Mercedes Concept EQV uncovered at Geneva
The Mercedes Concept EQV electric people-carrier - thought to be the first of its kind - has been revealed at the Geneva Motor Show, with the German opting against a plug-in hybrid version of its facelifted V-Class MPV.
A 100kWh battery delivers a claimed range of 240 miles according to WLTP rules, with the cells located in the vehicle’s floor in order to maintain passenger space; six-, seven- and eight-seat options are offered.
Meanwhile, we know a 200bhp electric motor drives the front wheels and that the Concept EQV’s top speed is 99mph but Mercedes hasn’t revealed a 0-62mph figure yet.
Charging details have also been kept under wraps for now, the German carmaker has promised that 60 miles of charge will take just 15 minutes from a rapid charger.
Mercedes says a production version will be shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, with sales starting shortly after.
The EQV’s V-Class roots are clear, with the concept thought to use the same platform as the existing people carrier. The front consists of a full-width chrome grille with an LED lighting strip along the top - in common with other Mercedes EQ cars - while LED headlights feature too.
The Concept EQV sits on 19-inch alloys, with blue highlights pointing towards its electric status.
The colour theme continues inside with a blue leather trim finished with rose gold panels and stitching. The latest edition of the brand’s MBUX infotainment system features, with voice control included too.
The sat nav is able to accommodate the vehicle’s remaining range into its calculations, suggesting ideal charging points along each route. Public charging can be paid for via an app, which can also pre-heat the cabin in anticipation of a driver’s return.
The latest V-Class uses the same engine as the plug-in hybrid C 300 de, and while a PHEV version was possible, the manufacturer has elected to press on with a fully electric model instead.
Speaking to our sister title Auto Express earlier this year, Mercedes’ chief engineer for mid-size vans, Andreas Hasselwander, explained that it’s “theoretically and technically possible” to build a V-Class PHEV, but that tough regulations in China would make it expensive.
“The rules there on minimum pure-electric mileage are the big problem, because 100 kilometres is a major challenge,” said Hasselwander. “With just one battery I would say it's feasible to have up to 50 kilometres of pure-electric running in the V-Class.
“But with China increasing the range required for incentives, we’d need to look at a second battery. That would increase complexity and cost, so we have decided to go another way.”
Mercedes already offers a commercial electric eVito van, with a larger eSprinter set to join it later in 2019.
The carmaker’s first electric car – the Mercedes EQC – has already been revealed, and it too is due to arrive later this year. It'll be followed by an EQA hatchback, which should go on sale in 2020.