Mercedes Will Build 1,800 Electric Vans for Amazon
If it seems like electric delivery vans might overtake electric pickup trucks, at least until the latter see a mass rollout, this could very well be the case when it comes to sales. Even with at least eight electric pickup truck models expected to debut in the next two and a half years, the first wave of commercial EV adoption may not come from private consumers at all.
Amazon has ordered an additional 1,800 electric vans from Mercedes-Benz for its European operations as a part of its decarbonization strategy that aligns with the Paris climate agreement, sourcing eVito and eSprinter vans that will join its fleet later this year. This order makes it the single largest one for Mercedes-Benz electric vans to date and will be composed of 600 eVito vans and 1,200 eSprinter vans, both of which debuted just within the last two years.
The smaller eVito features a 41.1-kWh battery and has a range of 93 miles, while the larger eSprinter has a 55-kWh battery and range of 104 miles, in the European cycle of course. While these ranges sound modest on paper, the reality is that given their last-mile tasks the vans don’t really need a range above 100 miles, because they just don’t typically cover this distance within a 24 hour period. But what they do need is volume and weight capacity. The eSprinter in the high-roof configuration, as built for Amazon, will offer a maximum payload of 1,964 lbs.
Mercedes notes that the eVito Tourer version can be ordered with a much larger battery, giving it a range of 262 miles on a full charge, even though for delivery tasks the eVito may not need that much in a 24 hour period.
“I am delighted that we are further intensifying our long-standing partnership with Amazon and working together on the battery-electric future of transportation,” said Marcus Breitschwerdt, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. “With the eVito and the eSprinter, we have electric vehicles in our portfolio, which are ideally suited for the requirements of the courier-, express- and parcel-service industry for goods delivery on the so-called ‘last mile’ in terms of their equipment and range. They show that local emission-free driving, convincing performance, comfort and low operating costs can be combined perfectly.”
Mercedes won’t be the only provider of electric vans for Amazon: the online retail giant placed a much larger order with Rivian for 100,000 electric vans. But Mercedes will be the first out of the two to deliver the vans, because Rivian hasn’t started building theirs just yet — they’re due in 2021.
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