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Solar panels on the roof and low wear tyres and brakes make the Mercedes-Benz Sustaineer a tech showcase for the future of delivery vans.

28 Oct 2021 | International News : Germany

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled what could be the ultimate sustainable delivery vehicle.

Called the Sustaineer (a portmanteau of the words 'sustainability' and 'pioneer'), the concept will serve as a technology demonstrator for how sustainable options could protect the climate, conserve resources, and improve driver health and safety.

The solar panels on the roof of the van are able to produce up to 850W of power
Powered by an electric drivetrain, the Mercedes-Benz Sustaineer will be able to generate some of its own power, thanks to solar panels that fit well onto the flat contour of its roof. Mercedes states the 4.8sqm system is able to generate a peak output of 850W in ideal conditions.

The solar panels can also be used to operate energy-intensive systems such as the air-conditioning and load compartment cooling systems, or for charging battery-powered tools, smartphones and laptops.

Beyond keeping air pollution down with its electric drivetrain, the Mercedes Sustaineer also utilises low-emission, low-wear brake discs and tyres, which are optimised for minimal rolling resistance and therefore deliver low levels of both noise and wear.

The low-wear items also have the added advantage of reducing the production of fine particles, further contributing to cleaner city air.

Ducting system helps to channel air from under the van through particulate filters before it reaches the cabin
Speaking of fine particles, the van utilises two fine particulate filters. The first, located near the rear axle, filters air from the van and other vehicles by channelling it through a ducting system.

The second filter meanwhile, works with the extractor fan to clean the air even when the vehicle is travelling at low speeds or stationary when charging.

There's also plenty of sustainable materials used to create the Sustaineer concept. It gets its underbody panelling made from recycled polypropylene and used tyres, as well as a filler material made from recycled household waste.

Natural straw panels are also utilised for the partition between the load compartment and the cab. The material is recyclable, biodegradable and formaldehyde-free and can be given a waterproof coating. Vegan leather is used for the steering wheel of the concept.

Mercedes-Benz is convinced of the ecological and economic advantages of battery-electric vans and is preparing to go fully electric before the end of the decade, wherever market conditions allow. As part of its 'Ambition 2039' business strategy, Mercedes-Benz Vans is pursuing the objective of making the fleet of private and commercial vans carbon neutral throughout their complete life cycle.

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