Mercedes-Benz was present at the 2017 CES with two concept electric cars:

  • First is the 200+ mile Generation EQ SUV, first shown in Paris, which will enter market in the next three years,
  • Second is the Vision Van, that Daimler says indicates future of light commercial vehicles from Mercedes
For CES, the Mercedes-Benz Vision Van especially fits in - complete with its two drones on the roof for small parcel deliveries, and robotized cargo space.

However if you listen to Daimler in the first in a series of talks at the technology show (above, with more in the series found below), it really isn't so much about the Vision Van (which is cool in its own right), Daimler really sounds convinced that electric vehicles are the way to go - today, and they are putting their money behind those words (from the 8:00 mark).

"We now are moving literally billions billions of our R&D budget into this (electrification).  Why is now the right time? ...now the technology is really coming together on the electric drive.  The energy density on of the batteries is starting to get interesting.  The cost of this technology through scale is starting to come down, so that it becomes a economical proposition.  

We believe that in the next 5 to 10 years this is really going to take off, and we are ready to take off with it, with a whole host of interesting products around the product brand EQ."

More on the US Vision Van, an all-electric concept with a 75 kW motor and range of 80-270 km (50-168 miles) below.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Mercedes-Benz at CES 2017: Vision Van

The demands on vans for final-mile deliveries have undergone repeated changes in recent years. Not least due to the boom in e-commerce, the number of deliveries is growing from year to year and customers are increasingly demanding new services that are not possible with conventional vans. To show what the van of the future must be capable of, Mercedes-Benz Vans built a concept vehicle called Vision Van and unveiled it to the world's public in September 2016.

  • The Vision Van offers the intelligence of a state-of-the-art logistics centre on four wheels and demonstrates what efficient final-mile deliveries can look like. It allows efficiency gains of up to 50 percent in comparison with a conventional van.
  • The Vision Van is fully connected and has two parcel delivery drones on the roof as well as a fully automated cargo space system. In addition, the van of the future features a one-shot loading process and is equipped with a battery-electric powertrain.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Electric powertrain

  • The Vision Van is equipped with a battery-electric powertrain that makes for local zero emissions and virtually silent operation.
  • Range can be optimised between 80 and 270 km depending on application. Rated output of 75 kW/102 hp (150 kW/204 hp short-term peak output), 270 Nm torque.
  • Optimised vehicle architecture: electric powertrain means more cargo space because cargo liftgate is further forward. Improved ergonomics and flat cargo space floor due to absence of transmission tunnel.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Cargo space

  • Fully automated system means huge efficiency gains during loading and unloading. One-shot loading: racks can be loaded outside of the vehicle, reducing the loading/idle time from an average of 90 minutes to around 5 minutes.
  • Automatic cargo space system actively supports the delivery agent with address-specific output of parcels. No need for sorting, plus avoidance of incorrect deliveries.
Delivery drones
  • Two fully integrated, autonomous delivery drones on the vehicle roof. Autonomous flight via GPS and sensors, range 20 km, carrying capacity around 2 kg.
  • Drone landing pad integrated in roof, automatic loading by the Vision Van's cargo space system.