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Power play: Mercedes launches the first all-electric luxury passenger van

By Paul Connolly

An all-electric luxury passenger van has been unveiled by Mercedes with an official range of 250 miles.

The EQV is a premium MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) based on the same platform as the Vito van and existing V-Class MPV.

A key feature is a charging function that will allow the EQV to charge from 10% to 80% in less than an hour at a rapid charge point, enhancing its everyday range and practicality in the growing number of areas with such public charging points.

Another is “full availability of space” inside the cabin due to installation of the high-voltage battery below the floor.

The EQV, which has a top speed of 99mph, will be officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. It is likely to be priced around the £60k mark when it goes on sale in the next few months.

The car marks the further acceleration of emissions-free motoring at the giant manufacturer, following the launch of the C-Class saloon-based EQC earlier this year.

The Mercedes electric car naming convention is now explicitly clear, with “EQ” denoting an all-electric vehicle and the final letter setting out the vehicle class. So EQV means “all-electric V-Class” vehicle.

Mercedes says the EQV “combines emissions-free mobility with impressive driving abilities, high functionality and aesthetic design as the first fully-electric premium MPV from Mercedes-Benz.”

The EQV will be built alongside the Vito van and V-Class MPV at the company’s plant in Vitoria in northern Spain.

The car’s electric drivetrain (eATS) sits on the front axle under the dynamic front end of the car with a charging connection in the bumper. It has a peak output of 150 kW.

The power is provided by a lithium ion battery under the floor of the vehicle, with Mercedes saying this doesn’t just benefit cabin space – it improves handling as well.

As standard, the EQV is equipped with a water-cooled on-board charger (OBC) with a capacity of 11 kW, making it suitable for AC charging at home or at public charging stations.

With the battery hidden flat in the floor, the car can be used for a range of functions.

Families, for example, benefit from a multitude of seating configurations.

Six individual seats, on the other hand, turn the EQV into a shuttle vehicle that meets all of the requirements for the “high-quality transportation of people with a comfortable and particularly quiet driving experience”.

Flexibility regarding wheelbase length and bench versus individual seats also allows the EQV to be converted into a seven or even an eight-seater.

It looks as if in the UK and Ireland all models will be eight-seat extra-long wheelbase models, but we’ll find out more when full details are released in the autumn.

There is a range of drive mode and recuperative braking settings to re-capture energy. Mercedes even says in its strongest recuperative setting it will be possible to drive the EQV without touching the brake pedal in most situations.

All versions will come with the latest MBUX infotainment system with a 10-inch screen that will also show data on the car’s charge and energy usage. The voice-activated Hey Mercedes service will also be included.

To speed up home charging over using a domestic socket, there’s a special Mercedes-Benz Wallbox Home and 11kW charging output.

We’ll know full details on the EQV in mid-September. First models are predicted to begin shipping early next year.

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