The 230 EVs are being used by courier and delivery services and other commercial operators in several regions of Germany, and have covered over 650,000 km.
The electrification of Europe’s delivery fleets is well under way. Mercedes-Benz has released some preliminary findings from a trial of Vito E-CELL vans that began in fall of 2010. The 230 EVs are being used by courier and delivery services and other commercial operators in several regions of Germany, and have covered over 650,000 km.
The drivers’ comments have been mostly positive, though they’ve noted that other road users don’t always hear the electric vans coming. The E-CELLs have proven capable of covering 80 km on a charge, but the study found that most drivers seldom used the full range. Neither the German winter nor the hilly topography of the Stuttgart region proved to be a problem. Mercedes’ energy supplier partners provided operators with charging stations, which use intelligent charging technology to take advantage of certified green electricity.
The Vito E-CELL is based on the mid-length Vito panel van – it has the same load compartment, and a capacity of 900 kg. The batteries are located beneath the floor, and a 60-kW electric engine under the hood drives the front wheels. Maximum speed is limited to 89 kph to maximize range. Mercedes-Benz built 400 Vito E-CELLs in 2011, and is planning several other commercial EV models.