At the Geneva motor show, this year, Mercedes-Benz will be unveiling an electric MPV concept that previews a machine to rival the upcoming Volkswagen ID Buzz.
Dubbed the EQV Concept, the carmaker confirmed the launch of the electric vehicle (EV) at the reveal of the facelifted V-class MPV. The new concept car has been described as a ‘near-series study’ that will likely closely mirror the production version.
The EQV concept is the fifth confirmed vehicle in the German firm’s electric EQ range. The car follows the EQC SUV launched last year and the upcoming EQA hatchback, EQB small SUV and EQS luxury sedan. All these models (along with the EQV) are due to go on sale by 2022.
Wilfried Porth, Mercedes-Benz vans board member, described the EQV as the firm’s “next big statement” in the V-class. The production model will be developed by Mercedes’ van division and will be closely related to the firm’s future commercial EVs – the same way the V-class is heavily based on the Vito van.
Mercedes-Benz Vans already has the electric eVito on offer and will launch the eSprinter later this year. The eVito is based on the architecture of the regular van and is intended as a ‘last-mile’ delivery vehicle suitable for urban use. It's powered by three lithium-ion batteries with a total capacity of 41.4kWh connected to a 115hp, motor that puts out 300Nm of torque and provides a 150km range.
The new EQV concept is likely to be based on a reworked version of the current V-class/Vito platform rather than a bespoke EV architecture. As a result the production-ready model will have considerably greater power and range than the currently available eVito.
The current V-class is offered in three lengths, with a flexible interior allowing it to either seat up to eight people or be used in its ‘luxury’ configurations. It's also offered as the Marco Polo camper van. The EQV would likely mirror this range of options – and may potentially offer even more flexible interior space since its electric car architecture would likely involve under-floor battery packs.
The passenger version of the ID Buzz concept will launch in 2022 and serve as the EQV's class rival. The Volkswagen Type 2-inspired MPV will also be offered in commercial form from 2021 and offer a range of a little under 600km.
Mercedes-Benz has committed to launching nine zero-emissions cars by 2022, beginning with the EQC. That number includes several electric city cars through the EQ brand – which is also rumoured to include an EQA-based sedan to meet consumer demand in the vital Chinese market.
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