Mercedes Vans has announced some of its future plans for electrification and production facilities in Europe. The next generation Mercedes eSprinter will continue to be produced in Europe and will have a more than double the range.
Mercedes Vans intends that by the middle of this decade all newly launched van models will have electric propulsion only.
Currently, the Mercedes Vans range includes electric versions in the middle and large class vans and electric versions will soon follow for the new Citan/T-Class compact class van.
Thus, the Mercedes electric Van range will include:
Compact class: eCitan and EQT (partnership with Renault)
Middle class: eVito Panel van, eVito Tourer (passenger version)
Large class: eSprinter, EQV
The first model to be renewed is the Mercedes eSprinter. The new generation will be launched in the second half of 2023 and Mercedes announces that depending on the configuration it will more than double the range of the current Sprinter. It will be produced in three different locations:
– Dusseldorf, Germany, the largest Mercedes Van plant – Panel Van version
– Ludwigsfelde, Germany – open body model, the current version is produced here since 2018
– Charleston, South Carolina
Mercedes Vans has expressed a strong desire to maintain production capacity in Europe despite rising costs. To that end, Mercedes wants to expand its European operations with a second production facility in Central/Eastern Europe.
In 2025, Mercedes will introduce the dedicated electric platform VAN.EA. This modular platform will form the basis of all Mercedes vans to be built in the future.
The first models based on the VAN.EA platform will be the open body versions of the Mercedes eSprinter to be produced at the Dusseldorf plant, where Mercedes Vans will invest 400 million euros, and the closed model/panel van versions to be produced at the Central and Eastern European plant.
The new Eastern European facility would produce two large class models: the eSprinter open body based on VAN.EA and a model based on the second generation of the Rivian Light van (RLV) electric van with which Mercedes has signed a memorandum for a strategic partnership.
Mercedes did not give details of the location of the plant in Central and Eastern Europe but Automotive News speculates that it could be Kecesmet, where Mercedes also has a plant producing compact models based on the MFA II platform.