This new model is designed for urban duty, based on the traditional Vito model but only in its look. A series of modifications were made underneath.
Designed for urban duty, the first 100 electric vehicles Vito E-CELLs are now being built at the Mercedes-Benz Vito assembly plant in Spain, on the same production line as other Vito models. Mercedes says this demonstrates that the Vito E-CELL is a series production model and not a prototype.
The lithium-ion batteries are instaled beneath the wheel base, so capacity is not compromised. The lithium-ion battery pack consists of 16 modules for a total of 192 cells. The permanent magnet synchronous motor produces a continuous output of 60 kilowatts (80 horsepower).
Mercedes-Benz is leasing the first 100 units to a dozen fleets in Berlin and Stuttgart, with additional units planned for Spain’s Basque region early next year. Production will ramp up to another 2,000 electric vehicles for 2011. Four year demonstrations are planned.
One important feature is the fact that the Vito E-Cell has a 1980 pound cargo capacity and can handle the typical average daily requirement range for a work vehicle. This is accomplished by using the permanent synchronous electric motor that the Vito has under the hood along with power electronics, the transformer and the charging unit.