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Mercedes-Benz Introduces Vito E-Cell Electric Cargo Van
In brief: The popular Vito cargo van, made by Mercedes-Benz, is seeing a limited production of electric versions. The first 100 are rolling out of factories now with a further 2,000 units planned for 2011.
Vehicle in the news
Make/Model: Vito E-CELL
The electric version of the popular cargo van will be targeted for urban use and environmentally sensitive areas. It's based on the long-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz Vito - the long space between wheels allowing for batteries in this case.
The E-CELL has an operating range of about 81 miles per charge (average cargo van inner-city ranges are 31-50 miles per day). It's capable of a half-ton payload (or 1,984 pounds / 900kg) and a top speed of 50mph.
A 60kW synchronous motor powers the van with a 280N-m/207lb-ft torque output. Mercedes-Benz developed a single-speed transmission for powering the front wheels through the motor.
Most of the power electronics and motor are all located in the engine compartment up front, adding weight to the drive wheels, while the batteries are slung between the frame along the underbelly. The suspension for the van is that from the 4x4 version to add stability and a better ride.
Batteries are lithium-ion in 16 modules with a total of 192 cells for 360V at 36kWh (total, 89% or 32kWh are available). An on-board monitoring system and charging unit are also under the hood.
And so ...
Very cool and useful design, though it will only be available in Europe for the time being.
Photo credits: Mercedes-Benz
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