Mercedes’ updated Sustaineer collaborates with cargo bikes

The Mercedes concept van for sustainable logistics has been updated to enhance the efficiency of its battery pack. It also introduces an integrated solution for last-mile delivery, linking the van to cargo bikes from Onomotion. This aims to reduce waiting times and relieve traffic infrastructure.

Mercedes-Benz Vans debuted the Sustaineer in 2022 to showcase sustainability ideas in goods transportation. As an innovation driver, it features solutions like a power dust emissions filter and solar panels to produce its own green electricity.

Targeted heating

The Sustaineer, a contraction of the words ‘sustainability’ and ‘pioneer’, is a continuous project. Mercedes has integrated body-close heating and zonal air conditioning in its latest edition. According to tests in its climate chamber, it uses about 25% less energy at -7 degrees Celsius and 50% less at +5 degrees Celsius compared to traditional heating while maintaining similar thermal comfort. Only the area around the driver and not the entire interior is heated, so the air conditioning fan can run at a low level.

Along similar lines, supplier ZF has presented heated seat belts that could increase the range by 15%. Ford is also looking into introducing these in its electric light vehicle range.

Mercedes also provided an update on the particular filter in the front module. A test pilot with two vehicles from the Austrian post’s fleet has demonstrated that particulates from tires, brakes, and asphalt can be reduced by as much as 55%.  Both vehicles covered around 36,500 kilometers.

From van to cargo bike

Expanding on the delivery chain Mercedes-Benz is also exploring a pilot project with Berlin-based Onomotion. This collaboration pairs Mercedes’ all-electric van with their Ono e-cargo bike in a logistic tandem.

The Ono e-cargo bike, with a 25-kilometer range and a 1.4 kWh battery, receives pre-packaged goods from the eSprinter, which acts as a mobile micro-depot stopping at defined points. Inside the Sustaineer, a special container lifting arm facilitates the easy loading and unloading of transport boxes, which is a process that is limited to minutes.

This quick transfer allows the eSprinter to avoid lengthy downtimes and promptly continue deliveries, enhancing efficiency and reducing delivery times across various environments. Each container sits on castors and can offer over two cubic meters of space and a 200-kilogram payload.

Two containers fit into the new eSprinter as a long panel van with a high roof. Nevertheless, there is still enough space for a shelving system to transport additional bulky goods. The partners believe this innovative logistics model could benefit multiple industries, from courier services to food suppliers.


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