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The best van-based MPV gains a whole new appeal

Mercedes-Benz EQV MPV (20 on) - rated 0 out of 5
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PROS

  • Concept EQV previews a full production model
  • Order book likely to open before the end of 2019
  • Claimed 248-mile range, 204hp electric motor

CONS

  • Barely any different to the V-Class to look at

PROS

  • Concept EQV previews a full production model
  • Order book likely to open before the end of 2019
  • Claimed 248-mile range, 204hp electric motor

CONS

  • Barely any different to the V-Class to look at

Previewing the second standalone model from its electric sub-brand is the near-production concept Mercedes-Benz EQV, unveiled at the 2019 Geneva motor show.

Following on from the already-announced Mercedes-Benz EQC SUV and based heavily on the revised-for-2019 V-Class MPV, the EQV is set to be the first fully electric luxury people carrier from the German brand when the showroom version arrives in 2020.

Given that Mercedes plans a wide-ranging line-up of EQ models, the decision to launch the EQV so early in the process initially seems strange. That is, until you learn that it’s been developed by Mercedes’ commercial vehicles division, which has already produced its close cousin, the eVito van.

What is the Mercedes-Benz EQV’s range?

Good news! It’ll be able to travel significantly further than the eVito’s 93-mile limit between recharges. That modest mileage may work well for city-based couriers performing ‘last-mile’ deliveries who tend to travel no more than 60 miles per day, but for a luxury passenger car it’s nowhere near sufficient.

Mercedes-Benz Concept EQV interior

More sensibly, the EQV has a claimed range of 248 miles, allowing it to cover the greater distances typically required for family people carriers and VIP shuttles. A smaller battery pack with a reduced range is also likely to be offered in due course.

As with the the eVito, the batteries are located under the EQV’s floor, giving it the same kind of flexibility enjoyed with the diesel-engined V-Class – although the concept has been shown as a six-seater, there’s no reason the production version couldn’t accommodate seven or eight passengers.

Nestled under the bonnet is a 204hp electric motor that drives the front wheels – the V-Class in rear-wheel drive-only in the UK – via a one-speed automatic transmission. No acceleration figures have been announced, but the concept EQV has an electronically capped top speed of 99mph.

Will the Mercedes-Benz EQV take long to charge?

Mercedes, like other brands set to join the ranks of BEV manufacturers, is working on fast-charging solutions.

Figures for a full recharge of the EQV’s 100kWh battery pack haven’t yet been confirmed, but on a public rapid charge point, approximately 60 miles of range can be replenished in just 15 minutes That’s still not fossil-fuel-versus-electric parity, but it may help persuade some to consider a BEV who wouldn’t have before.

Mercedes-Benz Concept EQV front three-quarter

Charging will be straightforward, too. Expect the EQV’s charging port to be located behind the front passenger door, in place of the V-Class’s diesel filler cap.

Mercedes-Benz EQV: similar styling to the V-Class

Although this isn’t quite the finished article, the production EQV will closely resemble the concept – in other words, it looks like a V-Class with something akin to the EQC’s nose grafted to it. Disappointing in the brave new world of electric motoring.

Inside there are a greater number of modifications, but it still looks very much like the V-Class. Interestingly, there’s the updated multimedia interface already seen on the A-Class and GLE, along with faux suede finishes and some rose gold detailing. Plus the instrumentation is electric-specific.

Find out more about all electric cars here