Mercedes-Benz Vans is conducting winter tests under extreme climatic conditions with the next generation of the eSprinter near the Arctic Circle. The focus lies with reliability in freezing conditions.
While there will be hardly any changes to the van’s appearance built at the Düsseldorf plant, virtually everything under the sheet metal is new. As reported when announcing the eSprinter in late 2020, the next generation is based on a completely new platform. Mercedes will offer the eSprinter with three battery variants and numerous body variants ranging from a panel van to a chassis for box bodies.
Mercedes-Benz mentions a few points that were tested at the test site in Arjeplog, Sweden, at temperatures as low as -30 degrees, but – as is usual with such announcements – no results. For example, they tested the effects of extreme cold on handling, ergonomics, thermal management and interior comfort. For these tests, the vehicles were also cooled down in cold chambers to check the cold protection of drive components, heating systems, software and interfaces”, according to Mercedes. Another point was the charging behaviour: The charging management was “decisively examined and optimised”.
Even if the results of the individual tests are not mentioned, Mercedes-Benz is satisfied: After just over half of the test period, which lasted several weeks, it became clear that the vehicle was able to withstand ice and snow as well as extreme cold, according to the press release. After all, commercial customers depend on their van not letting them down even in ice and snow – and therefore place the same demands on e-transporters as on their counterparts with combustion engines.
The next generation of the eSprinter is intended to open up new customer segments and new markets, including the USA and Canada. Depending on the configuration, the range will more than double compared to the current eSprinten. However, Mercedes does not give exact data on battery size, charging capacity or drive power.
The next generation of the eSprinter will be built in a total of three plants.In the second half of 2023, production will start in Charleston in the USA and then in Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde in Germany. Mercedes will build the panel van and estate car in Düsseldorf and the flatbed van and the chassis for special bodies in Ludwigsfelde.
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