Mercedes eSprinter review
The Mercedes eSprinter electric van offers plenty of cargo space, but it's limited by its short range and single bodystyle
- Lots of space
- Plenty of options
- Short range
- Only one body style
- Middling performance
|Wallbox charge time
|Rapid charge time
|8hrs (0-100%, 7kW)
|30mins (10-80%, 80kW)*
*80kW charging is optional extra
The Mercedes eSprinter is a large fully electric van, aimed at businesses looking to reduce the running costs and emissions of their vehicle fleets. However, with rivals such as the Citroen e-Relay, Fiat e-Ducato, Peugeot e-Boxer and Renault Master E-TECH, there are plenty of options when it comes to battery-powered panel vans.
The fully electric eSprinter loses the diesel engine found in the standard Sprinter in favour of an electric motor producing 114bhp and 295Nm of torque, combined with a relatively small 55kWh battery. As a result of its small motor, the sizeable eSprinter isn’t the quickest off the mark, although the electric powertrain makes for a quieter and more relaxing drive than the diesel model. The battery-powered Mercedes panel van glides smoothly and almost silently through city traffic.
The battery isn’t that big considering the size of the van, either, although it’s a bit larger than the Mercedes eVito's 41kWh unit. As a result, the eSprinter’s range is just 83 miles, so it has a specific customer base in mind – businesses that do 'last-mile' deliveries over short distances but need a lot of carrying capacity. The eSprinter is a good option for city deliveries in particular.
There's only one body style because of the limited use case: the L2 H2 configuration that features a medium-length wheelbase and medium-height roof. Compared to a diesel Sprinter panel van, there’s no impact on carrying capacity, as the batteries are cleverly packaged under the floor. There's a single sliding side door, plus rear doors that open out to 270 degrees.
The eSprinter has 11 cubic metres of load space in the rear with a 3.4-metre cargo bay length. If you plan to make use of the maximum payload of 731kg, you can expect the maximum range figure to drop, as the motor has to work harder for every mile travelled.
Up front, there's a three-seat cabin with plenty of room and storage space throughout. It also features air-conditioning, a heated driver’s seat, automatic emergency braking and LED interior lighting as standard. Active braking assistance, emergency braking and attention assistance (which detects when the driver is tired) are standard-fit, too. The regular fabric seats are comfortable enough for a day of driving, although artificial leather and a comfort seat with an armrest and additional adjustment are available as optional extras.
The eSprinter is only available in Progressive trim, and prices start at around £52,000, excluding VAT. But don’t be put off by that seemingly high figure: the UK Government's plug-in van grant offers up to £5,000 off the list price, while Mercedes Vans offers free charging-point installation, subject to survey, for anyone buying an eSprinter.
The eSprinter also comes with a three-year warranty with no mileage limit, plus its battery is covered by an eight-year/160,000-kilometre guarantee. If the maximum battery capacity drops below 70% of its original design during the warranty period, Mercedes will repair or replace it free of charge. Overall, the Mercedes eSprinter is a very refined electric van but is limited by its short range and single choice of body style.