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New all-electric e-Vito van is ‘next level’

If you’re looking to make the switch from diesel to electric, the new and improved Mercedes-Benz e-Vito might finally sway you.

The eVito is an appealing prospect for pioneering buyers of a burgeoning range of electric vans, offering 162 miles of WLTP-certified range - at least when not making full use of the eVito’s peak 116hp output. Under usual circumstances, there’s 95hp to play with, but the motor can generate extra power for short bursts, which could be handy when overtaking, for example.

The all-electric panel van has been given a hefty makeover for 2022. The big news here is that the new e-Vito now boasts a larger 66 kWh battery compared with the 41 kWh unit in the outgoing model.

How does that stack up against its rivals? Well, both the Citroen e-Dispatch and the Vauxhall e-Vivaro each have a rang of up to 205 miles, if you choose the variants with the largest batteries,  so the e-Vito is certainly catching up. e

Vans UK Head of Electric Mobility Kevin Ferris says: 

“Mercedes-Benz is leading the transition to electric mobility and the new e-Vito takes our electric vans range to the next level. This is an exceptional van that goes further, works harder and keeps businesses moving for longer.”

A spokesperson adds that the new panel van makes ‘electric mobility a feasible proposition for many businesses that have yet to switch from diesel’.

The e-Vito itself sits between the larger e-Sprinter panel van and the incoming, smaller eCitan.

Another key thing to consider when owning an electric vehicle is the ability to plug it into a fast charger. The e-Vito doesn’t disappoint, and you can restore the battery to 80 per cent of its full usable capacity in just 35 minutes using a rapid charging point.  In the real world, that’s around 100 miles of extra range restored in the time it takes for a lunch break. 

An AC fast charge to 100% using an 11kW Wallbox Type 2 charger - the kind you might have installed at a depot or other workplace - will take under seven hours, while a good old fashioned domestic three-pin power outlet will fill it in 20 hours.

Happily, Mercedes-Benz has a range of home charge point offers redeemable through infrastructure partners EO and New Motion. The former supports customers with depot and business premises applications. The battery comes with an impressive 100,000-mile eight-year warranty, while the eVito itself is warrantied for up to three years and unlimited mileage.

And that means that the maximum distance you can travel between battery top ups has jumped from around 93 miles to 162 miles. That’s a huge difference, particularly when range anxiety is a real thing, and even more so when you’re trying to keep a business moving.

As with previous e-Vito models, gearshift paddles allow drivers to adjust the recuperation mode by which battery charge is extended through the recovery of energy when decelerating.

A ‘first’ for the latest version is something called ‘DAUTO’ recuperation mode, which determines whether the van should glide with least possible resistance, or decelerate and recover energy into the battery.

Peak power is 116 hp - which is similar to the old e-Vito - while torque is a very decent 360 Nm.

The 3.2-tonne vehicle offers a payload allowance of up to 807 kg and a maximum load volume of 6.6 m3 - a great volume that’s available largely because the battery is safely housed beneath the floor, so it doesn't encroach the available space.

Additions to the outgoing version’s standard specification include Active Brake Assist with pedestrian recognition technology, Attention Assist, which detects drowsiness in the driver and encourages them to take breaks when tired, and Cruise Control with Adaptive speed limiter function.

As standard you get a 7 inch infotainment touchscreen and full phone connectivity. You can also use the nifty ‘Mercedes me’ app to programme cooling or heating in the van while it’s charging - helping you to conserve the battery life, maximise range, and also make sure the cabin is nice and cosy the minute you set foot in it.

Meanwhile there’s also a brand new ‘Premium’ trim level, which adds goodies such as 17 inch alloys, a chrome grille, leather steering wheel, and more driver assistance tech - including parking sensors, front fog lights and electrically-folding door mirrors.

Available to order now, after the government’s plug-in van grant of £5,000 and before VAT, it’ll set you back £43,600, but a lease deal for the new Mercedes-Benz eVito will reduce that to pleasingly small monthly payments. If you’re quick out the blocks, the van will arrive when customer deliveries commence in March.

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Tuesday, 10/05/2022