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
|Van type||Range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|Electric||83 miles||8hrs (0-100%, 7kW)||30mins (10-80%, 80kW)*|
*80kW charging is optional extra
The Mercedes eSprinter is the latest arrival to the ever-growing range of fully electric vans and other commercial vehicles on sale, as many businesses and sole traders ditch their traditional diesel vehicles for a zero-emissions alternative. Among the eSprinter’s main rivals in the large electric van class are the Citroen e-Relay, Fiat e-Ducato, Peugeot e-Boxer and Renault Master Z.E.
Gone is the standard Sprinter’s diesel engine; in its place is an electric motor that produces 114bhp and 295Nm of torque, with power coming from a 55kWh battery. That doesn't translate to stunning performance, but it's enough to keep up with traffic and the eSprinter builds speed fairly quickly when needed. Once you're on the move, it's very quiet and refined for a large van.
The battery is larger than the smaller Mercedes eVito's 41kWh unit, but due to the size and weight of the eSprinter, this model has a similarly short range of just over 80 miles. That might not be ideal for some businesses, but as the eSprinter is designed primarily for undertaking 'last-mile' deliveries, it offers plenty of space for various payloads.
The eSprinter is also limited in terms of potential applications, as it's only offered in one body style: the L2 H2 configuration that features a medium-length wheelbase and medium-height roof. Thankfully, the eSprinter's electric powertrain has no impact on cargo capacity compared to the equivalent diesel Sprinter. There's a single sliding side door, plus rear doors that open to out to 270 degrees.
In the rear, there's 11 cubic metres of space, with a load floor that's 3.4 metres long – the same as the diesel L2 H2 Sprinter. The eSprinter’s maximum payload is 731kg, but getting close to that figure will begin to reduce the van’s already quite limited driving range.
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 feel comfortable for a day of driving, although artificial leather and a comfort seat with an armrest and additional adjustment are available as optional extras.
Charging the eSprinter from a home wallbox will take eight hours from 0-100%. However, you can charge the eSprinter at up to 20kW using a DC fast charger, allowing you to replenish from 10-80% in two hours. Upgrade to the optional 80kW charger for £500 and that time drops to half an hour.
The eSprinter is only available in Progressive trim, and prices start at £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 £6,000 off the list price, while Mercedes Vans offers a free charging-point installation, subject to survey, to 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 during this time the maximum battery capacity drops below 70% of its original design, it will be repaired or replaced at no charge.
Overall, the Mercedes eSprinter is a very refined electric van, but is limited by its short range and single choice of body style.