Mercedes-Benz has at long last announced pricing and specifications for its eVito electric van, which will come in both a cargo and people-mover format to meet a wide range of uses.
We say at long last because there simply aren’t many electric van options on the new van market.
Starting at $89,353 before on-roads for the panel van and $116,115 in an eight-seater configuration, the eVito van precedes a second electric van due from Mercedes-Benz later in 2022: the luxury seven-seater EQV.
While the German carmaker’s Australian arm refers to the EQV as an “important” upcoming model, we’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out more details on that.
In the meantime, there will no doubt be plenty of interest in the eVito. In terms of competitors, there aren’t many, and the specs for the eVito will no doubt be attractive to fleet operators.
There is Renault’s short-range Kangoo ZE, but it doesn’t have DC fast-charging capacity. It offers around the same range as the eVito (270km) which equates to around 200km real-world driving range.
There are some other options out there such as grey imports (we saw a Peugeot eExport in mid-September on show at an EV expo in Northern NSW), and some low-volume imports such as the Skywell EC11, but that’s about it.
In the medium-term, Ford Australia has confirmed that the all-electric E-Transit Custom van will arrive in local showrooms by the end of next year.
Mercedes-Benz eVito Van specifications
The eVito panel van arrives in Australia with a 60kWh battery pack that offers 262km range (NEDC), so a little less than 200km in real world conditions.
This may not sound much but the van with 85kW motor will suit city and inner urban delivery fleets. As it can be charged on DC at a top rate of 80kW can be topped up from 10-80% in around 35 minutes on a lunch break. On AC power, it can charge at a top rate of 11kW allowing it to be recharged in around 6.5 hours.
Drivers are able to adapt the regenerative braking according to the preferences: D- acceleration will reduce manual braking and recuperate the most energy in traffic. There are four more options progressing up to D++ which recovers little energy and brakes the least. In DAuto mode the vehicle will adjust according to traffic needs using a rada sensor.
In the front, driver and one passenger can listen to music via Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Drivers will also no doubt appreciate reverse cameras with three viewing options and dynamic steering lines, as well as the 7″ touchscreen with voice control.
A leather steering wheel also houses functions and is adjustable in two dimensions, while several storage options are available in the centre console, eyewear compartment, as well as cupholders.
Drivers will also benefit of a suite of safety features, from active cruise control and blind spot assist with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, active brake assist, active parking assist, highbeam assist and hill-start assist; and crosswind assist. Other driving aids include rollover mitigation, load adaptive control, enhanced understeer control and acceleration skid control.
Heated side mirrors will ensure no fogging on cold and wet days, and tinted windows reduce glare and offer privacy.
Lastly, there are also front and rear parking sensors, front, thorax and window airbags, automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers, daytime running lights and a front and rear acoustic sound generator.
In the back, there is 6 cubic metres of space allowing for a maximum 882kg payload (GVM 3.2 tonnes). The cargo space, which can be accessed via dual sliding doors, is 2,398 mm long, 1,392mm high and 1,709 mm wide excluding wheel arches.
Mercedes-Benz eVito Tourer specifications
Originally called the Valente in its ICE format, the eVito Tourer has all the features and details of the cargo van but with six seats in the back.
It gets a larger 90kWh battery and therefore also a lot more range: rated for 421km NEDC, expect around 300km or less depending on the number of passengers and baggage.
To meet the needs of the larger battery, the DC charge rate is also higher. At 110kW, it means the eVito Tourer can recharge from 10-80% in 45 minutes. On an AC charger, the 11kW charge rate means it can top up overnight in 10 hours.
It also gets a more powerful motor – 150kW – which delivers 365Nm torque to make an attractive option for shuttle bus operators and the like.
Mercedes-Benz says it anticipates the eVito Tourer will be highly sought-after by a variety of businesses, including airport transfer services and local municipal councils looking to maximise their profit margins by reducing recurring operating costs.
At the same time, fleet operators will be able to meet sustainability goals, reducing the environmental impact of their fleet.
In addition to the same safety features as the eVito Van, the people-mover also has ISOfix tethering points. Second and third rows have two seats, with a folding outer seat to allow flexibility according to space requirements. Seats are black leatherette and sit on rails for quick adjustments.
On the outside, there are naturally side windows for passengers instead of the panels of the cargo van, and inside the climate control with pre-entry function ensure passenger comfort.
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 Y and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.