Mercedes-Benz's Vito Goes Electric
STUTTGART, GERMANY - Mercedes-Benz released specifications and pictures this week of their new electric van called the Vito E-CELL. The Mercedes-Benz Vito E-CELL electric van will be produced this year in a trial production of 100 electric Vito's with a further 2000 planned for production in 2011. Mercedes-Benz says that the zero-emissions Vito electric van is ideal for areas that require silent operation or low emissions pollution as the vans produce low noise when in operation and zero CO2.
Mercedes-Benz has said that the Vito E-CELL will be available in both left and right hand drive configurations and that the electric vans will first be offered to about twelve fleet customers who will be given a four year rental and financing plan provided by Mercedes-Benz. Each Vito E-CEll is expected to cover 80,000 km (50,000 miles) before being returned to Mercedes-Benz at the end of rental period.
Mercedes-Benz says that the Vito E-CELL electric van is between four to seven times more cost effective than a gasoline (petrol) or diesel engined Vito and that the future appears to be electric drive in densely populated urban areas. The Mercedes-Benz Vito E-CELL electric van is powered by a 36 kWh lithium-ion battery pack made up of 16 modules and 192 cells. The vehicles power system operates at the standard 12 volts. The batteries are stored under the load floor in the area of where the fuel tank and propshaft would normally be on gasoline (petrol) or diesel model.
Charging times for the Vito E-CELL are six hours from a fully depleted battery to full charge and this is off a 380/400 volt supply. The Mercedes-Benz Vito electric van has onboard chargers with a maximum output of 6.1 kW. The electric Vito E-CELL is the only Vito van that is front-wheel drive with the electric motor delivering power to the front wheels. The top speed of the van is limited to 80 km/h (50 mph) and the range is up to 130 km (80.8 miles), which Mercedes-Benz says more than meets the standard driving range of a daily operation commercial vehicle. The drive motor in the E-CELL is a permanent synchronous unit with 70 kW peak output and 60 kW continuous power. The maximum torque provided by the Vito E-CELL's electric motor is 280 Nm.