With all the talk about new German electric cars wanting to displace current rival offerings, missing is the fact that one German maker seems poised to be the bar in a specific pure-electric segment — minivans.
Mercedes-Benz has moved ahead with plans to bring the second electric model to its EQ-Class and it’s a minivan — the EQV, which was introduced in concept form at this past spring’s Geneva Motor Show, has been confirmed to start production, making its debut at this week’s IAA in Frankfurt.
Basically an electric version of Mercedes’s combustion-engine van, the Metris, the EQV doesn’t skimp on any of the desirable minivan features, such as a flat floor and room for six, seven or eight in various seating arrangements. The company started production of a Vito E-Cell, an electric cargo van, back in 2010, but the EQV naturally benefits from the advances of electric propulsion technology over the past decade.
And because it’s a Mercedes-Benz, it comes with a healthy dose of upscale appointments, including rose-gold interior trim and seat stitching to complement the midnight blue leather upholstery
Powered by a 150-kW motor (201 hp) which is packaged up with the single-speed transmission, cooling system and power electronics in one compact unit located on the front axle. The EQV has a reported top speed of 160 km/h and a range of 405 km, with the 90-kWh lithium-ion battery (located under the floor) can be charged up to 80% in less than 45 minutes (DC charging) or in about 10 hours at home.
During driving, the driver has control of energy recuperation through steering-wheel paddles, using the left paddle to increase level of recuperation and the right one to decrease it. At it’s weakest, the van will mostly coast when the accelerator pedal is released, while at its strongest, the driver can drive with one pedal (depressing the accelerator to supply power and releasing it to brake). An ECO assistant helps the vehicle work at its most efficient.
Owners can check out what the vehicle is doing and the state of charge through the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) multimedia system that displays on a 10-inch touchscreen. The system, which naturally includes navigation and entertainment controls can be activated by voice (including listening to and replying to text messages received through a paired smartphone). A Mercedes me app allows controls over route planning and bringing the interior to temperature.
The EQV will be produced in Vitoria, Spain, alongside the V-Class (Metris) and the Vito, with expected production and delivery dates expected at it public debut in Frankfurt. It is not yet known if the vehicle will make it to North America, though it would certainly set the bar for the segment, if it chooses to.