100 units of the all-electric Mercedes-Benz Vito van will begin this year, but thousands more could be on the way. Details and photos inside.

The first phase of production for the Mercedes-Benz Vito is said to begin later this year.  The company plans to built 100 units of the all-electric van in the first step, with 20 customers receiving delivery.

Those customers are mainly "fleet operators and public institutions" looking to haul up to 900 kg in smoggy areas.  It uses a 32 kWh lithium-ion battery to provide a range of about 130 km (81 miles).  Power is sent to the 90 kW electric motor, which gets the vehicle to an electronically limited 80 km/h.  Speed is capped at such a low point as the van is meant for urban environments, and specifically tailored to the needs of already-confirmed customers.

A prototype of the battery-powered vehicle was unveiled last week in San Sebastian, Spain, at a meeting of the EU Competitiveness Council.  The van will be produced 100 miles south of their at the Mercedes factoria in Vitoria, ES.

If all goes well with the limited test run, the company will produce an additional 2000 units of the Vito to expand market testing.

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