Mercedes-Benz Unveils New Electric Vision Van

7 months ago by Mark Kane 18

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Mercedes-Benz Vans is presenting a glimpse of the intelligent, interconnected and electric future of light commercial vehicles.

The new Mercedes-Benz Vision Van is an all-electric concept with 75 kW motor and range of 80-270 km (50-168 miles) depending on application.

Beside being electric, it’s also equipped with two drones on the roof for small parcel deliveries, and robotized cargo space.

Daimler intends to invest some €500 million for over the next five years for digitalization, automation and robotics in vans under its new “adVANce initiative”, as well as innovative mobility solutions… so soon(er or later) we could see futuristic solutions from concept transferred to the reality.

Sidenote: And yes it does remind us a lot of the concept, fuel cell Vision Tokyo car presented earlier by Daimler

Mercedes on the van:

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

“Mercedes-Benz Vans is presenting a fascinating, integrated solution for new customer requirements with the “Vision Van” van study, which was presented today and evolved as part of the adVANce initiative.

This all-electric vehicle combines various innovative solutions for last-mile delivery in urban and suburban environments. It is the first van worldwide to fully digitally connect all people and processes involved, from the distribution centre to the consignee.

Furthermore, it is the first van ever to feature a fully automated cargo space and integrated delivery drones. For example, if a parcel service provider stops his vehicle in a residential area, it will be possible to deliver multiple packages to nearby consignees autonomously by air – even if they are not at home – in addition to manual delivery. This makes the deliverer’s job easier, reduces the delivery time and offers end customers new opportunities such as same-day delivery at an agreed time.

Mercedes-Benz Vans envisages deployment of the Vision Van boosting efficiency by up to 50 percent on the last mile. The vehicle is equipped with a 75 kW electric drive and – depending on the intended application – has a range of 80 km to approximately 270 km. With the Vision Van, deliveries are emission-free.”

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

New strategic future initiative adVANce and Vision Van: Mercedes-Benz Vans is presenting the van of the future: intelligent, interconnected and electric

September 7th, 2016 – Stuttgart
  • Mercedes-Benz Vans launches future initiative adVANce to expand its growth strategy and develop new business models
  • Investments of approximately 500 million euros over the next five years for digitalisation, automation and robotics in vans as well as innovative mobility solutions
  • New organisational unit within the start-up scene in Stuttgart, Berlin and Silicon Valley – approximately 200 employees already work on numerous projects
  • Close cooperation with start-ups, including first strategic investments – among others in Matternet
  • All-electric “Vision Van” van study with a range of up to 270 km, fully automated cargo space and integrated drones
Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Stuttgart – Today the globally successful van manufacturer Mercedes-Benz Vans has unveiled its strategic future initiative adVANce for the transport industry. This sees the division systematically taking up its customers’ changing requirements.

The transformation of the industry is the result of various economic and social trends, among them urbanisation, the growth in e-commerce, the intelligent networking of a wide range of technologies in the Internet of Things (IoT), and the proliferation of platform-based business models.

Mercedes-Benz Vans is systematically making use of present-day and future technological opportunities presented by digitalisation, automation and robotics. The business division is developing from a mere vehicle manufacturer into a provider of system solutions and will offer integrated and intelligent systems in addition to its basic vehicles in the future. These solutions can make the transportation of goods and passengers even more efficient and open up new business opportunities and economic benefits for costumers.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

“In the first six months of this year, we brought in the best results yet for Mercedes-Benz Vans. This provides us with an excellent foundation to position our vans division systematically for the future”, said Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, at today’s Van Innovation Campus in Stuttgart.

“To live up to the dramatic changes in our sector, we adapt our ‘Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global’ strategy and expand it beyond the product and untapped international markets. We are focusing our attention beyond the vehicle on the entire value chain and business environment of our customers. We provide transport solutions for the digital age and evolve the van into an intelligent, interconnected data centre on wheels. In order to do this, we are investing around half a billion euros over the next five years, and we created a separate organisational unit. So far, this approach is unique within the van sector.”

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Identifying the customer requirements of tomorrow

With the adVANce initiative, Mercedes-Benz Vans is systematically adapting to new, rapidly changing customer requirements. Examples include the burgeoning business in food and everyday necessities ordered online. Here, demand for same-day delivery or delivery within an hour is increasing rapidly. At the same time, more and more people are living in cities – by 2030 urban areas will be home to more than two thirds of the world’s population. It is clear that the rising transportation requirements will need to be met even faster and more efficiently in future and, above all, in an environmentally friendly way.

All-electric “Vision Van” van study for innovative delivery on the last mile

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Mercedes-Benz Vans is presenting a fascinating, integrated solution for new customer requirements with the “Vision Van” van study, which was presented today and evolved as part of the adVANce initiative. This all-electric vehicle combines various innovative solutions for last-mile delivery in urban and suburban environments. It is the first van worldwide to fully digitally connect all people and processes involved, from the distribution centre to the consignee. Furthermore, it is the first van ever to feature a fully automated cargo space and integrated delivery drones. For example, if a parcel service provider stops his vehicle in a residential area, it will be possible to deliver multiple packages to nearby consignees autonomously by air – even if they are not at home – in addition to manual delivery. This makes the deliverer’s job easier, reduces the delivery time and offers end customers new opportunities such as same-day delivery at an agreed time. Mercedes-Benz Vans envisages deployment of the Vision Van boosting efficiency by up to 50 percent on the last mile. The vehicle is equipped with a 75 kW electric drive and – depending on the intended application – has a range of 80 km to approximately 270 km. With the Vision Van, deliveries are emission-free.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

“With the Vision Van from Mercedes-Benz Vans we provide an idea of future generations of vans: the intelligent automation technology connects the entire process, from loading and transportation by road through to delivery to the consignee. This makes it easier for the deliverer to do business and rapidly reduces the delivery time for end customers”, adds Volker Mornhinweg.

“Equipped with an electric drive system, the Vision Van not only operates locally emission-free, it also moves almost silently. This means that it can be operated in cities even during times when there are traffic restrictions or for late-night deliveries in residential areas. This gives our customers the possibility of offering new services to their customers.”

Focusing on three key fields of innovation: adVANce

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

As part of the strategic future initiative, Mercedes-Benz Vans will be focusing on three fields of innovation: the first involves incorporating the van into the Internet of Things. For this purpose, Mercedes-Benz Vans is integrating smart technologies into the van, which increase its efficiency and make it a central component of the digital value chain. The focus here is on relevant applications and connectivity solutions (digital@vans). One example is developing a telematics unit for vans which collects and processes data concerning the status of the delivery tour, the present location and the load, and sends this information to the distribution manager. In this way it is possible to monitor and manage last-minute changes within the fleet efficiently from a central point.

Another application concentrates on the efficient part and tool management for service vehicles, for example tradespersons’ mobile workshops. In future new holistic system solutions will enable parts to be ordered in a fully automated way by means of an intelligent inventory management within the vehicle, as well as for the relevant parts to be placed overnight directly into the van. Intermediate steps such as inventory evaluation, ordering parts manually and the tradesperson having to equip the vehicle are no longer necessary.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

The second focal point is on innovative hardware-based solutions for the transportation industry (solutions@vans). Here Mercedes-Benz Vans is working on automated cargo space systems for delivery vehicles for parcel services, for example. Until now, deliverers need to rearrange their packages (on average around 180 per load) ten times while making deliveries within a residential area and schedule approximately three to four minutes per stop. New, interconnected cargo space systems make loading and unloading much faster, thereby increasing process efficiency. One-shot loading (loading the vehicle with all pre-picked parcels in one go) cuts loading times considerably and reduces the amount of vehicle downtime at distribution centres. When the deliverer is unloading, the system will show him the exact load configuration and make the right package available at the right time for delivery depending on the delivery destination. The team at Mercedes-Benz Vans also has the integration of autonomous delivery systems such as drones or self-driving robots in mind.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

The third field of interest for the Stuttgart-based van manufacturer in conjunction with various cooperation partners is new mobility concepts for the on-demand transportation of goods and people (mobility@vans). In future these intelligent mobility concepts could supplement public transit by making fast, efficient and individual transport of passengers possible during peak and off-peak hours via ridesharing concepts. In the future, the intelligent networking of technologies can also make the transportation of goods more efficient and considerably improve transport on the last mile. In this pioneering field Mercedes-Benz Vans is also working on innovative leasing, rental and sharing models, which are completely tailored to the needs of van customers.

New organisational unit within the start-up scene

In order to fully exploit the numerous opportunities of evolving the van and vehicle-related business systems, Mercedes-Benz Vans has created a new organisational unit called Future Transportation Systems. The project teams are based within the start-up scene in Stuttgart, Berlin and Silicon Valley. In total around 200 employees are working on these topics. They work closely with customers and partners from business, technology, logistics, research and the public sector. The objective of working with young companies is to combine the knowledge of the vehicle sector accumulated over decades with new perspectives, agile working methods and innovative ideas.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Strategic investments in innovative start-ups

In order to make new approaches market-ready, Mercedes-Benz Vans is investing in several innovative start-ups in the areas of automation, robotics and mobility services in a first step. One of the companies that Mercedes-Benz Vans has a stake in is Matternet, a US-based developer of autonomous drone logistics systems. Together with Matternet, Mercedes-Benz Vans worked on the Vision Van show car, the first integrated delivery system that automates last-mile delivery. The new system, which combines van and drone logistics, is a more efficient, faster and a more economical way for people to receive goods on-demand.

Mercedes-Benz Vans achieves most successful first half year ever with records in unit sales, revenue, EBIT and return on sales

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

In the first half of 2016, Mercedes-Benz Vans achieved the best figures in its history. Unit sales increased by 21 percent to approximately 176 200 vehicles (prior-year: approximately 145 400 units). The entire product portfolio contributed to this increase in unit sales. Revenue was up 19 percent to 6256 million euros, another best-ever level (prior-year: 5244 million euros). EBIT and return on sales climbed by 56 percent and 30 percent to 702 million euros and 11.2 percent reaching a new record level (prior-year: 449 million euros and 8.6 percent). Mercedes-Benz Vans anticipates further significant growth in unit sales for the 2016 financial year as a whole. The business division is also expecting a significantly higher EBIT from ongoing business in 2016 compared to 2015 as well as a significantly higher return on sales.

The Mercedes-Benz Vans division

Mercedes-Benz Vans is a global full-line supplier of vans and related services. Alongside the large-size Sprinter van and the mid-size Vito van (known in the US as Metris), the division’s worldwide product portfolio includes the Mercedes-Benz Citan urban delivery van. Mercedes-Benz Vans is also represented in the private segment with the V-Class MPV and the Marco Polo and Marco Polo ACTIVITY travel vans. The division has a total of nine production locations: in Germany, Spain, the USA, Argentina, China (joint venture with Fujian Benz Automotive Co., Ltd), France (strategic alliance with Renault-Nissan) and Russia (partnerships with GAZ and YaMZ). To date, the main markets have been in Western Europe, accounting for a total of 65 percent of unit sales in 2015.

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18 responses to "Mercedes-Benz Unveils New Electric Vision Van"

  1. SJC says:

    The drones on the roof are a bit much.

    1. JIMIJON says:

      This is entire exercise laughable.

      1. mx9000 says:

        Nope. This is the future.

        Exxon Shareholders take note.
        Mercedes shareholders gave management some heat about being out-engineered by Tesla, and suddenly, there’s progress.

        Or, you could continue to watch Exxon and it’s slide to bankruptcy. Oil Futures market goes out 2 years with no price higher then $53 a barrel. Exxon going into debt funding expensive dividend payments. Exxon spending ZERO on growth into solar and wind.

        That’s the formula coal used to go bankrupt.

  2. Steve says:

    Top pictures look like the van was designed to deploy Battle Droids.
    Maybe BMW will develop a Jedi van.

  3. georgeS says:

    What’s the big radiator grill in the front for?

    1. no comment says:

      it doesn’t look like a grill to me, but of course mercedes-benz is going to want accommodation to be able to display the logo.

    2. John says:

      Drone Cooling System.

    3. philip d says:

      It looks like led lights with a dark background. Anyway I assumed it was representation of a horse mouth for those who are still used to carriages.

    4. Yogurt says:

      It is an electronic display…
      In one of the pictures it has the continents displayed on it…

      Very cool concept that will hopefuly make it to production…

    5. bogdan says:

      It’s the ICE cooling system, what else. oops!

      While Mercedes presents visions (they should really got to an eye doctor if they have such visions), the german Post is building it’s own BEV Van because it needs it badly. And since the car manufacturers are busy presenting visions, the post has do it itself.

      Too bad Mercedes doesn’t think there is market for electric vans.

  4. Rick Bronson says:

    This is just a Vision and not a Reality.

    When Tesla starts building a Van, may be MB will bring this to market.

  5. Driverguy01 says:

    and look at that, no steering wheel! Model 3 might just get a joystick after all. can’t wait for part 2.

  6. wavelet says:

    blah blah blah CONCEPT blah blah.

    Booo!

    1. Yogurt says:

      They have to make cooncepts before they make real cars same as gas ones…

      Hopefuly it will make it to production in some form…

      1. wavelet says:

        They’ve been making concepts for years.

        It’s not like it’s a wild, unproven category — small-ish, delivery-range are an obvious low-hanging-fruit BEV market, as can be seen by sales of the eNV-200, Kangoo ZE etc — these trucks don’t need high speeds or acceleration, so aerodynamics isn’t an issue, and do a lot of stop/starts — just the thing for a BEV over an ICE.

        The drones are completely irrelevant.

  7. Bill howland says:

    Daimler’s marketing dept sure takes alot of words to say almost nothing.

    Do the delivery drones mean I’m going to save shipping costs on my Amazon purchases? Am I supposed to shake hands with the 4 props when it hovers in front of my doorbell?

  8. Get Real says:

    Really, a CGI concept available in the distant future–maybe???

    This is Daimler’s only response to getting their ass kicked by Tesla vis a vis the Model S destroying S class sales.

    Pretty pathetic IMHO. They would be a lot more credible if they could just put out just ONE compelling EV!

  9. Foo says:

    I can’t help seeing just a big red-lipped mouth, and creepy eye-less face, on the back.