Mercedes EQT: electric minibus confirmed for production
Electric version of new Mercedes T-Class is expected during 2023, with a choice of five or seven-seat configurations
Mercedes has announced that an electric version of its new T-Class people carrier is on the way. The EQT, to use its official name, is currently in development and expected to arrive in 2023, following the launch of the eCitan panel van it’s based on later this year.
The EQT will sit below the EQV luxury minibus in Mercedes’ line-up, and serve as a direct rival to the Peugeot e-Rifter, Citroen e-Berlingo and Vauxhall Combo-e Life. Like those models, and the regular T-Class, we expect the EQT will be available with either five or seven seats.
No technical details about the EQT have been released so far, but it’s likely to feature the same powertrain as the eCitan panel van, given that it's based on the same platform. That includes a 44kWh battery, which in the van is enough for over 170 miles of range, and a single electric motor sending 101bhp and 245Nm of torque to the front wheels.
The eCitan’s 75kW rapid-charging capability is also likely to be carried over, allowing for a 10-80% top-up in around 45 minutes from a public rapid charger. Inside, we expect the EQT’s cabin will be nearly identical to that of the diesel T-Class, aside from replacing the rev counter with an energy gauge for the battery.
Standard kit in the T-Class includes a seven-inch central touchscreen running Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, touch controls on the steering wheel and safety systems such as active lane-keeping assistance, driver fatigue warning and blind-spot assistance.
Cargo space is unlikely to differ hugely between the T-Class and EQT. In standard-wheelbase form, the T-Class offers just under 520 litres of luggage capacity, which can be expanded to 2,127 litres by folding the seats down.
Mercedes Concept EQT
We got our first look at Mercedes’ new seven-seat EV back in May 2021, when the German brand unveiled the Concept EQT. The close-to-production version of the electric T-Class featured 21-inch alloy wheels, a black panel in place of a regular grille and a full-width LED light strip connecting the taillights.
Inside, the EQT concept has white Nappa leather upholstery, but uses recycled leather in certain areas, offset by bright blue trim. It also features a set of analog dials, as opposed to a digital driver’s display; next to the speedometer are power output and remaining charge dials in place of a conventional rev counter.
The EQT concept also features an infotainment screen like those in the previous generation of Mercedes cars, rather than the tablet-like displays we’ve seen in the new C-Class, EQE and EQS. It could accommodate up to seven people, too, with the ability to fit three child seats across the second-row. If you need extra luggage room, the third row could either be folded down or removed entirely.