Mercedes-Benz to Build Modular Sprinters in 2026

A picture of the 2026 Mercedes-Benz Vans Plan

Mercedes-Benz revealed its Van Electric Architecture, called VAN.EA, as the manufacturer’s strategy to build modular vans beginning in 2026.

The plan calls for all mid-size and large Mercedes vans to be built on the platform, including the Sprinter chassis used in Type B motorhomes.

The company said it would expand its camper van portfolio with a new line of fully electric mid-size and large chassis, based on VAN.EA. The company said it aims to define the new industry standard with its international camper business partners around the world.

“The premium segment positioning for commercial vans and the luxury positioning for private vans will allow us to further strengthen our focus on high-margin regions, channels, products and industries,” said Mathias Geisen, head of Mercedes‑Benz Vans. “The broad range of industries we serve makes our business resilient – which is a strong competitive advantage.”

Mercedes revealed special test results from the eSprinter in the U.S. The eSprinter, equipped with a 113,000-watt battery, drove from Las Vegas to the Mercedes-Benz Tech Center in Long Beach, California, without recharging. The distance totaled 275 miles.

Modular Blocks

Mercedes said the VAN.EA vehicles will focus on added value for consumers and their individual needs, whether for a commercial application, as a versatile premium all-rounder or a private luxury van.

“Starting 2026, we will introduce our purpose-built EV architecture VAN.EA,” Geisen said. “This enables us to consolidate our midsize and large vans down to only one architecture and significantly reduce the complexity of our product portfolio. Maximum added value for customers with sustainable profitability at the same time: VAN.EA clearly underscores our aspiration to be ‘Lead in Electric.’”

Mercedes said the changes will reduce its various van offerings by more than 50% compared with current non-EV powered vans. The company said the modular build will enable maximum synergies through leaner, simpler and faster building.

The vans’ modular build will include three blocks. The front block includes the electric powertrain and front axle. The front block remains the same in all Mercedes vans.

The center block adjusts to the vehicle length. The standard battery base will be placed in the center block. Different high-voltage battery capacities will be installed, depending on the van.

The rear block will include two versions. The first will include an electric motor, in addition to the electric motor in the front block, for all-wheel-drive vans. The second will not include an electric motor and will be for front-wheel drive vans.

The VAN.EA-C, which stands for Mercedes’ premium commercial vans, will be the chassis used by RV manufacturers, as well as commercial delivery and municipal vans. The vehicles will include MB.OS, a proprietary system accessing infotainment, automated driving, body and comfort controls and driving/charging. The system will provide access to third-party apps.

At launch, the vans will include SAE Level 2 automated driving features, including features such as lane centering and adaptive cruise control. By 2030, Mercedes expects SAE Level 4 automated driving to be available. This will enable automated driving features under limited conditions but is not fully autonomous.

“According to the ‘electric-only’ strategy, VAN.EA is developed from scratch as a purpose-built electric vehicle,” said Andreas Zygan, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans Development, “fully leveraging the advantages of the new technology.”

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