Mercedes-Benz will add a luxury mid-size electric van to its U.S. lineup, the automaker said on Tuesday.
Mercedes' local lineup currently has two vans in the form of the mid-size Metris and full-size Sprinter, though both are stripped-out commercial offerings. The luxury van will be aimed at private buyers, such as big families, camping fans, and possibly even RV buyers.
The van will be based on a new dedicated EV platform being developed to underpin all future vans at Mercedes. Dubbed Van.EA, the platform is scheduled to spawn its first model in 2026. Timing for any Van.EA products in the U.S., including the luxury van, hasn't been announced.
The Van.EA platform features a three-module design that allows it to be easily adapted to various vehicle sizes. A front module houses high-voltage power control hardware and an electric motor, and is common to all vehicles based on the platform. A center module available in different lengths and fitting various battery configurations determines the size of the vehicles based on the platform. A rear module contains the rear axle, either with a motor for all-wheel drive or without for front-wheel drive.
Next-generation Mercedes-Benz eSprinter
An early version of this concept is found in the platform of the 2024 eSprinter full-size electric van that starts sales in the U.S. in the second half of 2023.
For the luxury van, buyers can expect similar features to what Mercedes offers in its luxury cars and SUVs. This will include automated self-driving technology, up to Level 3 on the SAE scale of self-driving capability.
Mercedes has already had some success in the U.S. with van sales. The automaker said it doubled its U.S. van market share from 8% in 2018 to 16% in 2022. Mercedes also said it aims to have electric vans account for 20% of its total van sales by 2026 and 50% by 2030.
Before the luxury van arrives, Mercedes will update its current mid-size van line, which includes the Metris and a luxury option known as the V-Class that's sold overseas and includes an EQV electric variant. The update of the current mid-size van line is scheduled for this summer. It's rumored the Metris will be dropped from Mercedes' U.S. lineup following the introduction of the update.