Electric Cars

Mercedes-Benz will electrify its van lineup in the near future

The effort begins with the eVito, an electric midsize cargo van.

Mercedes-Benz Vans

Every automaker's favorite thing to do right now is claim that an entire lineup will be electrified within the next several years. This time around, it's Mercedes-Benz Vans, because regular consumers can't have all the fun.

Mercedes-Benz announced this week that it plans to electrify its entire commercial van lineup. It's important to note that this doesn't mean the death of gas or diesel engines in Mercedes-Benz Vans products -- rather, at the minimum, there will be an electrified offering alongside other methods of propulsion. And it all starts with the eVito.

Vito is a way better name than Metris, and eMetris doesn't roll off the tongue as well as eVito. eMetris sounds like a medical condition.

Mercedes-Benz Vans

The eVito is an all-electric variant of the standard Vito, which is also known as the Metris over here in the US. Its 41.4-kWh battery can provide about 93 miles of range at speeds up to 75 mph. Given its limited range, it's likely best for short-haul deliveries and other around-town work rather than cross-country logistics duties. Its electric motor puts out 113 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque.

The eVito will be available in both short- and long-wheelbase variants. It can handle up to 2,366 pounds of payload. The load floor isn't changed with the move to a battery-electric drivetrain, as the battery rests beneath the eVito.

Mercedes-Benz Vans isn't the only Daimler subsidiary to jump on the electrification bandwagon. In the last month, its Thomas Built Buses subsidiary unveiled a 100-mile electric school bus named Jouley (yes, Jouley). Daimler Trucks also showed off the E-Fuso Vision One electric truck, although it's geared more toward intracity hauling than long-haul work.

When it launches in the second half of 2018, the eVito will start at €39,990 ($46,938, directly converted), excluding value-added tax. It's unclear if an electric Metris variant will come to the US, but it wouldn't surprise anybody if one eventually did.