December 2, 2021

Beyond Going Long

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Slovak couriers exchange cars.  We experienced what it's like to drive a Mercedes electric truck

Slovak couriers exchange cars. We experienced what it’s like to drive a Mercedes electric truck

Today, the average electric cars comically reach a mileage of 400-500 kilometers, and the best of them even double it. But it’s time for the electricity supply, which started where the electricity began.

We are talking about a large flashlight from the Mercedes eSprinter, that is, an entire truck powered by an electric motor and a battery. And why did eSprinter start where the first personal electric cars started?

Because of its range, which is really low by today’s standards. But if you’re throwing an electronic printer in the trash that says “unusable,” you’re making a huge mistake. A full power supply, even with only a short range, really makes sense.

We’ve been driving a Mercedes eSprinter all week and have tried several typical situations where we’ve found a few industries where a truck with a real range of about 100 km is also important.

In the review you will find:

  • What eSprinter offers technically and technically
  • What a great selection of electrical supplies
  • How is shipping?
  • What are the biggest drawbacks of this commercial vehicle
  • Where you can find short range electronic printer for your application
  • Which eliminates the potential of the car almost completely
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Supplies are usually supplied with larger motors. That is, even in a fully loaded state, the car can accelerate and tow the entire group with a weight of 3.5 tons. In the case of electric propulsion, let’s not look for a massive motor, let’s just look at the net power of the electric motor, which the Mercedes eSprinter delivers – up to 85 kW, that is, 116 hp.

Martin Cutler/Fontech

This power is quite enough for the needs of the delivery, of course it is not a sting, but it is not even classic deliveries with internal combustion engines. At high speeds and at full load, the electric motor is already a little anxious, but the highway is far from the electric sprinter’s “court” so it’s not even a problem.

Martin Cutler/Fontech

There are two configurations that differ in battery capacity. The base device has a battery with a usable capacity of 35 kWh, and the higher capacity is 47 kWh. However, in this case, a larger battery is automatically better. We already know very well from personal electric cars that the larger the battery, the more noticeably the weight.

Martin Cutler/Fontech

Cargoes are heavy in themselves due to their size, and in order to fit into the permissible total weight of 3.5 tons, it is necessary to provide every kilogram, which we can then use in the form of a cargo.

Martin Cutler/Fontech

The version with a smaller battery has a loading capacity of 1006 kg, while the version with a larger battery is only 852 kg. In this case, it depends a lot on the load you want to carry with delivery and whether higher mileage of a few kilometers is more important, but it comes at the cost of a lower load capacity of up to 150 kg.

Martin Cutler/Fontech

If we look at the paper range, an electronic printer with a larger battery will travel 157 km on a single WLTP charge, while the 35 kWh version will cover only 120 km, but also “only on paper”. As for the storage space, it is the same in both versions. It is even the same as in the case of the Sprinter with a stove, so the battery does not deprive the future owner of the interior space.

Martin Cutler/Fontech

But we got to the real values ​​of the range, which was disappointing at the first moment. Even paper data is no longer impressive and we know from practice that it is often less so in reality.

Martin Cutler/Fontech

For clarity, we tested a version with a 35 kWh battery and, accordingly, a range of 120 km. Reality? This value is very hard to come by, it’s real in a city under ideal conditions, but you will only experience ideal conditions a few times a year. So if you’re driving around town, calculate a range of 100km to 110km during the warmer months.

Martin Cutler/Fontech

In winter, of course, the range will be less, and, according to our estimates, up to 100 kilometers will be just a wish. Driving through neighborhoods at a “snail” speed distorted the range of 100 km in the summer, but in this case we did not exceed the speed of 80 km / h.

Martin Cutler/Fontech

The good news is that the weight of the payload does not significantly affect the already low range, so you can always count on those at least 80 km. For the version with a larger battery, this will probably range from 100 to 110 km in practice with a mixture of city and region.

Martin Cutler/Fontech

When we began to wonder for whom such an electrical supply could be used, it occurred to us to ask the couriers themselves how many kilometers they travel in a day during their work. In a smaller town, postmen travel about 100 kilometers per day. However, those who drive out of town can cover nearly 200 kilometers per day, which means that the eSprinter is no longer suitable for them.

Martin Cutler/Fontech

In large cities, such as Bratislava or other regional cities of Slovakia, couriers also travel up to 100 kilometers per day. In this case, the version with a smaller battery will also be enough. Carriers for other logistics companies are very similar. Those who drive to the villages directly surrounding the logistics center will travel 150-160 kilometers per day. On Nitra, the courier travels 70 km per day with 100 parcels per day, so an electronic printer with a smaller battery will be enough in this case even in the winter months.

Martin Cutler/Fontech

Plus, if they can charge you a half-hour delivery charge during lunch, you don’t have to worry at all that the car will leave them somewhere on the road before the last package is delivered. The smaller battery means the car charges relatively quickly, although the charging power isn’t terrible. The tested model had an additional 80 kW charge.

Martin Cutler/Fontech

Basically, there is only a 20 kW DC charger and 7.4 AC charging, but more powerful charging is definitely something worth paying more. With the 80 kW charger, the version with a smaller battery charges from 10 to 80% in just 20 minutes. With a slower charger, it’s up to 70 minutes. The electric Sprinter charges with a 47kWh battery to 80% on an 80kWh stand in 25 minutes, which is also a good time. The reality showed that within 40 minutes the car was fully charged from 12%, while we were only “stuck” in a 50 kW DC charger.

In practical terms, this means that if a carrier stops during the day to unload cargo or lunch for a longer period and in the meantime can charge the car, it can essentially double its daily range in this way.

Martin Cutler/Fontech

At night, it is sufficient to connect the car to an AC mount or a charger to a 230V mains, which can be easily charged in 6 or 8 hours, depending on the size of the battery. As for the technical equipment, it is also not impressive. After all, you don’t need that much in a commercial vehicle. But basically we find the heated driver’s seat or keyless start.

For an extra fee, you can get blind spot monitoring, a reversing camera built into the rearview mirror or even displays like windshield washers built directly into the wipers. For example, there is no possibility to purchase an automatic air conditioner or cruise control, which are now standard even with the cheapest cars. However, the absence of this element only confirms what is the “playground” of the Mercedes eSprinter.

summary

The Mercedes eSprinter Stadium is the city. You do not need cruise control in the city, because you are constantly moving and braking. You also don’t need an active lane-keeping system and even automatic air conditioning, as the temperature in the cab will change regularly as you get in and out.

And above all this is the range itself, which is quite sufficient for the needs of city couriers. Mercedes eSprinter is by no means a global delivery that meets the needs of 99% of Slovak carriers.

It is strictly intended for city parcel delivery or other goods delivery within major cities. After all, major cities are likely to be the first to start restricting combustion vehicles.

Thus, an electric runner can be an ideal choice for those who have their business in such areas. But the problem is the price. The model with a 35 kWh battery starts at €65,670, and the one with a larger battery goes for €73,980. In the case of commercial vehicles, it is also essential that the car be able to earn itself, which can be a real problem in the case of the electric Mercedes Sprinter.

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