Mercedes eSprinter review

Category: Electric Van

Section: Introduction

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  • Mercedes eSprinter action front
  • Mercedes eSprinter side view
  • Mercedes eSprinter interior
  • Mercedes eSprinter cargo space
  • Mercedes eSprinter regenerative braking controls
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Introduction

What Car? says...

There’s a common misconception that the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is an expensive van.

Yes, it might cost you a chunk more upfront than its closest rivals, but Mercedes knows as well as anyone that a van is a working tool that has to at least earn its keep. So, while the old adage of "buy cheap and buy twice" doesn’t quite apply to buying a new van, buying a pricier one like the Sprinter might not cost you more when you come to adding up the total cost of running the vehicle.

This isn’t intended as a lesson in sucking eggs, but bear those opening paragraphs in mind when you weigh up whether a Mercedes-Benz eSprinter is right for you, because there’s no question that it’s up-front price is eye-catching.

Then again, that’s true of almost all of the new breed of large electric vans. Where once the Renault Master ZE and the LCV EV80 had the zero-emissions market all to themselves, all of a sudden new big electric vans are popping up across the segment. As a result, the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter competes with the Fiat eDucato, Citroen e-Relay, Peugeot e-Boxer and Volkswagen e-Crafter. And as with all electric vans, they're rather more expensive than the combustion-powered machines they're based on. So, of course, buyers need a high degree of certainty that the vehicle will pay those high upfront costs back.

Unlike other Sprinters, the eSprinter comes in just one size, with a medium-length body and a high roof (L2 H2), but crucially there are two battery sizes that allow a range of up to 96 miles. Power comes from an 85kW motor producing 218lb ft of instantaneous torque.

Heavy batteries compromise payloads, but the fact that the eSprinter doesn't need a heavy engine or gearbox helps to balance things out; it's capable of moving up to 1045kg and has a load volume of 11m3.

Charging time for the eSprinter’s depends on which battery pack you choose and the type of charger you are using. A standard model can take a 20kW charge, under which 80% charge can be added in less than two hours. However, on a standard wallbox with a domestic power supply you’d be looking at an eight-hour charge for the 55kWh battery and six hours for the smaller 41kWh battery. Rapid charging is supported as an option, adding an 80kW charging capability that allows an 80% charge to be added in just 30 minutes.

The eSprinter only has one trim option and it's comparable to the mid-level diesel-engined Progressive trim. In addition, the eSprinter comes with remote vehicle pre-conditioning to allow you to heat the cabin before starting a journey and you get two years of Mercedes PRO connect to remotely monitor battery charge levels and routing.

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