NeIn addition to the EQ series in the passenger car sector, the automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz is working on the expansion of electromobility in the small van sector. The facelift of the V-Class was presented in detail as part of a presentation. At the Geneva Motor Show 2019, Mercedes-Benz Vans is launching another world first, the world premiere of the first electric MPV from Mercedes Benz will take place here. In a short interview with Benjamin Kaehler, Head of eDrive @ Vans at Daimler AG, we take a look at the future of electromobility at Mercedes-Benz Vans.
gcm: The eVito and eSprinter will be followed by the presentation of the fully electric Concept EQV from Mercedes-Benz Vans in Geneva. What opportunities and potential does Mercedes-Benz see for electric vans in the future?
Benjamin Kaehler: The first eVito are already in customer hands and we are getting excellent feedback. We are now looking forward to launching the eSprinter in the second half of the year. These two vans with a range of up to 150 km are aimed primarily at commercial customers in urban areas. Be it craftsmen or the so-called CEP industry that delivers parcels on the “last” mile in city traffic. This industry in particular has experienced enormous growth in recent years due to online trading. Our fully electric vans meet exactly the requirements that our customers place on their vehicle. Unrestricted cargo space, sufficient payload and an ergonomically designed driver's workstation are mandatory here. In addition, we offer a holistic ecosystem with digital services such as intelligent charging management for larger fleets. This shows: On the commercial side, we have set the course for the future.
With the Concept EQV we are now taking the next step and show in Geneva how we imagine a fully electric MPV. Very soon we will be launching a series model on this basis. We are thus expanding our comprehensive electrification strategy to include predominantly privately positioned vehicles.
gcm: The registration numbers for electric vans are manageable due to the limited range of use. Are there any special incentives or campaigns from Mercedes-Benz to promote sales of the e-vans in 2019?
Benjamin Kaehler: With a range of up to 150 km, a payload of around one ton and a load space of up to 6,6 m³, the eVito offers an attractive package for a variety of purposes. Added to this is our holistic ecosystem, with which we support our customers even before they make a purchase decision. The eVan-Ready app can be used to determine whether the daily routes can also be carried out with the eVito. In the next step, a potential customer can use the TCO tool to calculate whether the switch to electromobility would also pay off from an economic point of view - or not.
State funding is certainly a relevant factor. The eVito is qualified for the BAFA environmental bonus, which gives our customers a price advantage of € 4.000. In addition, there are numerous regional and local funding programs for electric vehicles that can also be used.
What else we offer: The eVito comes with an integrated maintenance package as standard equipment. This includes all maintenance work for a period of four years, our MobiloVan mobility guarantee and our 24-hour emergency assistance.
gcm: Give us an insight into the future of Mercedes Vans. What developments and innovations can Mercedes Benz Vans customers expect in the field of electromobility and fuel cell technology in the coming years?
Benjamin Kaehler: The future is electric! We show how seriously we mean this with our holistic approach across all steps of the purchase decision process. In the second half of 2019, we will then add the eSprinter to the eVito. This will be available in two battery configurations. With a battery capacity of 55 kWh, the expected range is up to 150 km with a payload of around 900 kilograms. Alternatively, our customers can set other priorities: A battery capacity of 41 kWh enables a range of up to 115 kilometers with a higher payload of approx. 1.040 kg. The quick charging function of the eSprinter provides even more flexibility, because 30% of the range is available again after approx. 80 minutes of charging.
After the electrification of our commercial series, we are now going one step further and showing the Concept EQV in Geneva. The near-series study gives an outlook on what we are currently working on - on the world's first fully electric MPV in the premium segment. We will then be presenting the corresponding production vehicle very soon. So let yourself be surprised what we will show in Geneva.
gcm: Thank you very much, Mr. Kaehler.
Interview February 2019
Cover picture: Benjamin Kaehler, Head of eDrive @ Vans at Daimler AG - Copyright Daimler / Mercedes Benz
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