On Tuesday, Mercedes announced it would be pouring roughly $59 million (€50 million) to build the all-electric Sprinter van at three facilities. One of them will is the American MBV factory in Ladson, South Carolina, with the remaining two sites naturally situated in Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde, Germany.
Over 200,000 Sprinter and Metris model vans have been assembled in the United States since 2006, though the automaker had actually been using the state to avoid the chicken tax for much longer. Considering the region is the second-largest market for Sprinter vans, Mercedes is not interested in dissolving its American commitments either. The investment will be spread across the three facilities for the necessary tooling to build the EV variant the automaker already started selling in Europe.
While that model doesn’t boast the kind of range necessary to take on the wide-open spaces of North America, Mercedes feels confident the second generation will and has plotted a 2023 launch for the region. The automaker intends on offering the next eSprinter will 60 kWh, 80 kWh, or 120 kWh battery packs — with the biggest offering an estimated range of 224 miles. While we’re not certain as to which configurations will be offered in the U.S., most should default to rear-wheel drive.
Now equipped to do more than simply reassemble vans that came pre-constructed and then deconstructed) from Germany, South Carolina will reportedly be responsible for the complete assembly of 2nd generation eSprinter. The facility is supposed to be prepped for the job by the fall of 2023, with production following close behind.
[Images: Daimler AG]