Mercedes has been at its electric EQ range again. First it was the Generation EQ concept which became the EQC SUV. Then it was the Concept EQA, which will be going into production next year. Right now, it’s the turn of the Concept EQV, the first MPV that is a BEV (battery electric vehicle). Revealed at Geneva this morning, it’s already been booked to take the Merc execs back to the airport afterwards (not really). Don’t be fooled for a moment by the word ‘concept’; it’ll be put into production. And soon… Mercedes has promised to have one ready for the Frankfurt car show in September.
Merc positions it as being ideal for families, sport enthusiasts and VIP transport. We doubt that too many bog snorkellers and mountain bikers will want to get their premium MPV dirty, but can understand families and VIP taxis being all over this. After all, the 100kWh lithium-ion battery powers a 150kW (201bhp) motor with a range of 400km (249 miles) and a top speed of 160kph – more than sufficient for the miserable slog from Heathrow into central London, but you might make some of the more spirited drivers a bit antsy on the derestricted sections of the autobahn.
Once you’re beginning to run low, the satnav system will help get you to a charger. Best of all, you won’t have to stay there long. You could get enough range for 97km in a quarter of an hour if using a quick charger. One coffee break and you’re ready to turn around and do the airport run once again. And you don’t even need to worry about whether you’ve brought your bank card with you, because the custom app can pay the electricity charge, as well as remotely setting the aircon just how you (or your customers) like it.
As an MPV, it will come in seven-seat and eight-seat varieties. Or you can have the shuttle bus configuration of six individual throne-like ones. Inside, Merc says the design is ‘Welcome Home’, but not many people we know have homes with two-tone black and blue colours. On the outside, we’re liking the LED lights and the sweep of spoiler. It’s a van, but a good-looking one.
At present, the EQ range is planned to have ten models by 2022, an aggressive roll-out strategy that will have the other makers feeling a bit flat. Sorry.