2020 Mercedes EQV electric MPV announced

Fully electric version of V-Class people carrier to make public debut at Frankfurt

After unveiling a 'Concept EQV' at March's Geneva Motor Show, Mercedes has now released full details of the production version of the EQV – a fully electric variant of its luxury V-Class passenger van.

The Mercedes EQV people-carrier joins the Mercedes EQC SUV in the German brand's electric range, and will be revealed to the public at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September before going on sale in early 2020. Mercedes already offers an electric eVito cargo van, with a larger eSprinter model set to join it later in 2019.

Mercedes has elected not to produce a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the V-Class, instead skipping straight to full electrification. The company's chief engineer for mid-size vans, Andreas Hasselwander, explained earlier this year that it would have been "theoretically and technically possible" to build a V-Class PHEV, but that regulations on minimum electric range for the Chinese market would make it too expensive.

Mercedes EQV electric motor, performance, range and charge time

A driving range of 252 miles from a full charge is expected from the EQV, as well as rapid charging of the 100kWh lithium-ion battery (which has a useable capacity of 90kWh) from 10 to 80% capacity in under an hour at the maximum charge rate of 110kW.

Put another way, it should be possible to add 60 miles of range in just 15 minutes. Charging fully from a home wallbox overnight should take under 13 hours.

Mercedes claims a top speed of 99mph, but has not confirmed a 0-62mph acceleration figure for the EQV. Total output from the electric motor is 201bhp and 362Nm of torque, all going through the front wheels.

Interior, exterior, design and technology

On the outside, the EQV is distinguishable from its V-Class sibling by a black-panel 'grille' with chrome fins, lightweight 18-inch alloy wheels and 'EQV' badging just next to the door mirrors.

A variety of seating configurations will be available in other markets, from six-seater VIP transporter to seven-seater family car and eight-seater minibus, as well as two different wheelbase lengths (3.2 or 3.4 metres), but all cars sold in the UK will be eight-seaters on the longer of the two wheelbases.

The EQV's batteries are fitted below the floor, meaning the interior space and layout are unchanged from the conventional diesel-powered V-Class models.

Up front, a 10-inch touchscreen gives access to the latest version of Mercedes' MBUX infotainment software, which displays charging current, energy flow and energy consumption information, as well as sat nav and the car's different driving modes.

A voice-command feature, first seen in the latest Mercedes A-Class, is also present, activated by saying 'Hey Mercedes'. This can be used to carry out many functions, including setting a sat-nav destination, making a phone call, selecting music, setting the climate control and adjusting the interior lighting.

There's also a 'Mercedes me' smartphone app that pairs with the car, allowing for remote route planning and pre-conditioning of the interior temperature before departure. Users in continental Europe get access to 300,000 charge points with integrated payment through this app, however the current lack of interoperability between the various UK charging-point networks means this function won't immediately be offered here.

Efficiency

On the move, a brake-energy recuperation system is used to keep charge going to the EQV's battery and thus maximise its electric driving range. Drivers can adjust the strength of this regenerative effect using paddles behind the steering wheel, with the strongest setting allowing for 'single-pedal' driving, where the slowing effect of lifting off the accelerator is sufficient to bring the car to a complete stop without touching the brake.

An 'ECO assistant' function pulls data from the navigation, traffic-sign recognition and safety radar and camera systems in order to automatically set the most effective level of regenerative braking and coach the driver on the most energy-efficient driving style to use.

Price and on-sale date

No exact price or on-sale date for the Mercedes EQV has been announced yet, but it's expected to go on sale in the early part of 2020, priced at around £60,000, with first deliveries in the spring.