Mercedes-Benz eSprinter Electric Van Review • Professional Pickup

Mercedes eSprinter 2024 Professional Van 03

Mercedes was one of the first to produce a large electric van in-house, but with an official range of less than 90 miles between charges, many drivers understandably dismissed the car as impractical. As a result, sales were, to say the least, average. That's all changed with the latest eSprinter, which now has an official WLTP range of up to 273 miles. Headline grabbers, that's true, but will our review find the devil behind the details?

The original eSprinter was only available in one body version, but it is now possible to order the van in L2 or the more popular L3 length. There's a choice of two battery packs rated at 81kWh or 113kWh, and the electric motor can be specified in 136hp or 204hp guises, which sounds a lot better than the previous 114hp unit.

Those battery packs can be fully charged from an 11kW AC wallbox in 8 or 11 hours, depending on what size you choose, and if you can find a public charging station that reliably pumps out 115kW, you'll see 10% to 80% climb achieved in 32 or 42 minutes.

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Cab and interior

The cab is the eSprinter's biggest strength. It's open in every way, and in this latest creation, the dash is dominated by a 10.25-inch high-resolution touchscreen and the now well-supported MBUX system. It offers access to all the standard audio, media, and system controls, as well as smartphone integration for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a high-definition output from the satellite navigation system (if specified).

Thankfully, the heating and ventilation controls remain a versatile piece of equipment – a godsend for anyone who's tried to make adjustments to a competitor's touchscreen. There is a WiFi hotspot, and a built-in modem allows remote communication with telematic services.

The Mercedes-Benz eSprinter cab is being updated

There's a big pat on the back thanks to Mercedes-Benz's array of safety and driver assistance technologies in the new eSprinter. Active brake assist, blind spot assist, crosswind assist, active lane keeping assist, attention assist, sideguard assist… the assists keep coming. And these are standard on all vans.

Two trim levels are offered, Pro and Select, although there is very little upspec in the Select model, I think Mercedes it should have stuck to one trim. The Pro model gets air conditioning, a heated driver's seat, heated and electrically adjustable door mirrors, a rear camera, cruise control and a tachograph, but I would argue that the customer would be better off with the Select model and pick and choose. from a wide range of options to make the van theirs.

The dashboard of the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter is being updated

Performance and Drive

The van barely registered a foot during our drive in the Cotswolds. It is almost silent, which you would expect from an electric van. However, this can often make other unwanted sounds, such as road and wind noise, more noticeable. Not so here; you can almost hear the pin drop, even at speed. There were no minor squeaks or rattles either, which gives the impression that the build quality is up to the level you might expect from a premium manufacturer.

Although acceleration is brisk, there's a 56mph speed limit in place to curb your enthusiasm and extend that all-important distance, but it's frustrating to do when a 60mph or 70mph cruise, where legal, makes a difference.

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The Catch

So far so good, but there is a catch, and it all depends on physics and rules. That 113kWh battery that provides all that range is heavy, and any weight reduces the charge available. That's why most of the eSprinter range is offered at a GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass) of 4,250kgs, taking advantage of the government's opportunity to allow drivers with a 3,500kg van license to drive a heavy electric van on their existing licence.

Currently, only a few hours of training have been approved, although it has been done announced that this requirement will soon be abolishedExternal Link Icon 2021 Professional Pickup. But even at 4,250kg, the eSprinter has a maximum payload of 920–1,148kg, and if you insist on the 3,500kg version, you'll have to settle for just 414kg to 570kg. That is not possible for everyone, except for those who carry sofa foam.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter cargo bay is being updated

So, you'll opt for the 4,250kg Sprinter, hoping for a smooth legal upgrade from the 3,500kg van. Unfortunately, it's not that simple. The van will be considered a goods vehicle for inspection purposes, meaning it will have to undergo an MOT on its first birthday instead of the third. Operation will also be subject to driver hour regulations (hence the standard fit tachograph), and there are potential restrictions on the area the van can operate from the base. Oh, and that speed limiter? It also prevents you from legally using an off-road lane.

Mercedes-Benz eSprinter: Verdict

While the eSprinter may be limited by its weight and some negative legislation, it's a great van. Mercedes learned from their previous attempt to market the big electric Sprinter and came up with a car that's capable, safe, and capable (albeit with a low payload) that, as long as the government fixes the 4,250kg legal wrinkles, it should work for the masses. most of the jobs. Ford E-Transit, watch your back…

Tim Cattlin
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