North Charleston, South Carolina – Mercedes-Benz plans to spend about $410 million at three global plants to make the electric version of its Sprinter commercial van. The eSprinter will be made in North Charleston, South Carolina, in the U.S. and in Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde in Germany.
Based on a new platform announced at the end of 2020, the next generation of the eSprinter targets new customer segments and markets, including the U.S. and Canada.
“The future of mobility is electric in the transport sector, especially in the last mile delivery segment. Our share of battery-electric vehicles is constantly growing," says Marcus Breitschwerdt, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. "With our newly developed Electric Versatility Platform, we are significantly expanding our offering in the commercial series.”
Mercedes executives say producing the van at three sites will allow the automaker to meet demand in multiple regions.
Dr. Ingo Ettischer, head of Production at Mercedes-Benz Vans, said electric van production will start in the second half of 2023.
As early as 2022, Mercedes-Benz' passenger car and van plants will be CO2-neutral worldwide in line with the targets of Ambition 2039. Mercedes-Benz will seek to avoid or cut emissions generated from vehicle production or from the energy supply used by the plants.
The current generation of the eSprinter is already being built in Düsseldorf together on one line with conventionally driven Sprinter models. The principle of manufacturing both drive train variants will also be implemented at the plants in Charleston and Ludwigsfelde. In this way, it will be possible to respond very precisely to the respective market needs in the future. In addition to the previously available variant as a panel van, the next generation of the eSprinter will also be produced as a chassis model and will thus serve as a basic vehicle for, among other things, ambulances, motorhomes, or refrigerated transporters.
“Our North Charleston plant will be the first to bring the next generation of the eSprinter to the United States," said Arnhelm Mittelbach, president & CEO of Mercedes-Benz Vans, LLC. “The next generation eSprinter will support a sustainable future for the company and the environment, and we look forward to this investment in our Charleston team and facility.”
The Mercedes-Benz plant in Ladson/North Charleston, was founded 15 years ago as an assembly plant for Sprinter and Metris vans, and was expanded to part-by-part production for Sprinter vans in 2018. By the end of 2020, the Plant in Charleston had about 1,600 employees.