2020 Mercedes-Benz EQV: Who Needs an Electric Luxury Van?

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
2020 mercedes benz eqv who needs an electric luxury van

It would appear that nobody notified Mercedes-Benz that the minivan segment is shrinking faster than male genitals dunked into icy water. Fortunately, while large MPV sales similarly dwindled in Europe by around 30 percent last year, there may be enough positive heat on vans and electric vehicles leftover for the manufacturer to try and bundle both into one package. Enter the Mercedes-Benz EQV — the next arrival for the EQ sub-brand and first non-commercial, electric luxury van offered by an established automaker. Sounds like a niche market.

While not officially scheduled to debut until next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show, the EQV has already been teased as a near-production prototype at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Daimler’s also felt comfortable enough to showcase the finished vehicle online, saving a handful of details for the German trade show.

Essentially a battery electric version of the V-Class van, the EQV shares telltale signs of Mercedes’ other EQ-branded autos — like a blackened grille. However, the biggest changes are found beneath the sheet metal. Positioned at the front of the EQV, customers will find an electric motor, cooling system, and a fixed-gear transmission. In lieu of a fuel tank, there’s a 90-kWh lithium-ion battery embedded beneath the floor.

According to Mercedes, the setup is good for about 204 horsepower, 267 foot-pounds, and 250 miles of electric driving range (using WLTP standards… so less than that). As with many modern EVs, the van comes with a driver-controlled regenerative braking system; motorists can adjust the settings via paddle controls. Maxed out, Daimler claims the system will allow for one-pedal driving.

The van also has an “Eco Assistant” that will update settings on the fly to maximize range based on pre-existing navigational data. Equipped with the latest version of MBUX with EV-specific features, the EQV is also supposed to possess a helpful digital helper who responds to voice commands.

While the standard EQV will come standard with seating for six, alternative configurations will allow room for up to eight occupants. Passengers will no doubt be pleased with the number of ways to adjust seats, but they might miss some of the interior accenting done to set the model apart from the gas-powered V-Class. We’d probably have overlooked the rose gold embellishments ourselves had Benz not mentioned it specifically.

The rest is a mystery for now, including exactly where Daimler intends to sell the model. Europe is a given and we’d wager China is also on the delivery docket — what other market wants an EV with rose gold accenting? But North America seems highly unlikely. Despite MB assuring us that the model can serve as both a high-end family hauler and commercial vehicle, the United States has little use for either as EVs.

We should know more next month when the EQV officially debuts alongside a new EQ concept in Frankfurt. An assembly date has yet to be announced, though production will take place in northern Spain on the same line that builds the current V-Class and Vito.

[Images: Daimler]

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2 of 17 comments
  • ThomasSchiffer ThomasSchiffer on Aug 20, 2019

    It is a car that nobody asked for, I doubt that Daimler will sell many of these to well-off families. It will, however, probably be purchased en masse by commercial fleets. The V-Klasse is already very popular with taxi and various business and shuttle service fleets, and those run on Diesel. My best guess and the most likely scenario is that this EV van exists solely to lower the fleet CO2 emissions. The customers will be hotel fleets and the aforementioned commercial sector fleets who will put these cars to good use for short inner-city or city-to-airport-and-back trips, all the while rejoicing in the fact that their non-existent exhaust pipe is not blowing out any CO2. No, that’s happening at the brown coal power plant across from the hotel which produced the energy that is now being stored in the EQVs batteries.

  • PeriSoft PeriSoft on Aug 21, 2019

    Yeah, China. I went to Suzhou to help do some setup for a wealthy client and he had me shuttled around in an MB van of some description; this would have been perfect for that use. Not sure how many guys like that there are, but China is pretty big, so that market alone might be enough to justify the cost of development given that the basics were going to be engineered anyway.

  • MaintenanceCosts Where's a gas inline six, for that torque and nice sound without all the diesel stink? Oh, that's right; GM being GM, they prematurely canceled it.
  • FreedMike I nominate the 1980 Thunderbird as the worst malaise car ever. My brother got one used and promptly totaled it out. In retrospect, that was a mercy killing.
  • Vulpine Regretfully, rather boring. Nothing truly unique, though the M715 is a real eye-grabber.
  • Parkave231 This counts for the Rare Rides installment on the Fox Cougar and Fox Thunderbird too, right? Don't want to ever have to revisit those......(They should have just called them Monarch/Marquis and Granada/LTD II and everything would have been fine.)
  • DM335 The 1983 Thunderbird and Cougar were introduced later than the rest of the 1983 models. If I recall correctly, the first models arrived in January or February 1983. I'm not sure when they were unveiled, but that would explain why the full-line brochures for Ford and Mercury were missing the Thunderbird and Cougar--at least the first version printed.The 1980 Cougar XR-7 had the same 108.4 inch wheelbase as the 1980 Thunderbird. The Cougar coupe, sedan and wagon had the shorter wheelbase, as did the Ford Granada.