It’s the full-electric version of the mid-sized Vito panel van, but instead of diesel power under the bonnet, there’s Mercedes’ electric drive system. This features a 113 bhp electric motor connected to a 41 kWh battery to give the eVito a range of 93 miles. Once the batteries are exhausted, they can be recharged from flat in 6 hours using a Mercedes wall box charging unit.
It has a theoretical range of 93 miles between charges. That’s the key figure any fleet operator and van driver will want to know, so clearly the eVito’s only going to suit those who operate in a tight geographical confine at relatively low speeds, such as city centers and last-mile delivery companies.
The electric motor fits under the bonnet where the diesel engine would normally be, while Mercedes has managed to mount the battery pack under the cargo area without compromising load volume. It’s protected underneath by full-length 3 mm steel plate, while the batteries are fitted within a steel cage to prevent them being damaged in an accident.
The eVito comes with Vito van’s Long and Extra Long body styles, giving a cargo volume of 6.0 to 6.6 cubic metres, while payload is still rated at over one tonne for both variants, of course, if you drive all day with a full load on board, that will have an impact on the driving range of the eVito. As well as the panel van body, the eVito will be offered as a multi-seat passenger van, too.
In the cab, there are no obvious differences between the eVito and the standard diesel Vito version. The eVito is an auto, so it has a column-mounted gear selector, while the dot-matrix display between the dials shows you the drive mode you are in. There are C, E and E+ settings (Comfort, Eco and Extended range), with the latter two limiting power, top speed and climate control to help boost how far you can go on a charge.
One addition to the eVito’s cabin is a pair of paddles behind the steering wheel. These increase or reduce the amount of energy recuperation that the electric drive system produces, ranging through D++, D+, D and D-. The final D minus mode is the default setting, and that delivers the maximum amount of resistance, meaning you can easily drive the eVito using one pedal. At the other end of the scale, D++ is the equivalent of freewheeling in neutral.
Mercedes has also fitted a heat pump that’s designed to recuperate heat energy to get the cabin warmed up faster in winter, although most models will also come with heated seats as standard, as this is a more efficient and faster way of keeping drivers warm in cold weather. The heat pump also works to cool the interior when it’s warm, as well as prevent the battery pack from overheating. Like other EVs, there’s also the provision to pre-condition the cabin with warm or cold air while the eVito is still plugged in and charging.
An overnight charge with the most commonplace Type-2 connection will take six hours, with the connection located behind the conventional filler flap. The trio of lithium-ion batteries weigh 125 kg and have a capacity of 41.4 kWh.
Although it’s unlikely to happen in many cases, the eVito can be hooked-up to a quicker rapid charger more than once per day before it’s reconnected to the slower overnight feed back at base without any issues. A rapid charge should replenish around 80% of the battery capacity in around 45 minutes .
As the batteries are housed under the floor, there’s no reduction in the Long and Extra Long models’ load volume (6.0 and 6.6 cubic metres, respectively)
Maximum payload is 1,073 kg for the eVito Long and 1,048 kg for the Extra Long.Gross vehicle weight is 3.2 tonnes.
The price ranges in between £35,000 to £40,000 plus VAT based on the German market price of €39,990.
But that’s only part of the equation, because charging the eVito will cost significantly less than refilling a diesel’s fuel tank and maintenance costs will be lower because there are few moving parts to service. The batteries have an eight-year, 62,500-mile warranty.
In order to keep costs as low as possible features such as LED headlamps and tail lights, as well as active safety systems like Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control will remain optional.
- Motor: 84 kw electric motor, 41 kWh battery
- Power/torque: 113 bhp/300 Nm
- Transmission: Single-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
- Top speed: Up to 75 mph
- Range: 93 miles