Mercedes-Benz says it believes its Vito E-Cell is the first ex-factory battery-electric van.
The new van has a 130km range and is “ideally suitable for inner-city operations” and in environmentally sensitive areas. Neither payload weight nor cube are cut by the emission-free drive line and batteries and the vehicle is virtually silent to run. The firm says it is building a 100-strong batch and plans to make 2,000 more from 2011.
Mercedes says subsidies and tax breaks in many countries mean that the Vito E-Cell is “considerably” cheaper to run than a diesel Vito. The firm also says that diesel fuel is up to seven times more costly than off-peak electricity.
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