Mercedes, one of the first automakers to launch an electric camper van, showed off two different electric camper kits and a powerful 250-mile (402 km) upcoming eSprinter, promising to make a rugged RV base vehicle. It plans to maintain its market leadership as its van division prepares for the future with a modular, scalable electric architecture called VAN.EA, which will underpin its next-generation electric van offering. From there, Mercedes will aggressively expand its range with more electric camper products and its first mid-size luxury van for the US.
Mercedes’ noncommercial midsize vans like the V-Class and EQV never made it to the U.S., but that’s all set to change in the coming years. Mercedes announced Tuesday that it will debut a midsize luxury van in the United States.
The new electric mid-size car will be based on Mercedes’ Van Electric Architecture (VAN.EA) due in 2026. The passenger car end of the architecture, VAN.EA-P, has a planned range of more than 310 miles (500 kilometers). The vans will launch with Level 2 autonomous driving, and Mercedes plans to up the ante to Level 3 by the end of the decade. .
The VAN.EA platform will also support a full range of medium and full-size commercial vans. Mercedes didn’t give an estimated range for these products, but it aims to bring autonomy to Level 4 commercially in 10 years.
The new Van Electric platform will also be designed with RV conversion in mind. Mercedes-Benz plans to use the platform to become the leader in factory-built campers, launching the mid- and full-size VAN.EA B-Class. Mercedes didn’t specify whether the new lineup of electric campers would follow its electric luxury vans to the U.S., where it previously experimented with the short-lived Metris Weekender, but it does qualify to see the U.S. as a starting point for its larger plans. A key part to increase global van sales.
The VAN.EA platform itself will be a scalable three-module design, starting with the front module containing the electric powertrain and front axle. This area is the same for all van sizes and styles. The middle module, which will scale the length of the van, also contains the batteries, which will be available in different capacities. The rear module will feature an electric motor for the all-wheel-drive van, while the front-wheel-drive model will not.
Before Mercedes-Benz Vans begins rolling out the VAN.EA range, it will revamp its European mid-size model lineup this summer. The new midsize van will include exterior and interior design revisions, as well as comfort improvements and feature updates, the company said.
Judging by the teaser below, the new van will also include a massive grille.
source: mercedes benz