Mercedes-Benz eVito review

Date: Monday, March 25, 2024

On Sale: January 2023
Key Rival: Ford E-Transit Custom

When operators are exploring the feasibility of taking on electric vans, the twin challenges of battery range and charging infrastructure suitability are likely to loom large in their considerations.

For large fleets with vans covering set routes every day and charging points installed at their HQs the transition may be relatively painless, likewise for small businesses or owner/drivers who can charge overnight at home.

But for those with unpredictable driving routes who need to rely on the public charging network, switching to an electric van could prove to be more of a headache.

With medium and large vans generally required to cover greater distances than compact vans, which were the first to embrace electrification, we decided to take a Mercedes-Benz eVito out of its urban comfort zone on a cross country road trip to rural Gloucestershire.

The eVito features a 66kWh battery, allowing a range of up to 162 miles on the official WLTP cycle. The single-speed forward gear transmission comes with three drive modes: C (comfort), which delivers the most power and is thus quick off the mark and suited to carrying heavy loads but eats into range; E (efficiency), which sacrifices a bit of power but improves economy; E+ (efficiency plus), which ekes out the most range but significantly reduces performance and would not be suitable for hauling heavy loads on steep inclines.

The plug-in van also offers a choice of regenerative braking settings: at one end of the scale D+ allows the vehicle to coast with no retardation and at the other extreme D- enables a good deal of one-pedal driving by instantly cutting speed when the driver releases the throttle while simultaneously feeding energy back into the battery.

Once we had got used to the various modes and settings we found the most satisfying combination to be C with D-, which gives you keen performance in tandem with that range-enhancing regenerative braking. We found not having to use the footbrake so regularly quickly became a relaxing way to drive.

Having left south-east London with a stated available range of 135 miles we headed west across the city and along the M4 until arriving at Reading services with a remaining battery range of 90 miles. Here we plugged into a rapid DC charger, which costs 79p/kWh and can be paid for with a debit or credit card.

A cup of coffee, a cake and a comfort break later we returned to the van to find its range replenished to 160 miles, which was enough to get us to our destination in the heart of the countryside but unlikely to be sufficient to get us back to an M4 DC charger for the return journey after the weekend.

On a trip to the local village, we therefore made use of a Connected Kerb AC charging point, having downloaded the app. While the cost is lower, at 49p/kWh, it takes at least an hour to add 25 miles range so it’s advisable to have something to do in the meantime.

For a tradesperson such as a plumber, electrician or landscape gardener, this charging would ideally happen while they are at work but good forward planning, with the help of tools such as ZapMap, is essential and for some, electric vans will still lack the go-anywhere functionality they need.

The eVito itself comes in two trim levels, Progressive and the well-upholstered Premium tested here in L2 guise. 

Rear entry to the front-wheel drive L2 eVito’s 6.0m3 load bay (L3 offers 6.6m3) is through twin doors that can be swung through 90°, then through 180º if required. They are usefully complemented by a sliding door on each side of the cargo body. A disadvantage is that towing is not permitted.

The Premium’s interior includes air-conditioning, a reversing camera, parking sensors, heated seats (optional for the passenger bench seats), cruise control, two USB sockets and a 12V power point. A 7in touchscreen controls many of the in-cab functions but is too small; the clock, for example, is difficult to read.

The driver’s seat and the leather-trimmed steering wheel are both height-adjustable, the seat back comes with lumbar adjustment and the angle of the seat cushion can be altered. The passengers’ seating, however, is rigid and less accommodating. On the other hand, storage provision is generous and, more importantly, the eVito is well stocked with ADAS and safety equipment. 

Mercedes-Benz eVito Premium

Price (ex VAT, inc PIVG) £46,900

Price range (ex VAT, inc PIVG) £43,600 - £46,900

Insurance group 39E

Warranty 3yrs/unlimited mls (battery capacity 8yrs/100,000mls)

Service intervals 1yr/24,854mls 

Load length 2,461mm

Load width (min/max) 1,270mm/1,685mm

Load bay height 1,391mm

Gross payload 749kg

Load volume 6.0m3

Engine size/power 85kW electric motor 114hp 

Range 162 miles

CO2 0g/km



A competent electric van but it cannot be considered class leading.


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