In the second half of 2018, the Daimler AG unit will start deliveries of the 39,990-euro (US$33,100) eVito, which offers a driving range of 150 kilometers (94 miles), the Stuttgart, Germany-based company said on Nov. 20.
An electric version of the larger Mercedes Sprinter will follow in 2019.
“We are convinced by the necessity of electric drive in our vans,” especially amid growing concerns over air quality in city centers, Volker Mornhinweg, who heads Mercedes’s van division, said. “The eVito is the starting point” and will be followed by the Sprinter and the smaller Citan.
Deutsche Post has teamed up with Ford Motor Co. on the StreetScooter, a bare-bones van without air conditioning and radio. Daimler balked at producing a similar vehicle because of the standards associated with Mercedes vehicles. The move by Europe’s largest postal service shows the risks facing traditional vehicle makers as the advent of new technology opens the doors to new competitors.