Mercedes-Benz has just launched what it hopes will be the future of package delivery. The Vision Van ($NA) is more than just a delivery vehicle. As part of a “fully integrated” system that begins in the distribution center, the duel cargo racks are filled at the distribution center and then loaded onto the van as a unit. This has been shown to cut van downtime in the center by as much as 80%.
On the road, the Vision van is equipped with a 75 kW electric drive capable of between 80 km to about 270 km (50 to 167 miles) depending on specific application. Being an all electric vehicle, there are no harmful emissions. The Vision Van is also nearly silent so it can even be operated in residential areas at night where noise ordinances would preclude gas-powered travel. To add to the efficiency of delivery, the Vision comes equipped with two roof-mounted drones to facilitate operations in urban and suburban areas.
As the new delivery system proves itself, Mercedes-Benz engineers are already at work on creating cargo pods that can be used as mobile workshops or even passenger accommodations for public transit or chartered transportation endeavors. Details in the video.