. And while such draconian measures are unlikely on our side of the Atlantic, you can expect to see more electric vans on our streets in the next few years. Ford has announced an electric version of the Transit van that will go on sale in the US in late 2021 as a 2022 model, equipped with a 67 kWh battery pack that should give it 126 miles of range. Rivian is planning to build 100,000 electric vans for mega-retail-super-giant Amazon, and Bollinger is developing its own battery-powered delivery van.
Mercedes mentioned in passing that not all eSprinter configurations will come to North America, and while they didn’t give specifics, one need not be Nostradamus to predict we’ll most likely get the cargo van and possibly der Krankenwagen but none of the more specific, weirder versions. Mercedes has not announced a delivery date, but Automotive News reports that the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter could arrive as early as the third quarter of 2023.