Pallegram | #12

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Electric-Vans — my #eMobility dream!

With the recently introduced Mercedes-Benz eVito Tourer (Stromverbrauch kombiniert: 26,2 kWh/100 km, CO₂-Emissionen kombiniert: 0 g/km**), my colleagues at Daimler are showing that we not only believe in the future of electric mobility but also want to help proactively shape it. More to the point, the design and development teams at Mercedes-Benz are fulfilling a childhood dream of mine — and the older I get, the more electrified this dream has become, in the literal sense of the word.

But first, here’s a spoiler alert for all the readers who have calmly read my first two sentences without rolling their eyes: This comment will be an ode to the future. An ode to the future of sustainable mobility, to Daimler as an automaker, and to my personal future, in which I see myself in a fully electric mobile office that defines location-independent work in a completely new way.

Off on a weekend in our trailer

I can remember it as though it had just happened yesterday. With our trailer packed full of our stuff, we would drive to the Netherlands on weekends. The outdoor recreational area “De Bijland” between the towns of Kleve and Arnhem was one of the personal Paradises of my childhood. We would spend the whole weekend on the banks of an artificial lake right next to the Rhine, at least in the summer.

The mobile home that we hitched to the family car was actually the only thing I needed. Of course, as a kid, you spent the whole day outdoors, splashing in the water and recreating the world’s most important race circuits in sand on the beach. But when it rained and all you could do was to take a nap… fellow campers, I must admit that I prefer a more robust type of construction.

And this is where things get exciting, because in recent years all of these childhood memories have created a couple of emotional clusters in my brain that are making me think about the evolution and continuation of these experiences.

The new Mercedes-Benz eVito Tourer is part of the first eVito generation.
The new Mercedes-Benz eVito Tourer is part of the first eVito generation.
The interior design of the eVito Tourer.
The interior design of the eVito Tourer.
The new eVito Tourer.
The new eVito Tourer.
The eVito Tourer can seat up to nine people.
The eVito Tourer can seat up to nine people.
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Kay Mantzel from Microsoft makes it easy!

My great model for this train of thought is Microsoft Germany’s creative thinker regarding modern workplaces… Kay Mantzel!

I’ve known Kay for more than five years now, but I came to see him from a whole new perspective when I read an article in the Handelsblatt business newspaper last June about the experiences of people who work from a home office. And who was posing in his camper van and smiling at me out of the photo that illustrated this article? Kay!

Of course I could add that I would rather have seen him in a Marco Polo model, but ultimately competition benefits us and thus also the customers who buy our products.

But back to Kay, who often works out of his camper, which he has modified to suit his workplace needs. The article reminded me of a talk I gave at an IBM conference back in 2012 about the digitally enabled nomadic lifestyle. Back then I called us “neonomads” and focused on the tools I used as a member of this tribe. Two years later I continued this line of thinking in my talk at DNX Festival — the first conference for digital nomads in Germany. I was surprised to see how popular this movement had become in the interim.

And by now we’ve reached the point, at Daimler and elsewhere, where we can also be nomadic using an all-electric platform.

The eVito Tourer can only be the beginning

This camper van, which was presented a few days ago, has enabled my fantasies to expand in all directions. The eVito Tourer would offer me everything I’ve waited for over the years: the size, the range, and of course the drive system.

As the wonderful Emma Watson once put it, I’m “self-partnered” — I’m on my own, so I don’t need a lot of space. The Tourer can seat up to nine people. If I took out two bench seats, I could actually set up the perfect home office inside — and, most importantly, it would be mobile. If this home office is modular in design, there would certainly be room for a single-bed mattress that could be folded down when necessary.

That way I’d have everything I need, right?

I have a dream…

Hold it… If you think about what we’ve launched in the van segment in recent months and years, it wouldn’t be extravagant to speculate about the next stage of this evolution, would it? But before I start speculating… Here are the things I’m dreaming about, which are actually relatively pragmatic.

Now that we’ve presented the first eVito generation — the eVito Tourer, the eSprinter, and the Mercedes-Benz EQV (Stromverbrauch kombiniert: 27,0 kWh/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 0 g/km, Angaben vorläufig**) — we certainly don’t have to reproach ourselves for not wanting to electrify our portfolio. On the contrary!

However, one thing is still missing, even though I’m already certain that I can perfectly set up an eVito Tourer to meet my needs… An all-electric Marco Polo would be simply sensational. And if a photovoltaic panel were set up on the pop-up roof… I would personally come to the development department once a year and treat everyone to a round of German tapas — that is, sandwiches with tomatoes and pickles on the side. :)

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Sascha Pallenberg

At the age of four Sascha sat for the first time at the 24h race at the Nordschleife. Ten years later, in 1985, he went online for the first time. At least for a month, because then the phone bill surprised his parents. But at least this time still forms the foundation for his passion for the intersection of mobility and the digital world.

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