To meet customer demands for reliability in even the most difficult weather conditions, Mercedes-Benz conducts real-world endurance tests for all of its battery-electric vans, just as it does for equivalent vehicles with combustion engines.
At the challenging testing grounds at Sweden's Arjeplog, close to the Arctic Circle, vehicles undergo a variety of tests in which the effects of extreme cold on handling, ergonomics, thermal management, and cabin comfort are examined. The low-temperature resistance of drive components, heating systems, software, and interfaces are tested in cold chambers, where the vehicles are cooled down before the test drives. The charging behavior and charging management are then examined and optimized.
In this case, Merecedes-Benz said in a Feb. 11 news report that after completing half of the several weeks of planned tests, it became clear that the eSprinter defies both ice and snow, extreme temperatures, and can handle the most difficult test cycles.
What is required of the next-generation eSprinter was defined in close cooperation with customers, i.e. from the CEP sector (courier, express, and parcel services) and bodybuilders, the announcement said.
Global offerings will include three battery versions and numerous body variants – from the panel van to the chassis for box bodies, the next-generation eSprinter will open up new customer segments and new markets such as the U.S. and Canada. Compared with the current eSprinter, the range will be more than double, depending on the configuration, the brand said.
Production of the next-generation eSprinter will start beginning in the second half of 2023 in Charleston, South Carolina, and then in Germany's Duesseldorf and Ludwigsfelde. The next-generation eSprinter will be produced CO₂-neutrally.
Mercedes-Benz has invested around 350 million euros in the next-generation eSprinter. Approximately 50 million euros have been invested in adapting the production in the three plants.
The OEM has its sights set toward a fully electric future – wherever market conditions allow. This means that from 2025, all new vehicle architectures will be exclusively electric. In line with this, Mercedes-Benz Vans will also develop a new, purely electric vehicle architecture for the third generation of eVans, called VAN.EA. The first vans based on VAN.EA will launch from the mid-2020s.