- Good payload
- Battery range
- Price tag
There’s a lot to like about the Mercedes eVito electric van, which is the first EV made by the manufacturer. It’s a quiet and refined offering with a decent payload – though the claimed range of 92 miles means driving needs to be judicious or you need to incorporate a rapid charging facility at some point in your working day.
With the competition in the electric van market becoming stiffer every day, the Mercedes eVito manages to create something of a niche with an impressive offering. While the range is not the best, it is certainly a nippy and agile performer that will meet most firms’ needs. If your business is doing less than 92 miles every day – and research suggests that the average for a business is 62 miles – then you will be happy recharging the battery overnight. If you do more, then there could be an issue and you will need to know the locations of rapid chargers. However, the all-round package is impressive with Mercedes offering discounts on the eVito, along with free vehicle monitoring software and the possibility of a free charging point.
Offered in a choice of two lengths and two trim levels, the evolved Mercedes-Benz eVito now benefits from many of the new features added to the diesel Vito earlier in 2020 with the PROGRESSIVE trim level offering greater specification enhancements as the entry to the range, and the PLUS Package available for the eVito for the first time.
Priced from £40,895, or £549 a month including a Service Care agreement, the evolved eVito offers a high level of additional standard specification. This includes Audio 30 infotainment with DAB radio, reverse camera, anti-theft Protection Package with double-locks, a new-style grille with chrome fins, and a Type 2, 8m, 32amp charging cable, which facilitates the fastest possible AC charging time.
The PLUS Package is now the mid-range of the evolved eVito, with electrically foldable mirrors, colour-coded bumpers, full wheel covers, a 75mph speed limiter, and PARKTRONIC parking sensors.
With Mercedes PRO connect integrated as standard across all trim lines, the evolved eVito comes with free access to Optimised Assistance giving real-time reports of critical parts and fluids, journey logs, theft warning alerts, live locking from a mobile phone, geofencing, Accident and Breakdown Management, and live traffic information.
Reasons to buy
While there’s a lot to like about the Mercedes eVito, as an electric medium-sized van it’s not the best in class. It is comfortable and refined, though it’s not very well-equipped when compared with the offerings from Peugeot, Citroen and Vauxhall for their equipment list and price. For those firms with a set number of miles they cover every day, then a deal on the Mercedes eVito may well work. For others, you need a good reason to invest in a premium electric van carrying the three-point star even though it does have low running costs.
If you like the Mercedes eVito, then consider the Renault Master e-Tech, or the Ford Transit Custom PHEV.
One of the benefits of running an electric van for firms is that the costs are much lower for battery power when compared with diesel performance.
A lot will be down to the off-peak tariff you can arrange for your business when the van will be charged overnight. This normally takes six hours, but it can be done in just over 30 minutes with a fast charger.
Mercedes also highlights that the eVito is exempt from congestion and ultra-low emissions zone charges, plus the firm is offering up to three years of free roadside assistance – which can be extended every year when the van is serviced.
The eVito also comes with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty, while the battery has a 60,000 miles or eight-year guarantee.
It’s helpful that businesses can access service plans from £12.50 month – that’s cheaper than the equivalent plans being offered for diesel-powered Vitos.
Mercedes says the eVito will need to be serviced every 12 months – but with few moving parts, the maintenance bills should be very low.
The Mercedes eVito offers two trim levels and two lengths. The long wheelbase eVito, the L2, offers 923kg with a load space of 6 m³.
The extra-long eVito, the L3, offers 895kg with a load space of 6.6 m³. These figures are similar to the diesel-powered variant and that’s because the battery is hidden under the floor.
Technology & Safety
The upgraded Mercedes eVito has features that aren’t found on the diesel-powered sibling. Plus, the Progressive trim offers more quality equipment.
Standard kit includes USB and Bluetooth connectivity, a dual passenger seat, flooring and panelling in the load bay, and a heated driver’s seat.
The Progressive trim adds a colour display, rear and front body-coloured bumpers, metallic paint and lumbar support. Drivers also get front fog lights, a 75 mph speed limiter and headlight assist.
Options for the eVito include satnav and DAB radio.
This is also a very safe van with hill start assist, and adaptive braking plus there are electrically adjustable heated exterior mirrors, automatic headlights, a tyre pressure monitoring system and a full width and height bulkhead. Things like a reversing alarm and a security alarm are also options, plus there’s autonomous emergency braking and crosswind assist.
The Pro package adds air-conditioning, a heated driver’s seat, a vehicle tracker and a four-metre charging cable.
The Pro Connect offering is standard for both models and is being offered for free for the first three years. Drivers get a digital driver’s log, real-time variable servicing monitoring, remote access and driving style monitoring. There are also geo-fencing options, a parking time monitor and the offering will also highlight the nearest charging stations.
A revamp in late 2020 brought preconditioning of the heaters so drivers can warm the cab before they get in it.
After its launch in early 2020, Mercedes hinted that a more powerful battery would be offered. The evolved eVito appeared in late 2020 with 85kWh of power to deliver a range of 92 miles. The van has torque of 310Nm so when fully loaded it’s still a decent performer.
As with all electric vans, the eVito offers swift acceleration from a standing start and there’s a lot to recommend it. The van doesn’t have a gearbox so there are three driving modes to deliver performance – E for economy, E+ for economy plus and C for comfort. Drivers may find not using the air-conditioning will help retain the battery’s range and while driving in economy mode, it should meet most driver’s needs, particularly around town. If you are driving a long distance on a motorway, then Comfort mode will deliver the extra power.
The handling is sound and it’s a decent performer on motorways. The range for the battery may be an issue for firms with ‘range anxiety’ so you may have to plan your journeys accordingly.
The driver’s seat is comfortable and high and there’s good rake and height adjustment for the steering wheel.
However, while the ride is comfortable it does sometimes feel firm, even when the load space is empty. The vans agility comes from the battery being placed under the load bay to improve handling – and also reduce body roll when cornering.
It’s also worth noting that the rear parking camera is a worthy addition, though it’s a pricey option.