The Mercedes-Benz eSprinter has attracted the interest of commerce giants in Europe such as Amazon. But the electric delivery van will not be available in the U.S., for now — putting the company behind rivals such as upstart Rivian and Ford's planned Transit EV.
Mercedes has decided not to offer the eSprinter in the U.S. because safety specifications and other performance requirements cannot be sufficiently met.
"The components for the electric drive system do not meet Daimler's internal standards for crash tests that go beyond legal requirements," a source told Germany's Automobilwoche, a sibling publication of Automotive News.
The cost of adapting the van for America would be so expensive that Daimler is initially foregoing it.
Mercedes has been selling the all-electric eSprinter delivery van for about six months in Europe.
Interest from logistics providers is strong. At the end of August, Mercedes booked a major order from Amazon for some 1,800 electric vans.
The U.S. has different requirements for a large electric van, notably range and battery size.
Even with a bigger battery, the eSprinter only has a range of 170 kilometers — or 106 miles — often sufficient for a day trip in a European city.