Mercedes EQV concept to get Geneva Motor Show debut

Electric version of the V-Class MPV will skip plug-in hybrid technology, and could go on sale in 2021

A Mercedes EQV electric people-carrier concept will be revealed at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, with the German brand having decided not to introduce a plug-in hybrid version of its facelifted V-Class MPV.

The latest V-Class uses the same engine as the plug-in hybrid C 300 de, and while a PHEV version is possible, the manufacturer has elected to wait until it can build a fully electric model at a later stage.

This will be previewed in the form of the EQV concept at Geneva in March, and a production model could arrive in showrooms in 2021.

Speaking to our sister title Auto Express, 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.”

No performance figures for the Mercedes EQV concept have been revealed, although it’s expected to use the same platform as the V-Class. It could feature a battery up to 100kWh in size, the same as you’d find in the Tesla Model X P100D.

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.