Mercedes-Benz is taking the electric version of its Sprinter van — called the eSprinter, because duh — and is not only going to bring it to North America, but it’s going to invest upward of $58 million in its North Charleston, South Carolina factory to produce it here too, according to an announcement made on Tuesday.
The next generation of eSprinter will be based on Mercedes’ Electric Versatility Platform, which should, in theory, provide a lot more architectural flexibility and better performance than the current model. Mercedes plans to invest more than $410 million in the development of this next-gen electric van, which is good because the competition in this segment starts to heat up.
The push for commercial electric vehicles — from Mercedes and others — is likely a result of the overwhelming demand for last-mile delivery vehicles for e-commerce companies like Amazon. We’re buying more online than ever, and now fleet buyers are having to resort toto keep up with demand.
The next-gen eSprinter’s specs haven’t been released yet, but we expect they’d have to be better than the outgoing model, which could only manage 114 horsepower and 218 pound-feet of torque with a range of just over 100 miles on the WLTP cycle.
The North Charleston plant is expected to finish its upgrades and enter production in the second half of 2023.