Mercedes-Benz Vito E-CELL Proves Perfect for Special Needs
Mercedes-Benz is responding to customers' calls for a zero-emission refrigerator vehicle with the Vito E-CELL
by Jim Davis | 30 November 2011
European restaurants are discovering the virtues of local emission-free driving thanks in part to refrigerator van specialist Kerstner who is presenting the first refrigerator van variant of the Mercedes-Benz Vito E-CELL at the Solutrans trade show in Lyon/France from November 29 to December 3.
Refrigerator van that runs totally local emission-free
Their business is in the city: compact refrigerator vans based on the Mercedes-Benz Vito supply specialist stores and restaurants with fresh and temperature-sensitive foods. Urban settings are also the natural habitat of the local emission-free VitoE-CELL. Kerstner, a leading brand for refrigerator vans, has now taken the logical step of building the first refrigerator van variant of the Vito E-CELL, generating zero local emissions.
With this vehicle, Mercedes-Benz is responding to customers’ calls for a zero-emission refrigerator vehicle. The refrigerator body from Kerstner represents yet another customer-oriented solution from Mercedes-Benz.
Refrigerator unit powered by separate battery
The refrigeration set-up from Kerstner is based on the familiar and proven complete solution which is already being marketed successfully by Mercedes-Benz branches and partners under the Mercedes-Benz VanSolution programme. Here, the flat refrigerator unit on the roof of the Vito is supplied with power from a separate lithium-ion battery, however. This battery operates independently of the Vito E-CELL’s traction battery, providing autonomous cooling for six to ten hours, after which it can be recharged at the mains in a maximum of four hours. The refrigeration unit does not impose any restrictions on the Vito E-CELL’s range.
Kerstner puts the battery’s service life at 3000 charging cycles. At one charging cycle per day over 240 working days a year, this amounts to a lifespan of around twelve years. The battery is supplied with power independently of the traction battery, via a separate charging system. The additional battery and the separate charger reduce the refrigerator van’s maximum payload by only 75 kg.
Conversion based on tried and tested equipment
The body is based on Kerstner’s tried and tested equipment. With an overall height of 2000 mm including refrigerator unit, the refrigerator van variant of the Vito E-CELL is also suitable for underground garages. The load compartment has a volume of 3.5 m³. Its floor is fitted with diamond-tread aluminium sheeting. Based in Gross-Rohrheim to the south of Frankfurt, Kerstner has been developing air-conditioning and cooling systems and insulating fit-outs for over 20 years. Insulation and cooling technology thus originate from the same manufacturer.
Vito E-CELL: first van to be factory-fitted with electric drive
The Mercedes-Benz Vito E-CELL is the first van to be factory-fitted with an electric drive. It is based on the medium-length Vito panel van with a wheelbase of 3200 mm. Its electric motor generates a continuous output of 60 kW and maximum power of 70 kW. The peak torque stands at 280 Nm.
The traction batteries are accommodated under the floor, without interfering with the load compartment. The Vito E-CELL’s high maximum payload of 850 kg ensures that it is fully suitable for commercial use. The capacity of the lithium-ion batteries stands at 36 kWh, resulting in a range of around 130 km, which is fully adequate for urban delivery operations.
The multiple award-winning Vito E-CELL is produced at the Vitoria plant in Spain’s Basque region, on the same production lines as all other Vitos. As previously announced, Mercedes-Benz has begun production of a series of 2000 Vito E-CELLs this year. Almost 400 of these vehicles have been built to date.