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Mercedes-Benz is set to start production of a battery electric version of their Vito van, with the first phase to begin later this year

21 Feb 2010 | International News : Germany

Mercedes-Benz will build 100 units of the all-electric van in the first phase, which will begin later this year. 20 customers, who Mercedes-Benz says are mainly "fleet operators and public institutions", will be the recipients of the first units.

The Mercedes-Benz Vito battery electric van uses a 32 kWh lithium-ion battery to provide a range of about 130km. Power is sent to the 90kW electric motor, and the van is electronically limited to a top speed of 80km/h. The low top speed is due to the van's usage in congested, urban environments, and has been tailored to the needs of the customers.

A prototype of the battery-powered vehicle was unveiled in San Sebastian, Spain, at a meeting of the EU Competitiveness Council. The van will be produced just south of San Sebastian, at the Mercedes-Benz factory in Vitoria. If the test run is successful, Mercedes-Benz will produce an additional 2000 units of the Vito electric van to further market testing.

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