Mercedes-Benz has just unveiled a demonstrator vehicle hinting at where it wants to take its electric delivery vans in the near future. It is, of course, a fully-electric Sprinter, but there’s a lot more to it than that and some of the features we’ve actually not seen before on another vehicle, concept or otherwise.
One of the big things about the Sustaneer is that it has a massive solar array on the roof that measures 4.8 square meters or around 52 square feet. Mercedes says it can provide as much as 3,800 km (just under 2,400 miles) of free range per year, in sunnier areas (although it doesn’t give a concrete example of a region where the figure is achievable).
Another big feature being pushed with this concept are its in-built particle filters that are located in the grille of the vehicle, as well as under it. Their purpose is to clean the air around the vehicle as it drives around, especially the particles emitted by the vehicle itself - even though it’s fully electric, its tires and brakes still pollute the air and this is Mercedes’ answer to that problem.
Gallery: Mercedes-Benz Sustaineer Concept
The manufacturer says the system can clean around 50 percent of particles as small as 10 micrometers that are in close proximity to the vehicle. The sliding door is also smart in this van - they call it the Speedy Delivery door and what’s special about it is it can open on its own when a person approaches and this can apparently save up to 25 minutes on a delivery route with 150 stops.
Recycled and more renewable materials are also used in this vehicle, suggesting Mercedes desire to integrate them into its near-future commercial offerings. The underside cladding, for instance, is made from recycled polypropylene and fibers from recycled tyres, or the partition between the cab part up front and the cargo area in the back, which is made from straw which is treated to make it waterproof.
Mercedes has no intentions of putting an electric Sprinter like this into production. This concept shows some of the ideas the automaker wants to implement in its future vans, which it sees as becoming fully-electric very soon.