by Bennett Oghifo
Low-emission, reliable and flexible: the new Mercedes-Benz eSprinter combines all the attributes by which vehicle fleets measure their vehicles.
According to the automaker’s statement, as the second commercial model after the eVito, it continues the consistent electrification at Mercedes-Benz Vans and, from 9 to 17 December, was presented to the trade press in six large German cities. In short the founder of its segment is therefore also available to commercial customers who deliver goods locally emission-free, drive to the building site or take care of maintenance work. Which aspects of the vehicle fleet have to be taken into account in the conversion to electric drive is answered by the new eCharging Planner, which enhances the eDrive@VANs ecosystem with a comprehensive advisory tool.
Flexibility and adaptability to individual utilisation profiles
The new Mercedes-Benz eSprinter is intended to cover the broadest possible range of use in urban logistics. Accordingly, it is initially being offered as a panel van and a permissible gross mass of 3500 kilograms. Its maximum loading volume is 10.5 m3, the same as for the Sprinter with a combustion engine. As with the entry-level diesel engine, the electric drive in the eSprinter drives the front wheels with an output of 85 kW and a torque figure of up to 295 newton metres. A flexible payload and battery concept moreover allow adaptation to individual needs for practical use. The range with a utilisable battery capacity of 47 kWh (installed: 55 kWh) is 168 kilometres,  with a maximum load of 891 kilograms. A second battery option takes into account other priorities in the use parameters: the configuration with a utilisable capacity of 35 kWh (installed: 41 kWh) allows a range of 115 kilometres1, 2. In turn, the maximum load rises to 1045 kilograms. The integrated quick-charge function also ensures flexibility, thanks to which around 80 percent of the energy can be recharged within 30 minutes. The maximum speed can be configured to suit the task in hand: Maximum speed can be set at 80 km/h, 100 km/h or even as much as 120 km/h.
Maximum efficiency thanks to drive program and recuperation modes
After all, flexibility is just as much of a clincher in the important discipline of recuperation: various modes regulate the degree of recuperation of the energy generated during braking and can be optimally configured with paddle shifters on the steering wheel. The four recuperation levels of “D-”, “D”, “D+” and “D++” are selected with the steering wheel paddle shifters. In the D- gear the proactive driving is only possible with a pedal. In the D++ gear the eSprinter “glides”.
The three “E+”, “E” and “C” drive programs are selected via the drive program button in the centre console. Depending on the selection the eSprinter drives either particularly efficiently or focuses on higher comfort, in which the climate control is adjusted in favour of a higher range, for example.
During recuperation energy is reclaimed if the vehicle is decelerated. For example, the battery charges when going downhill, instead of losing the energy when braking. The respective setting for the drive program and recuperation level is displayed in the display of the instrument cluster. With this route-based operating-mode strategy the economy of the vans can be further optimised with electric drive in daily operation on the road.