Mercedes-Benz is quite serious about electrifying its entire lineup. To underscore that massive undertaking (Mercedes makes a lot of vehicles), it revealed an all-electric van concept. Except it’s not really a concept at all. Let me explain.
First off, the big van slathered in what Mercedes designers call “High-Tech Silver” is called the EQV. That ‘EQ’ stands for “Electric Intelligence” and presumably the ‘V’ is for van.
Hashtag Electric Van Life
The EQV is powered by a 100 kilowatt-hour battery pack mounted beneath the van floor. That provides power to a compact drive unit housed in the front of the van. The electric motor, transmission, cooling system, and power electronics are all tightly packaged together on the front axle.
The EQV has an estimated 248-mile range and hit a top speed of 99 miles per hour. The onboard batteries can receive a charge good for 62 miles of driving in just 15 minutes.
With the batteries under the floor and the rest of the important bits wedged up front, interior occupants get tons of interior space. This makes the EQV perfect for families or transporting VIPs. Seating can be configured to the owner’s liking, with room for six, seven or eight passengers.
A quick glimpse at the interior and you’re immediately reminded that this is not your dad’s minivan; this is a Mercedes. The center console, upper dash and door panels are finished in “Midnight Blue” Alcantara suede-like cloth. That lovely dark color is accented by rose gold trim throughout.
That There’s An RV, Clark
Jutting out of the center dash is a screen running Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system that is operated through either voice controls or by the center dash-mounted touch pad. What’s more, MBUX is more than a place to pull up your favorite radio station; it is a self-learning system. In fact, its navigation system takes into account the battery charge levels and adjusts routing accordingly.
The EQV has available apps, too, of course. These will allow drivers to pre-condition the interior, heating or cooling it before they even get to the van. Another app will allow cashless access to public charging stations, making refilling the battery’s electrons that much simpler.
Now, here’s the twist. The EQV isn’t so much a concept at all. Mercedes plans to show the production version at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year. And, from where I am sitting, it looks like it could well be a dead-on ringer for the production version.
I say that because sometimes concept cars have huge wheels, unrealistic paint jobs, or far-off tech like projected 3D avatars. This van has none of that.
Silver paint? That’s easy. 19-inch wheels? Those are pretty common. MBUX? Almost every new Mercedes has that now. Electric powertrain? I don’t think this one is much different than any of the other units Mercedes is designing. Blue Alcantara and rose gold accents? There’s nothing terribly out of the ordinary there.
So, yeah, I’d say that what you’re looking at here is essentially an all-electric van that you will likely be able to buy from your local Mercedes dealer in a year or so. And that’s pretty dang cool.