It's a boiling hot/freezing cold day and you need to transport 8 valued guests on a long journey in complete comfort. With an electric vehicle, punching up the air con or heating systems can have a big effect on battery life. How useful would it be if you could heat or cool your vehicle to the perfect temperature, while retaining a 100% charge, using a remote app? The new Mercedes Benz eVito Tourer offers this and a host of other features in a 100% electric package. Will this cleaner approach win Mercedes Benz new customers? WhichEV takes a closer look.
In 2018, Mercedes-Benz introduced the eVito, which was followed by an eSprinter model in 2019. They were intended to be at the forefront of the emissions-free transport market for smaller commercial customers. They seem to have hit their mark, with over 70% of the eVito models sold being bought by SMBs (small to medium size businesses). It has allowed companies offer an MPV taxi, hotel shuttle or a ride-sharing vehicle – with the Mercedes logo on the front and zero emissions out of the back. It's enough to make your passengers believe that you care about them and the environment.
The eVito Tourer offers a 150kW motor, hits 87mph (140km/h) on the autobahn and claims a range of more than 260 miles (420km). Alongside recuperative braking, the model can be attached to standard commercial DC charging stations or regular AC units near a home or office. At a rapid charging station, Mercedes claims that the eVito Tourer can go from 0% to 70% in less than an hour.
The driver can also choose from three driving programs depending on preferences. The model is designed to be safer, due to Active Brake Assists and it also offers additional features, including AIRMATIC air suspension and a digital rear-view mirror. The interior design has been left largely the same as the previous generation – although there are new seat cover options available.
eVito Tourer is available in two lengths: the long (L2) and extra long (L3). These designations mean a length of 5.1 and 5.4 meters respectively.
The design of the vehicle allows the driver to change the allocation of the seats depending on their requirements. The system gives you nine seating options.
Alongside pre-sales analysis and advice, Mercedes-Benz Vans also offers hardware solutions for charging infrastructure. If you are an individual customer, then the Mercedes-Benz Wallbox Home unit offers a compact design, which will need to be installed by the customer's choice of qualified electricians.
If you have two or more eVito vehicles, then you get access to Mercedes' fleet vehicle support – which means advice and location preparation, installation of the necessary charging hardware and on-going maintenance of your new charging points.
You never want your passengers to be inconvenienced by freezing temperatures, so you can use the Mercedes PRO Connect App to pre-program your van with your journey info. That allows the onboard systems to pre-heat the vehicle, while it is still attached to the mains. You get the benefit of a nice warm transport and a 100% charge on your battery, before you collect your first passenger. It will do the same thing with air-con in the summer.
With seriously punitive fines and charges being implemented in London, Leeds and other cities around the world – before the end of 2020 – for petrol and diesel vehicles, Mercedes appears to be moving in the right direction with its commercial vehicle strategy. Let's hope that the economic knock-back from the Coronavirus pandemic doesn't deter companies from moving ahead with plans to renew their existing fleets.