The Mercedes-Benz eSprinter electric utility van will launch in the United States in late 2022 and will serve as a direct rival to the upcoming GM EV work van.
The fully electric eSprinter van went on sale in Europe earlier this year, but Mercedes-Benz had not previously outlined any plans to bring it to the United States due to its limited range and steep overhead costs. Now growing demand for battery-electric delivery vans and utility vehicles, along with the emergence of competing products from companies like Rivian, have inspired automaker to launch it in the U.S. in the not-too-distant future.
The Mercedes-Benz eSprinter is powered by a 55 kWh lithium-ion battery that provides a total estimated range of around 150 kilometers, or 93 miles. The electric motor is rated at 113 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, helping to give the van a maximum payload of 900 kilograms, or 1,984 pounds. A version with a smaller 44 kWh battery is also available, which has a lower estimated range of 115 km (71 miles) but a higher max payload of 1040 kilograms (2,292 pounds).
According to Automotive News, the U.S.-spec version of the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter could receive a larger 120 kWh battery pack. It’s unclear how much extra range this would give the battery-electric van, but at more than double the size of the European-spec model’s battery, the improvement from the larger battery pack could be significant. This would also give it a leg up on the Ford E-Transit electric van, which will launch in the U.S. for the 2022 model year with a 76 kWh battery an estimated range of 126 miles.
Very little is known about the EV work van that GM is plotting, although the battery-electric utility vehicle is expected to ride on the automaker’s BEV3 electric vehicle platform and will use its modular Ultium battery technology, as well. The van should launch sometime between now and 2025 and will serve as an indirect replacement for the Chevy Express and GMC Savana vans.
Another company developing a battery-electric utility van is Michigan-based start-up Rivian. The company has partnered with Amazon to develop it a dedicated electric package delivery van, which is expected to hit the streets in 2021. The wide-eyed utility van rides on the same skateboard platform as the R1S pickup and is expected to have around 150 miles of real-world range. Amazon hopes to have 100,000 of the electric vans in its fleet by 2030.