Updated: Dec 21, 2020
The eagerly awaited all-electric Mercedes-Benz eVito has arrived on the market, taking orders at a price which is raising eyebrows in the UK taxi industry.
Since its market launch of the eVito and the eSprinter in 2019, Mercedes-Benz have been sending a clear signal of its commitment towards providing local emission-free commercial freight transport in urban areas.
The manufacturers of the new eVito Tourer, state that the new electric vehicle can reach a new “dimension in battery-electric commercial passenger transport” in terms of mile performance and range. The vehicle produced will be aimed at those wanting a hotel shuttle, a large-capacity taxi or a vehicle for ride-sharing services.
Andreas Böger, Head of Sales of New Vehicles Mercedes-Benz Transporter and Vans Germany, said: "Battery-electric mobility from Mercedes-Benz is already suitable for everyday use, as shown by a range of 421 kilometres and the fast charging function.
"Through attractive leasing rates and public funding, the eVito Tourer can easily compete with the conventionally driven Vito at the TCO."
To look at, the new Mercedes-Benz eVito Tourer takes over the style of its trusted combustion engine taxi predecessor, the Vito.
However, under the front sits the electric powertrain, which drives the front wheels with a peak power of 150 kW. The energy is stored in a lithium-ion battery in the underbody of the vehicle. With a top speed of 140 km/h (86mph), the new EV ensures a rapid advance away from urban traffic.
The Mercedes-Benz eVito Tourer features a water-cooled AC On-Board charger (OBL) with an output of 11 kW. This means that it is prepared for AC charging at home or at public charging stations. Charging is via the CCS charging box in the front left bumper. This also enables direct current (DC) charging. Thanks to a maximum charging capacity of 110 kW at a DC fast charging station, the eVito Tourer can be charged from 10 to 80% in around 45 minutes.
The battery, with a usable capacity of 90 kWh, enables a more than healthy range of 260 miles (421 kilometers).
Thanks to its intelligent operating strategy, the Mercedes-Benz eVito Tourer also charges its battery while driving. In thrust or brake mode, the mechanical rotational movement is converted into electrical energy and used for charging high-voltage battery (recuperation).
The driver can regulate the strength of the recuperation via shifters behind the steering wheel as required. A particularly efficient and comfortable driving style enables a new feature in the eVito Tourer: recuperation level DAUTO.
Mercedes-Benz say that the eVito Tourer meets the highest demands in terms of functionality and variability in many areas of passenger transport. The locally emission-free van can be ordered in two different lengths: one with a total length of 5,140 millimeters and as an extra-long version, which comes to 5,370 millimeters.
Taxi companies and other ride-sharing services benefit from the wide range of seat configurations.
With two benches in the rear, the eVito Tourer becomes a comfortable shuttle vehicle that meets all the requirements for modern passenger transport with an agile and particularly quiet driving experience. Thanks to its flexible seating configurations, it can be equipped, for example, with up to nine seats or a vis-a-vis seating. The eVito Tourer will be integrated as a production vehicle into the normal production process of the plant in Vitoria, northern Spain, where the Mercedes-Benz Vito, V-Class and EQV are also produced.
The price of the eVito Tourer starts in Germany at 53,990 EUR (excluding VAT). That’s just over £49,000 in the UK (excluding VAT and before EV grants).
Can the eVito provide a competitive vehicle for cabbies to drive? Only time will tell.