Mercedes-Benz will jump back into the battery-powered delivery van niche in 2018 after failing with the Vito E-Cell. Mercedes’ re-entry shows that pressure is rising to reduce harmful emissions in Europe’s congested cities.
The German automaker is confident that it will be more successful the second time around.
"The future of urban deliveries will be electric. We at Mercedes-Benz Vans are convinced of this," Volker Mornhinweg, who leads the division, said in a release, which didn’t elaborate on whether the van would be an all-new model or a variant of a current member of the lineup.
Nissan’s e-NV200 and Renault’s Kangoo Z.E. are full-electric versions of the NV200 and Kangoo, respectively.
Mercedes said its new van’s full-electric powertrain will be developed in-house and customers will be offered different battery loading systems and a scalable battery size.
The German automaker claims that in 2011 it was the first manufacturer to bring out an all-electric series-production van. Production of the Vito E-Cell, however, was discontinued in 2012 because of a lack of demand.
The Kangoo Z.E. also debuted in 2011, according to Renault, while the e-NV200 arrived in 2014.