The quest to drive down local emissions, particularly in urban areas, is leading many businesses to adopt electric vehicles.
Electric panel vans, for example, are ideal for last-mile delivery applications – and their all-electric nature often exempts them from increasingly common emissions-based charges and restrictions.
Some companies have added refrigeration units to such vans, allowing customers needing to deliver temperature-sensitive goods to join the electric vehicle revolution.
However, these refrigerated electric vans typically rely on large independent auxiliary batteries – or, alternatively, the use of dry ice and cooling pads. These solutions are far from ideal and often result in weight, sustainability and packaging problems.
Mercedes-Benz Vans, to aid companies looking to update their fleets, has subsequently developed a capable and more viable refrigerated version of its eVito electric panel van.
It features a Kerstner C106EA refrigerating unit which, unlike others, is primarily powered by the vehicle’s onboard battery.
This means that no large additional battery is required and that the system is more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
An additional small buffer battery is fitted, that said, which provides power for the refrigerating unit when the van is stopped during breaks and deliveries.
This, in conjunction with the option of mains power for the unit when the vehicle is parked, prevents excessive reduction of the eVito’s range.
German specialist Kerstner, which supplies the electrically driven refrigeration unit, also comprehensively insulates the van’s load compartment to save more energy.
Seven of these vans are now being operated in Belgium by food box provider HelloFresh.
No specific range is given for the refrigerated variant of the eVito but it is claimed to handle up to 50 deliveries per route, which reportedly allows HelloFresh to operate undisrupted.
In standard form, on the more stringent WLTP test cycle, the eVito is otherwise claimed to have a range of 150km.