The development team behind the Mercedes electric van was in Northern Sweden testing the van during the past few weeks. The focus of the testing series in Arjeplog, near the arctic circle, was to test cold starts as well as charging and driving behaviour at minus temperatures.
The conditions were sure harsh, with temperatures to up to minus 30 degrees Celsius, deep snow and icy streets, on which the eVito underwent a number of cold weather tests on a driving course, that included a turning loop and a forest stretch. The developers also analysed handling, efficiency, ergonomics and comfort.
While driving on a frozen lake on the testing grounds, the researchers also tested the cold proofing on drive components, their software and interfaces, such as breaks and ESP, with special measuring equipment.
Also details such as the heater needs to work reliably at low temperatures and the windshield defroster needs to work quickly for the Mercedes-Benz eVito.
Since the vehicles will also be expected to run smoothly during the summer, a series of tests will take place after the completion of the winter tests to simulate hot weather conditions. During the warm season, the eVito will be tested in Spain at temperatures up to 35 degrees Celcius in the shade, before it will be ready to be delivered to customers at the end of the year.
As of November last year, the electric transporter can be pre-ordered for 39,990 euros. An 84 kW electric motor powers the eVito, and customers can choose between top speeds of 80 or 120 km/h. The required energy is provided by a 41.4 kWh active cooled battery, which supplies enough energy to reach a 150 km range, according to the WLTP.
At maximum load and bad weather, the engineers spoke of 100 guaranteed kilometres from the usable part of the storage (about 38 kWh). A 7.2 kW onboard charger charges the battery in two phases. An option for faster charging via a DC module via CCS is not currently planned.
The first large orders have already been placed for the eVito as well as Hermes and Mercedes will be starting a planned cooperation in early 2018, which entails a pilot phase in Hamburg and Stuttgart. Afterwards, the use of electric delivery vans will be broadened to a planned 1,500 electric Vito and Sprinter models by 2020, including further locations.