Skip to main content

Mercedes-Benz Vans unveils ugliest electric vehicle concept to date – why?

We have seen some seriously ugly electric vehicle concepts from legacy automakers who sometimes seem to insist that EVs should look weird.

Now, Mercedes-Benz Vans have outdone themselves by unveiling what has to be the ugliest electric vehicle concept to date.

In Copenhagen today, Daimler’s van division has unveiled the Vision URBANETIC, a battery-electric and autonomous van, which it describes as “a revolutionary mobility concept that goes way beyond existing ideas on autonomous vehicles.”

Autonomous and electric vans are likely going to be a big part of the future of transportation since they have the potential to significantly reduce the cost of moving people and goods.

It makes a lot of sense for Mercedes-Benz Vans to get on board, but they decided to make it the king of the “weirdmobile” for some reason:

Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer of Daimler AG, commented on the design:

“Vision URBANETIC takes our design language of sensual purity way into the future. We’ve created a standalone aesthetic for a mobility concept that has never before existed”,

At least the ridiculous design can be swapped out for other passenger or cargo configurations as the vehicle itself is actually the platform:

Daimler says that it envisions the concept to be part of future electric and autonomous fleet of on demand vehicles to transport both people and cargo.

They wrote in a press release:

As part of a holistic system solution, Vision URBANETIC addresses future urban challenges and offers innovative solutions. The visionary concept is based on a self-driving, electrically powered chassis that can take different switchable bodies for people moving or goods transport. As a ride-sharing vehicle, Vision URBANETIC can accommodate up to twelve passengers, while the cargo module can carry up to ten EPAL pallets. A load space 3.70 metres long fits into a total vehicle length of 5.14 metres. Plus, the concept incorporates an IT infrastructure that analyses in real time the supply and demand within a defined area. The result is a self-driving fleet, with routes planned flexibly and efficiently on the basis of current transportation needs. All of this makes Vision URBANETIC a groundbreaking concept for future urban mobility.

The automaker wants to have an Uber-like mobile app to support the fleet of electric and autonomous vehicles:

They didn’t release any details in terms of availability, but they describe the vision as a culmination of Daimler’s existing mobility and autonomous driving efforts.

Electrek’s Take

I don’t know why they insist on making these cars look weird at this point.

Before, you could make the argument that legacy automakers simply didn’t want to sell EVs, but that’s a hard argument to make in this case since Daimler has just unveiled its production EQC, which is a decent looking SUV.

Again, I think autonomous and electric vans are likely going to be a big part of the future of transportation since they have the potential to significantly reduce the cost of moving people and goods. But if you are going to spend time and money designing one, why not make it tolerable to look at?

Why not just use the electric eSprinter van, which is supposed to come next year? I don’t get it.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading Electrek— experts who break news about Tesla, electric vehicles, and green energy, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow Electrek on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our YouTube channel for the latest reviews.



Avatar for Fred Lambert Fred Lambert

Fred is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Electrek.

You can send tips on Twitter (DMs open) or via email:

Through, you can check out Fred’s portfolio and get monthly green stock investment ideas.