If you would have guessed a few years ago which major German automaker would be first out of the gate to develop a ground-up electric passenger van, the obvious answer would have been Volkswagen. But Mercedes-Benz snuck in earlier this year with the Concept EQV and promised to ready it before year-end. The production EQV debuted this week makes good on that promise, offering zero emissions driving for up to 250 miles (405 km) per charge. It’ll be available in two different wheelbase lengths with up to eight seats.
The EQV isn’t Mercedes’ first electric van, following the eSprinter and eVito commercial vans to market. It is, however, the first all-electric MPV that will count both commercial and private car buyers among its customers. It’s also the first van and second member overall in the young EQ lineup, following the EQC SUV that debuted a year ago.
Available in both 202- and 211-in (514- and 537-cm) lengths, the EQV looks very much like it did as a Geneva Motor Show concept back in March. Up front, it shares the unified grille/headlamp layout with the Concept EQV and EQC, although the headlamp design has been toned down. The front bumper design has also been reworked to better assimilate into the greater V-Class line.
Save for 18-in EQ lightweight wheels in place of multi-colored concept wheels, the EQV’s profile remains largely the same as the Concept. The rear-end gets cleaned up and badged for production but still includes triple-bar taillights.
The beating heart of the EQV is packaged around the front axle, a 201-hp motor driving the front wheels under power from the 90-kWh battery mounted in the floor. The EQV finds itself with a few extra miles of range over the Concept, offering a 253 miles (405 km) in a provisional estimate that still needs to be shored up into a proper brochure-ready spec. The EQV can dial the speedometer up to 99 mph (160 km/h).
When using a Mercedes-Benz Wallbox Home or a basic public charging station, the EQV battery charges in under 10 hours via the onboard water-cooled 11-kW charger. Those looking to quicken things on the move can wire up to a CCS-standard DC fast charger and leap from 10 to 80 percent full in about 45 minutes. The EQV will come with access to more than 300,000 charging stations in the Mercedes me Charge global network, including IONITY fast charging around Europe. Me Charge includes an integrated payment system with invoicing.
Between charges, the EQV’s battery recuperation system helps to squeeze out every last mile. Recuperation strength is manually adjustable via a pair of steering column paddles, and an automatic adjustment mode compounds GPS data, road sign information and inputs from the radar and camera sensors to continuously adjust the recuperation level for the most efficient ride.
With the battery integrated into the floor, the EQV interior remains as open and flexible as you’d expect from a V-Class. The van will be offered in various configurations, including a six-seat businesslike configuration with vis-a-vis rear seating and two-bench family configuration with eight seats. The 10-in MBUX infotainment system includes voice control and a special EQ menu for EV-related content like charging current and energy flow statistics.
Sadly, as hard as we’ll be crossing our fingers, it seems entirely implausible that Mercedes will expand the EQV lineup with a Marco Polo EQV camper van in time for this month’s Düsseldorf Caravan Salon. We’ll still be keeping our eyes open at Mercedes Düsseldorf booth, but more likely we’ll get our first look at the EQV van at its public premiere next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The EQV will be manufactured alongside the V-Class and Vito vans in Vitoria, Spain.