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Dropside: Ford e-Transit vs. Mercedes-Benz eSprinter

March 1st, 2023

For many years, the dropside van has been a staple of the commercial van market for gardeners, landscapers and tradespeople of all industries, offering its users a generous payload and plenty of practicality. As its name suggests, the sides of the load space conveniently drop down to allow for easy loading and unloading jobs, after which they can be raised again to ensure safe and secure transportation for any goods on board.

In light of the push for more carbon neutral commercial vehicle options, almost every mainstream van manufacturer has released battery-powered electric variants of their most popular diesel dropside models, with two great examples of this being the Ford e-Transit Dropside and the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter Dropside. Although both of these electric vehicles have a lot to offer, with so many vans available it’s important to know the key differences between them in order to help you make an informed decision when it comes to your next purchase. Read on to find out more about the peaks and pitfalls of each van.

Engines and Spec

The design of a dropside van consists of a large, open load space with hinged sides and tailboards, allowing them to be dropped below floor level for easy loading. As a result, many tradespeople opt for dropside vans because of the fantastic payload capacity they offer over, for example, a tipper van. When comparing the payload of the two vans in question, the e-Transit Dropside is the clear winner with a maximum payload capacity of 1117kg in the largest variant, whereas the eSprinter Dropside can only manage 774kg. Nevertheless, neither van’s load space is compromised by the battery pack due to its location underneath the floor.

Taking a look underneath the bonnet of each van, we firstly find a 68kWh battery in the e-Transit Dropside which, on a full charge, can achieve an impressive driving range of up to 200 miles (subject to driving conditions and efficiency). Reworked rear suspension makes for a light, comfortable driving experience – quite a feat considering the weight of the cargo you’re likely to be carrying in the back.

The eSprinter, on the other hand, the eSprinter Dropside provides a choice of two battery variants – 41 or 55kWh – both of which offer an output of 85kW and a 100 mile driving range. Whilst this is more than enough for getting around town, it doesn’t quite match up to some of its rivals. However, rapid charging means that it can reach 80% in just 30 minutes, or two hours as standard.


Moving onto the cabin, the e-Transit Dropside boasts a comfortable and spacious interior, which is only made more roomy by the fact that the traditional diesel features have been replaced to accommodate the electric running gear. The instrument cluster now displays information about battery usage rather than the rev counter, which helps drivers to be more economical whilst on the go. There is also an easy-to-use 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system which can easily be paired with smartphones and other devices.

The eSprinter Dropside’s cabin is similarly comfortable and can easily accommodate three people. Road noise is also extremely minimal which only adds to the pleasant driving experience this van offers. Newer models come with an infotainment system as standard, which features a handy geocoded map, voice control and more.

The Verdict

Despite the fact that the Ford e-Transit Dropside and the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter Dropside are both great electric vehicles in their own right, there are naturally advantages and disadvantages of both, and deciding between the two will ultimately come down to your specific requirements. For example, if you need an electric van that can go the distance whilst also carrying a very heavy load, then the e-Transit Dropside is probably a better choice. However, if your work is limited to shifting lighter loads around town, then the eSprinter Dropside could be just right for you.

Whichever van you choose, you’re sure to find it at the very best price at Van Sales UK. Stocking an extensive range of diesel and electric vans on an outright purchase or finance basis, our highly competitive prices won’t be beaten. We also offer free mainland UK delivery with every purchase, as well as excellent warranty and breakdown cover.

If you’d like to find out more about the two vans discussed in this review or simply any van available on our site, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Van Sales UK by giving us a call on 0117 205 2659.


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