Mercedes-Benz Vans has announced the development of a new modular and scalable all-electric architecture set to underpin future midsize and large van models. The new platform, dubbed VAN.EA, will launch in 2026, and will provide the bones for Mercedes’ private luxury vans and premium commercial vans. Meanwhile, GM will rival the new commercial Mercedes-Benz Vans models with its BrightDrop series of vehicles.
Notably, Mercedes-Benz Vans will not necessarily discontinue its ICE-powered van models following the launch of the new VAN.EA platform. It’s also worth noting that the midsize Mercedes-Benz Metris will be discontinued after the 2023 model year in North America.
Mercedes-Benz Vans says that the new VAN.EA architecture will “allow for a clear differentiation between private luxury vans and premium commercial vans,” while enabling reduced overall complexity and significant economies of scale as the German automaker reduces its portfolio of van variants by more than 50 percent compared to the current ICE-based lineup. Future luxury private vans will be built on the VAN.EA-P platform, while premium commercial vans will be built on the VAN.EA-C platform.
The announcement is also interesting for the fact that the new Mercedes-Benz Vans models will be the first instance in which luxurious, private electric midsize vans will be introduced in the U.S. and China. Mercedes-Benz Vans also says that it hopes to reach 20 percent EV share by 2026, and over 50 percent EV share by 2030.
With regard to the commercial space, the new VAN.EA models will be rivaled by GM’s BrightDrop vans, much like the current Mercedes-Benz eSprinter. That said, the private and lifestyle segments will not be covered by the BrightDrop brand, or at least that’s the situation as it appears for now. Looking ahead, there may be an opportunity for Chevy and GMC to compete in the private and lifestyle van segments with their own all-electric van models.