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Mercedes-Benz SUSTAINEER Last-Mile Delivery Zero Emissions concept

Vaseline 2 months ago

With the evolution of the SUSTAINEER (SUSTAINABILITY PIONEER) technology demonstrator Mercedes-Benz Vans provides new insight into what sustainability could look like in the delivery transport of the future. The fully electric van based on the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter combines a variety of innovative concepts to decarbonize the entire vehicle life cycle, reduce resource consumption and increase the circular economy, and to improve the quality of life and well-being of improve people. Director. The innovations and technical solutions in the SUSTAINEER have been designed with the possibility of series production in mind to enable their use in future generations of Mercedes-Benz vans. All innovations are continuously evaluated, optimized and supplemented with new concepts.

Innovative logistics concept for a wide range of industries

With the further developed SUSTAINEER, Mercedes-Benz Vans now presents an efficient logistics concept for last-mile delivery without local CO2 emissions. In collaboration with Berlin-based cargo bike manufacturer ONOMOTION, the company combines the fully electric van and the electric cargo bike to create a seamless supply chain. The eSprinter becomes a mobile micro depot. She brings pre-packed goods in special containers to cargo bikes, which take care of delivery to the front door. Transferring the goods to the ONO e-cargo bike only takes a few minutes. As a result, the eSprinter does not have long downtimes and can continue immediately – to the next cargo bike or to deliver goods itself. Parallel delivery with cargo bikes and fully electric vans increases efficiency and shortens delivery times in both urban and rural areas. The innovative logistics concept is suitable for a wide range of industries: from courier, express and parcel services to large bakeries, workwear and corporate textile service providers or food suppliers.

Tandem of Mercedes-Benz eSprinter and e-cargo bike relieves the traffic infrastructure, shortens delivery and waiting times

The shipments can be pre-picked at the logistics center according to the delivery route and loaded into the interchangeable ONOMOTION containers on wheels. The fully electric van then takes them to the transfer point, where they are loaded onto the e-cargo bike. The special roll containers offer a loading volume of over 70 cu.ft. and a payload of up to 200 kg. They can be flexibly configured for various applications, such as parcel delivery. The Mercedes‑Benz SUSTAINEER presents an integrated lifting arm tailor-made for these containers. The container lift works hydraulically, has recessed rollers and can be operated electronically via a hand transmitter. This allows the containers to be loaded and unloaded quickly, safely and effortlessly. The new eSprinter, configured as a long panel van with a high roof, can fit two containers. However, there is still enough space for a racking system to transport extra bulky goods. The racking system is accessible at any time (even when the containers are loaded) via the right rear door.

Efficient delivery during the last mile

The fully electric van stops at defined points along the route and transfers the containers to an ONO e-cargo bike. This is done in a few simple steps: you simply roll the container onto the cargo space of the cargo bike and connect it. This means no time-consuming reloading of individual packages. You also do not have to rent a temporary storage space, because the eSprinter functions as a micro depot. He can continue his journey after a few minutes to deliver to the next ONO e-cargo bike in another neighborhood or village or to bring large goods to the recipients. The eSprinter therefore has significantly fewer delivery points and downtime at the curb, the so-called curb time. This reduces traffic flows, relieves the burden on infrastructure and contributes to a new quality of life – especially in urban areas. The eSprinter also returns to the logistics center more quickly and can, for example, complete a second route more quickly. By moving away from micro-hubs, CEP service providers can deliver more packages per day, reducing delivery and wait times and thus lowering costs. Initial dialogue with courier and parcel service providers has already begun to ensure that further development takes into account the individual needs of the sector.

The benefits of the ONO e-cargo bike for last-mile delivery

The ONO e-cargo bike rider sits in a weatherproof cabin and can ride along cycle paths to any front door without having to look for a parking space, speeding up deliveries and reducing the walking time for delivery staff. Because shipments are packed according to the delivery route, no searching or rearranging is necessary. The ONO e-cargo bike has a range of up to 25 km and the 1.4 kWh battery provides assistance when driving away at up to 6 km/h. It can be replaced in seconds. A replaceable battery on board effectively doubles the range. Charging can be done via a standard earthed socket. Additional benefits: No driver’s license is required for the cargo bike. This makes deployment planning more flexible and facilitates the search for new employees. In addition, the cargo bike takes up significantly less space in traffic, which could lead to greater acceptance of delivery transport, especially in the city.

Near-body heating and zonal air conditioning significantly reduce energy requirements

With the technology demonstrator SUSTAINEER, Mercedes-Benz Vans brings together many innovative concepts for future last-mile delivery transport. A number of these are currently being intensively tested with a view to possible series production. These include, for example, the combination of heating close to the body and zonal air conditioning. Test series in the Mercedes-Benz climate chamber in Sindelfingen have shown that this significantly reduces the energy required to heat the large driver’s cabin of an eSprinter. This has a positive effect on the range of electric vehicles. The test setup illustrated a typical entry and exit process of a courier driver at different outside temperatures. During the comparison, an equivalent level of thermal comfort for the driver was guaranteed. Various parameters for physical well-being were measured at different points of the body. At -44.6 degrees Fahrenheit, zonal air conditioning with heating close to the body used approximately 25 percent less energy than conventional ambient air heating, while providing comparable thermal comfort. At a temperature of +41 degrees Fahrenheit, energy requirements were reduced by approximately 50 percent. In addition, the interior cools down less quickly after an unloading stop when opening and closing the doors. The heating surfaces in the footwell, on the driver’s door and on the steering column trim remain warm. This increases comfort when getting into the vehicle. The acoustic comfort is also improved. Because only the area around the driver and not the entire interior is heated, the air conditioning fan may run at a low level. Pre-air conditioning also cools or heats the vehicle during the charging process if desired, so that the full battery charge is available when the journey begins. This also has a positive effect on the reach.

The front module filter in the SUSTAINEER reduces particulate matter by 55 percent

Another promising solution in the SUSTAINEER is the particulate filter integrated into the front module. Developed in collaboration with filtration specialists MANN+HUMMEL, it is designed to further minimize the ingress of particles caused by tire, brake and asphalt wear. In a pilot project lasting more than a year, the innovative filter has confirmed its efficiency in practice. Österreichische Post in Graz equipped two eSprinters in its fleet with it. Together, both vehicles traveled approximately 36,680 kilometers between August 2022 and November 2023. On average, they drove about 50 kilometers per day and delivered 160 packages to about 100 stops. The front module filter offset particulate emissions with a particle size of up to 10 micrometers (PM10) in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle by 55 percent when the fan was running continuously while the vehicle was stationary, charging and driving at speeds below 35 km/h. H. The analysis showed that 35 percent of the filtered PM10 particulate matter emissions were direct vehicle emissions. Road wear and blowing particles were responsible for 61 percent of the filtered particles. Effectiveness in filtration environments further increases due to higher particle contamination. This means that in urban areas with poorer air quality, even larger amounts of particulate matter can be filtered. The reliability of the filter system was confirmed by the pilot project and a negative impact on the vehicles and delivery activities was excluded. The project was scientifically supported by the Institute for Environment & Energy, Technology & Analytics eV (IUTA) in Duisburg.

Mercedes-Benz SUSTAINEER demonstrates the consistent implementation of the sustainable business strategy

All technical solutions and concepts installed in the SUSTAINEER have been designed with a possible series production application in future Mercedes-Benz vans in mind. This includes a solar panel on the roof, parts made from recycled materials and a mobilization seat for the driver. The continued further development of the technology demonstrator shows the consistent implementation of the company’s sustainable business strategy. By 2039, the company has set itself the target of making its entire fleet of new commercial and private vans net carbon neutral across its entire value chain and life cycle. The main levers for this are the electrification of the vehicle fleet, the extensive use of recycled materials and the use of renewable energies in the production and charging of the vehicles. Mercedes-Benz Vans already offers a fully electric version of every commercial and private van. By 2030, they are expected to account for more than 50 percent of total sales. The company’s own production plants have been net carbon neutral since 2022. Mercedes-Benz Vans’ goal is to offer the most sought-after vans and services while being at the forefront of electric propulsion and digital experience.