Electric drive systems are seen to be the key to environmentally-aware, individual mobility in the future for commercial goods transport as well. Battery-powered vans offer a very promising solution, in particular for urban and short-radius distribution: they do not produce carbon dioxide or pollutant emissions, and cause significantly lower noise levels than vehicles with conventional drive systems.
As they are emission-free locally – i.e. they emit no pollutants whatsoever at their application location – in many cases electrified vans can also be used where conventionally driven vehicles are denied access: in city centres with entry restrictions, in environmentally sensitive areas such as pedestrian zones, in health resorts and parks or in closed exhibition halls.
With the Vito E-CELL, Mercedes-Benz is heralding a new era of electric mobility. Its drive concept is designed purely for electric operation and does without the drive system designed for internal combustion engines, so it is aimed at commercial customers who mainly use their vans in urban areas and for short distances. First and foremost these include fleet operators, public institutions, delivery companies and courier, express and parcel services. As part of the research initiative “Stuttgart as a model region for electric mobility”, which is being sponsored by the German Transport Ministry, a small series of the Vito E-CELL has been undergoing trials under realistic conditions with selected test customers since mid-2010.