Mercedes-Benz has confirmed it will add three electric vans to its Australia line-up starting in 2022, a plan that will see it dominate the extremely limited local electric van – and seven-seater – market.
From the second half of 2022, the German carmaker will introduce the EQV, as well as a mid-sized eVito panel van and the eVito Tourer. By 2024, the eSprinter is also slated to join its electric van stable once its next-generation becomes available.
Part of the company’s EQ series, the EQV joins the EQC full-sized electric SUV, as well as the compact EQA SUV. It comes in its long-range variant which will have 356km driving range (WLTP) from a 90kWh battery (usable capacity), power output of 150kW and 362Nm maximum torque, and a top speed of 160km/hr.
While only the long-range EQV is on offer (in Europe, it is also available with a shorter range 60kWh battery), it will likewise only be available in the 5,140mm short wheelbase.
The eVito will be available in two formats: an electric version of the standard Vito panel van, as well as the eVito Tourer which a spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz in Australia says is essentially an electric Valente.
This means Mercedes-Benz will effectively triple the seven-seater electric vehicle market (unless of course Tesla chooses to introduce the Model Y with seven-seater option by mid-2022), making both an attractive proposition for large families wanting to go electric.
Compared to the luxury EQV, the latter however is aimed at commercials fleets – think airport shuttles and rideshare people movers.
With up to 360km WLTP driving range from the same 90kWh (usable) battery as the EQV, the eVito Tourer is also only available in the long-range variant and offers the same value in terms of power and torque but without premium additions and accents of the EQ series.
Both vehicles come with a top charging rate of 110kW at a DC fast charger that allows them to be charged from 0-100% in 45 minutes. On an AC charger at home, work or the shopping centre, it can be charged at a top rate of 11kW allowing both to top up 25% capacity in under 2.5 hours.
Mercedes-Benz Australia tells us that no firm details are yet on hand for the eVito (nor the eSprinter) panel van. Available in two different lengths in the UK with a 35kWh (usable capacity) battery, the eVito panel van offers on that market up to around 160km driving range.
Expect more pricing, details and specifications in early 2022 ahead of the eVito and EQV local launch.
Currently, the only electric van offered in Australia is the Renault Kangoo ZE, which has a range of around 200km and sells for in the vicinity of $53,000. Ford has also committed to entering the local EV market with its e-Transit van in 2022, and it has reportedly proven a popular choice in the US where it sold out ahead of production launch.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.