Cargo, passengers, even campers—Mercedes-Benz has a brand new EV van platform

a still from a Mercedes-Benz video showing a concept of how its modular van platform could give rise to a camper
Enlarge / We all know you like the thought of electrical camper vans, and it appears so does Mercedes-Benz Vans.


Mercedes-Benz Vans is on the verge of launching its subsequent huge factor. On Tuesday, the posh carmaker’s Vans division detailed a brand new absolutely scalable electrical car structure, known as Van.EA, which is predicted to bear fruit in 2026. From midsize luxurious vans to full-size cargo and camper vans, Mercedes-Benz says Van.EA will present extraordinarily versatile bones.

“We are going to merge our midsize and enormous vans onto one platform,” Mathias Geisen, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, informed reporters throughout a press convention on Monday. “That wasn’t potential up to now.”

How will that work? Principally, Van.EA will include three major elements. Up entrance, a typical axle and electrical drive unit will likely be shared throughout all Van.EA automobiles. The center part would be the most versatile, with totally different lengths and battery sizes relying on the kind of van. Lastly, two rear-end choices will likely be supplied: one with an electrical drive motor, for a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive setup, and one with out this further energy unit, for front-wheel-drive automobiles.


New luxurious vans for the US, China, and extra

Van.EA will, in fact, spawn helpful cargo and passenger vans to satisfy the calls for of present Metris and Sprinter clients, however this electrical platform may also permit Mercedes-Benz to discover new varieties of vans tailor-made to particular markets. Within the US, Mercedes-Benz will use the midsize model of this structure for what it calls Van.EA-P, the place the “P” stands for “non-public,” or maybe “passengers.” These will likely be luxury-minded vans designed for households, or for use as high-end shuttles.

Do not consider this as a substitute for the Metris, by the way in which; “that is clearly a business car,” Geisen mentioned. “The van we’ll launch primarily based on the Van.EA platform could have an absolute deal with luxurious [and] has nothing to do with a Metris, has nothing to do with a business software.”

“We’re fully free in terms of styling, in terms of the inside and exterior design, in terms of autonomous options,” Geisen mentioned. “It can have the newest and biggest out there.”

On that be aware, Mercedes-Benz says we are able to anticipate Van.EA-P to launch with Stage 2 driver-assistance performance—principally, what the corporate provides in its passenger automobiles at present—with Stage 3 capabilities coming by the top of the last decade. No battery sizes or energy figures can be found proper now, however Van.EA-P has “a deliberate vary of nicely over 500 kilometers (~310 miles),” Mercedes-Benz mentioned in an announcement.

Function-built camper vans gained’t compromise third-party upfitters

Along with non-public luxurious automobiles, Mercedes-Benz may also increase Van.EA to incorporate purpose-built camper vans, however will achieve this in a method that doesn’t compromise the connection the corporate at the moment has with its third-party upfitters.

“It is nothing very particular we’re doing,” Geisen mentioned, pointing to the European Marco Polo van—a camper primarily based on a midsize van that briefly got here to the US because the Metris Getaway.

“We construct this car in our manufacturing unit, and nonetheless we have now tons and plenty of upfitters doing their upfitting work,” Geisen mentioned. “We are going to by no means be capable of cowl the entire vary of RVs.”

However what concerning the Sprinter?

Mercedes-Benz is aware of {that a} absolutely electrical van is not going to work for all its clients, and due to this, “the combustion engine Sprinter will keep available in the market all through the entire decade,” Geisen mentioned. “It is completely clear that [the Sprinter] will likely be available in the market in parallel to the electrical van. We are going to construct it so long as there may be demand.”

The eSprinter, which is able to come to the US later this 12 months, will “get replaced by the successor on Van.EA,” Geisen mentioned. “We is not going to have an eSprinter and a Van.EA eSprinter in parallel. One will observe in succession of the opposite.”

Just like the Sprinters, giant Van.EA fashions will likely be in-built Dusseldorf, Germany, whereas midsize variations will go into manufacturing in Vitoria, Spain. Mercedes-Benz can be planning to construct Van.EA automobiles at its devoted van plant in Charleston, South Carolina, but it surely’s unclear when that shift will happen.

“We now have fairly clear plans [as to] when and the way to try this, however we have not finalized all negotiations but,” Geisen mentioned. However since US market growth is a key goal with the launch of Van.EA, Geisen mentioned it might be foolish to not make Charleston a precedence manufacturing website.

“The US is considered one of our core world markets,” he mentioned.