VAN.EA – a modular and scalable purpose-built EV architecture

Mercedes-Benz Vans has firmly anchored its leadership aspiration for electric mobility in its strategy.

Starting 2026, all newly developed vans from Mercedes-Benz will be based on just one single innovative, modular and scalable architecture called VAN.EA, short for Van Electric Architecture. According to the “electric-only” strategy, VAN.EA has been developed as scratch for a purpose battery electric vehicle (BEV).

All future midsize and large vans will be built on it, both commercial and private. VAN.EA-based vehicles will focus on added value for the customers and their individual needs, whether for a commercial application as a versatile premium all-rounder or as a private luxury van.

With the VAN.EA one architecture strategy, Mercedes-Benz Vans will reduce the complexity of its purpose-built EV product portfolio translating into significant economies of scale. It is planned to reduce the portfolio variants by more than 50% compared to current vans with an internal combustion engine (ICE) while still offering the same use cases for the customers.

“Starting 2026, we will introduce our purpose-built EV architecture VAN.EA. This enables us to consolidate our midsize and large vans down to only one architecture and significantly reduce the complexity of our product portfolio. Maximum added value for customers with sustainable profitability at the same time: VAN.EA clearly underscores our aspiration to be ‘Lead in Electric’.” -Mathias Geisen, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans

The architecture (VAN.EA)

With VAN.EA, Mercedes-Benz Vans focuses on efficiency and performance in every aspect of the vehicle – including aerodynamics, drivetrain, tires and chassis. The goal is to achieve a high range with an optimal battery capacity, which is directly related to vehicle weight and costs.

A modular and scalable architecture also means a high degree of scale effects as well as maximum synergies through leaner, simpler and faster processes. Maximum efficiency when using resources in development as well as in production, secures sustainable profitability.

The three blocks of VAN.EA help to achieve these targets:
The front block consists of the electric powertrain and the front axle. The block is the same in all VAN.EA variants and resembles an optimized common parts strategy. The differentiation relevant to the customer takes place in the two other areas. The center block scales the vehicle length. This is also the placement of the standardized battery case, in which different capacities of the high-voltage batteries are installed. The rear module will be available in two versions: With an electric motor (along with one in the front) for the all-wheel-drive variants of VAN.EA and without electric motor for the front-wheel drive variants.

Based on these three blocks, VAN.EA brings a clear differentiation between privately and commercially used vans, but allows platform synergies.

The luxury private vans (VAN.EA-P)

VAN.EA-P stands for privately positioned vans in the midsize segment with a new level of luxury. Whether for lifestyle-oriented customers with the highest standards, as a VIP shuttle, as a locally CO2- emissions free mobile office or for leisure-active families: Due to the innovative Mercedes-Benz Operating System (MB.OS), VAN.EA-P is “always on” and masters any daily challenge. With a planned range of well over 500 kilometers (~310 miles), it is perfectly suited for all kinds of activities, even outside cities. SAE Level 2 automated driving is planned for market launch, SAE Level 3 is planned to be realized by the end of the decade.1

The premium commercial vans (VAN.EA-C)

VAN.EA-C stands for premium commercial vans in the midsize and large segments. It is the ideal base for customers who value functionality, range, payload and cargo space. With its modular and scalable design, the architecture is tailored for different configurations and upfitter solutions: From Courier, Express and Parcel delivery (Last Mile Delivery) vehicles to ambulances or eGrocery vans, from municipal vans or box upfits to lifting platforms or recreational vehicles (RV), almost everything is conceivable.

With MB.OS, Mercedes-Benz Vans will offer more digital extras for the commercial customers including access to third party apps. At market launch, SAE Level 2 automated driving will be available, SAE Level 4 is planned to be realized by end of the decade to address the business potential of driverless transportation2.

“According to the ‘electric-only’ strategy, VAN.EA is developed from scratch as
a purpose-built electric vehicle, fully leveraging the advantages of the new technology. Our target of more than 50% BEV share by 2030 goes hand in hand with a significant reduction in CO2-emissions across the entire lifecycle of new vans.”
Andreas Zygan, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans Development

New markets, new customers

Mercedes-Benz Vans aims for further profitable growth in its most important regions. Today, Europe is already the strongest market with a 60% share of total sales worldwide. Mercedes-Benz Vans wants to strengthen its position here. Looking ahead, substantial growth potential is being seen in the United States for premium commercial large vans.

In the United States, Mercedes-Benz Vans aims for more profitable and substantially increased sales by 2030 as well as an expansion of the portfolio by adding VAN.EA-based commercial vans to the lineup. Mercedes-Benz Vans also plans to offer VAN.EA-based private vans in an unparalleled luxury positioning to cater to the expectations of its sophisticated customers more strongly. This will be the first time, Mercedes-Benz Vans will offer a privately positioned midsize luxury van in the United States.

Mercedes-Benz Vans will also expand the portfolio of RV vans ”built from factory” with a new model line of fully electric midsize and large camper vans, based on VAN.EA3. The division aims to define the new industry standard with its international RV business partners around the world.

The worldwide Courier, Express and Parcel services (Last Mile Delivery) market with an annual growth of 6-8% per year is a strong driver for fully electric intra- and inter-urban mobility. Mercedes-Benz Vans focuses on the upper price bands of the Last Mile Delivery industry, where it intends to offer a VAN.EA Last Mile Delivery-specific version ”built from factory” for the first time2.

The production network

Mercedes-Benz Vans is reorganizing the global production network with its first pure electric Light Commercial Vehicles (eLCV) plant in Jawor, Poland. The plant aims to set new standards in terms of productivity, lean operations and sustainability for the manufacturing of premium eLCVs worldwide. The production site for the VAN.EA-based large vans will be net carbon neutral – as all owned plants of Mercedes-Benz Vans. However, for the first time Mercedes-Benz Vans plans to cover 100% of the plants energy needs through renewable energy and aims for a combination of different renewable energy sources to cover the electricity and heat requirements. These are expected to include electricity from maximized use of photovoltaics, wind power and heat generation via air heat pumps, geothermal and solar thermal energy and, if necessary, as fallback in peak times, a small amount of biogas.

In addition to the eSprinter and the Sprinter vans with ICE drivetrains, the large cab chassis based on VAN.EA will be built in Düsseldorf, Germany. The plant in Ludwigsfelde, the second of two plants in Germany, will continue to produce Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Mercedes-Benz eSprinter and will shift to become a competence center for eVan customization, for example for Recreational Vehicles. In addition, Mercedes-Benz Vans will build VAN.EA-based midsize vans in its plant in Vitoria, Spain.

Mercedes-Benz Vans electrification strategy

Mercedes-Benz Vans has firmly anchored its leadership aspiration for electric mobility in its strategy. With the Vito E-CELL, Mercedes-Benz Vans was already a pioneer in the European market for locally CO2-emissions free vans in 2010.

In 2023, Mercedes-Benz Vans offers fully electric variants in every segment, from small over midsize to large vans. With VAN.EA, Mercedes-Benz Vans implements the next stage in its electrification strategy. Starting 2026, all midsize and large vans based on the new modular architecture will be electric-only.

Mercedes-Benz Vans has a market share of over 20% in Europe in 2022 for electric large and midsize vans. More than 40,000 eVans have been sold already and Mercedes-Benz Vans is targeting further strong growth in the electric segment.

1 The functions described are visions for the future, some of which might not be available at market launch and will depend on the respective vehicle model, the individual configuration and the respective market.
 The functions described are visions for the future, some of which might not be available at market launch and will depend on the respective vehicle model, the individual configuration and the respective market.
3 Country restrictions may apply. Some features or products might not be available and will depend on the respective market.

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