Mercedes-Benz eCitan fully electric small van unveiled

Mercedes-Benz Vans sets another example for locally CO₂-emission-free transport: following the model series in the medium and large van segments, the vehicles in the compact van class will soon also be available to order as all-electric variants. In the commercial van segment, the eCitan is being launched as a Panel Van with a choice of two lengths: the 4498 mm compact version and the 4922 mm long version.

As a Tourer for commercial passenger transport, it will initially be available as a “compact” version, with the long version appearing at a slightly later date. Depending on the model, the operating range is between 280 and 284 kilometres according to WLTP. This meets the needs of commercial customers who frequently use the small van models as courier, shuttle and delivery vehicles in urban areas. At fast-charging stations, the 45 kWh battery is charged from 10 to 80 percent SoC (state of charge) within 38 minutes with the installed 80 kW DC charger. Major advantage: the load capacity and payload are comparable to those of the conventionally powered Citan models. For the compact panel van, this is 2.9 cubic metres and up to 544 kilograms, for the long model 3.7 cubic metres and up to 722 kilograms. Prices for the 90 kW eCitan start at around 36,000 euros for the compact model as a Panel Van.

At the same time, the long-wheelbase Citan is already celebrating its sales launch and is now complementing the Mercedes-Benz Vans model range for inner-city delivery and service traffic. It starts as a Panel Van. Tourer and Mixto will follow later.

eCitan Panel Van: Plenty of space and easy loading

In September 2021, Mercedes‑Benz Vans launched the new Citan which is very popular with customers. Now it is followed by the fully electric version, the eCitan. It offers all the advantages of the conventionally powered small van, with no compromises. Compact exterior dimensions with a large amount of space, as well as a high load capacity, open up a wide range of possible uses in inner-city distribution, service and shuttle operations.

A wide-opening sliding door and a low loading sill height of 57 centimetres allow convenient access to the interior and easy loading of the vehicle. As sliding doors are particularly practical in tight parking spaces, a second one is available on request. The load compartment is also easily accessible at the rear. The two sections of the rear door can be locked in a 90-degree position and swung to the side by up to 180 degrees. A tailgate is available as an option. As well as the fixed partition (with and without window) between the driver’s cab and the load compartment, a pivoting partition is available. A grille on the front passenger side can be rotated by 90 degrees, pivoted to the driver’s seat and locked. The front passenger seat is foldable. This creates a flat surface for transporting particularly long objects. The load compartment length is then 3.05 metres for the compact version and 3.41 metres for the long version. A trailer coupling is also available.

eCitan Tourer: For commercial passenger transport

In contrast to the Panel Van, which is optimised for commercial goods transport, the eCitan Tourer is a specialist for locally emission-free passenger transport. The Tourer already has a tailgate with rear window and a second sliding side door as standard. Alternatively, it can also be fitted with rear doors. The bench seat in the rear is 1/3 to 2/3 split-folding. Numerous stowage options make the eCitan Tourer easier to use in everyday life. As an option, tables can be folded out of the backrests of the front seats in the rear of the eCitan Tourer – useful as a writing surface for passengers in the second row or for a snack. Cup holders are also integrated into these tables. Further Tourer-specific options include the ruffled pockets installed low down on the front seat backrests.

A single-piece load compartment cover protects loads in the Tourer against the sun and prying eyes. It can be fixed in three positions, and stowed away behind the rear bench seat when not required. Protection against luggage and cargo is afforded by the luggage net. It can be set in two positions behind either the front seats or rear bench seat.

Two equipment lines, attractive MBUX package and powerful drive system

The eCitan Panel Van and Tourer are available in the BASE and PRO equipment lines. The PRO line has visual upgrades and even more functionality. For example, the door handles and the cover of the sliding door rail are painted in the vehicle colour. The interior and the load compartment have LED lighting. As standard, the eCitan PRO also comes with the Mercedes-Benz audio system, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, air conditioning, electric front windows with comfort function and plastic flooring in the load compartment. The optional Interior Design Package offers further high-quality features such as high-gloss black trim in the instrument panel, chrome surrounds on the air vents in the instrument panel and on the loudspeakers, as well as chrome-plated door handles in the interior.

The optional MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) multimedia system features an intuitive operating concept via a seven-inch touchscreen or touch control buttons on the steering wheel. It also offers Apple Car Play and Android Auto smartphone integration, hands-free Bluetooth connectivity and digital radio (DAB and DAB+). MBUX with navigation additionally includes fast hard-disc navigation, which is particularly convenient to operate thanks to the “Hey Mercedes” Voice Assistant. The other infotainment functions can also be controlled with its help.

The eCitan’s electric motor has a peak output of 90 kW (122 hp). The maximum torque of 245 newton metres is inherently already available when starting off. This allows particularly powerful acceleration from a standing start. The lithium-ion battery is positioned in the underbody ahead of the rear axle, where it is also protected against crashes. It offers a usable capacity of 45 kWh. The eight battery modules use pouch cells.

An externally excited synchronous motor drives the front wheels of the eCitan. The motor is said to be synchronous because the rotor turns at the frequency of the stator’s magnetic field. The frequency is adapted to the speed requirements of the driver in the water-cooled frequency converters of the power electronics. Customers can choose between the Comfort and ECO (range-optimised) drive programs and three recuperation levels (D- / D / D+).

At work, at home or at public charging stations, the eCitan can be charged with alternating current (AC) at 11 kW or optionally 22 kW via the onboard charger. The time required for full charging depends on the available infrastructure and the country-specific vehicle equipment. Using a Mercedes‑Benz Wallbox allows much faster charging than at a household socket.

And things get even faster at fast-charging stations with direct current (DC). Depending on the state of charge (SoC) and the temperature of the high-voltage battery, the eCitan charges with a maximum power of up to 80 kW at a corresponding charging point. This means it can be charged from 10 to 80 percent SoC in 38 minutes. A CCS (Combined Charging Systems) connector is optionally available for AC and DC charging. It is located in the front under the Mercedes star.

Air conditioning by heat pump – economical and comfortable

Whether in buildings, in tumble dryers or as a reverse function in refrigerators: heat pumps allow particularly energy-saving air conditioning. As an option, the eCitan also uses a heat pump to be particularly energy efficient, reduce the power requirement and provide most of the energy for a stable vehicle range through active thermal management. The vehicle’s battery only supplies the compressor of the installed heat pump, and does not take over the actual air conditioning of the vehicle interior.

The intelligent thermal management also ensures that, when charging at a charging station, only the electricity provided there is used for pre-entry climate control. This pre-entry climate control option not only keeps the vehicle battery in the optimum operating range, but also maintains a comfortable interior temperature that is appropriate for the season. This means that the interior temperature does not have to climb to the desired level while driving, but only has to be maintained. The energy content of the vehicle battery is thus mainly available for the drive system.

Numerous helpers in the background: the driving assistance and safety systems

Safety is a key brand value of Mercedes-Benz. The eCitan is likewise being launched with a comprehensive range of driving assistance and safety systems. The driving assistance systems support drivers in numerous situations, and monitor the traffic and surroundings using radar sensors and cameras. When necessary, they can issue warnings and assist the driver by intervening.

In addition to the legally required ABS and ESP systems, the eCitan has the Mercedes‑Benz emergency call system as standard. It offers additional functions over and above those of the legally required eCall. For example, communication is not in the respective national language but in the language that has been set in the infotainment system. This is useful in the event of an accident abroad, for example. The Mercedes‑Benz emergency call centre then notifies the nearest rescue control centre.

In addition, numerous driving assistance systems are already on board as standard in the eCitan Panel Van:

  • Hill Start Assist: Maintains the brake pressure when the driver’s foot moves from the brake pedal to the accelerator when starting uphill, preventing rollback.
  • Crosswind Assist: Can reduce the effects of gusting wind by assisting drivers with braking action at the front and rear wheel on the side facing the wind.
  • ATTENTION ASSIST: Can detect when drivers are becoming increasingly inattentive and drowsy, with an audible and visual prompt to take a break.

The following systems are standard equipment in the eCitan Tourer, and are optionally available for the Panel Van:

  • Active Brake Assist: Can help to avoid rear-end collisions and accidents with crossing vehicles as well as pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Active Lane Keeping Assist: Is active from 70 km/h and works gently with steering instead of braking interventions.
  • Blind Spot Assist: Uses radar to observe the areas to the side of the vehicle not covered by the exterior mirrors, and issues an audible as well as a visual warning in the form of an illuminated triangle in the exterior mirrors.
  • Speed Limit Assist with traffic sign recognition: Can recognise speed limits with the aid of a camera, and displays them in the instrument cluster. It can issue visual and audible warnings if the vehicle exceeds the detected speed limit.

To further enhance active safety, Mercedes‑Benz Vans offers further assistance systems for the eCitan on request, e.g. the Driving Assistance Package with two additional safety systems:

  • Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC: Automatically maintains the set speed and the distance to the vehicle in front. The current speed limit can be adopted at the touch of a button. The system uses information from the camera and the radar sensors. The desired distance can be set to four different levels. If the traffic in front comes to a standstill, the vehicle can automatically brake itself to a stop. If the traffic moves again within three seconds, the vehicle starts automatically (automatic tailback function) – otherwise at the touch of a button or by tapping the accelerator.
  • Active Steering Assist: Helps drivers to keep the EQT in the middle of the lane – especially helpful for monotonous journeys on straight or slightly winding roads. The system uses the detected lane markings.

For additional convenience and safety when parking, Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC and reversing camera is available as optional equipment. It assists the driver in entering and exiting a parking space by providing steering assistance. Parking spaces perpendicular to the road can be used either forwards or in reverse, while parallel parking spaces can only be entered in reverse. If Active Parking Assist was used to park in a space, it can also be used to leave that space. PARKTRONIC can also detect and warn of obstacles to the side.

The likewise optional Rear Parking Package assists when parking in reverse. Ultrasonic sensors and a camera in the handle of the tailgate or door monitor what is happening behind the vehicle. It also facilitates reversing up to a trailer drawbar. In the eCitan without MBUX, the camera image appears in the rear-view mirror, otherwise on the MBUX central display.

In combination with the optional trailer coupling, the eCitan also features Trailer Stabilisation Assist. If the vehicle combination begins to sway, the system uses braking interventions stabilise it.

LED High Performance headlights and partial LED rear lights are available as an option for the eCitan. They increase safety at night, thanks to their wide light distribution and light colour similar to daylight. When driving on motorways they also raise the light cone slightly to suit the driving conditions. They also consume very little energy.

Just like the standard halogen headlamps, these can also be combined with Highbeam Assist. With a camera installed behind the windscreen, it continually monitors the traffic and, from a speed of 40 km/h, it regulates the light distribution appropriately. If the system detects oncoming vehicles or vehicles travelling in front, it automatically dips the headlamps. This means that drivers do not have to switch manually between low and high beam, and will use the longer range of the high beam more often. The light and rain sensor included as standard ensures excellent visibility at night and in poor weather. It can automatically switch on the headlamps and windscreen wipers when the weather conditions require it. LED front fog lamps are available as an option.

The eCitan is also well equipped with restraint systems to protect the vehicle’s occupants: The Panel Van is equipped with six airbags as standard. Front airbags, windowbags, thorax sidebags. The Citan Tourer also has a seventh airbag, a centre airbag which can deploy between the driver and co-driver seats in the event of a severe side collision, thus reducing the risk of mutual head contact.


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