By on August 20, 2019

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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17 Comments on “2020 Mercedes-Benz EQV: Who Needs an Electric Luxury Van?...”

  • avatar

    This will be PERFECT for virtue-signalling celebs and politicians arriving at publicized events.

  • avatar

    dont see why they cant offer it here. its an unfilled niche and at the very least could serve a purpose for limo companies.

  • avatar

    What I don’t understand is why electric vehicles aren’t universally AWD.

    • 0 avatar

      Because those of us who live in the Southern 3rd of the country have very little reason for the extra expense and complication?

      • 0 avatar

        One motor at each wheel, use computers to control torque at each wheel. What’s more, when you corner, regen on the inside wheels while deploying power to the outside ones.

        You could seriously get amazing handling in all sorts of weather.

        • 0 avatar

          Yeah but do not forget that all computer programs come with bugs as a standard feature. Can imagine what will happen when all these motors go out of sync for one or other reason – bad sensors, BUGs, worn wires, defective hardware, noise and bad design in general.

          • 0 avatar

            @inside: “all computer programs come with bugs as a standard feature.”

            That’s untrue. Many of us out there have written bug-free code and continue to. One example was when I was working on an aircraft collision avoidance system. We had some really intense and frequent code reviews. Yeah, there is always room for improvements, but the code is never actually buggy. I can do it now. You don’t have the luxury of using off the shelf libraries. You gotta code it all yourself usually and keep it simple and clean.

            I have four-wheeled four motor robots that I use as a development platform. One, two, or three motors or their controllers can fail without a problem. The remaining motors compensate and as long as you have one that still turns. On most of my stuff, I have instant feedback on the power applied to the motor and the wheel speed. You know when a wheel is slipping or malfunctioning. If you look at the history of the Mars rovers, they’ve had the same situations and even with one wheel or motor out, they can keep going. On a single motor vehicle, you’re screwed. People in the future will look back and wonder how we ever survived with vehicles that did not have redundant drive systems.

          • 0 avatar

            @mcs “Many of us out there have written bug-free code”

            Cannot be. You did not have deadlines, no workarounds on top of workarounds on top of workarounds of the code no one really understood, poorly commented code with no documentation, H1B visa engineers from India and China wreaking havoc, Indian development center and outsourcing important code to third world college graduates?

      • 0 avatar

        @krhodes1: I’ve lived in the Southern parts of the country, mostly Texas, and we did get ice storms. I remember ice even in the Rio Grande Valley on the border. Rain can be challenging too when an oily road gets wet. The other advantage in an EV with multiple motors and redundant controllers is that you can lose one or more and still keep going. Check out the history of the Mars rovers. they’ve had wheel and motor issues, but still kept going because of the redundant systems.

    • 0 avatar

      Most of today’s EVs have just one motor, so you need the same sort of heavy AWD hardware you’d have on an ICE car.

      Tesla implements optional AWD on its cars by adding a second motor in the front.

      No one is yet selling a roadgoing BEV with a motor at each wheel, although that seems like the formula for amazing off-road capability.

      • 0 avatar

        @dal20402: “No one is yet selling a roadgoing BEV with a motor at each wheel, although that seems like the formula for amazing off-road capability.”

        Rimac is, although in very limited numbers. The Concept One was only 8 cars, the C Two is 150 cars. They can do a lot of interesting things, so check out their website. Porsche just bought part of the company and I think the Taycan’s 2-speed hardware might be from them. So, we’ll probably see a 4 motor Rimac technology-based Porsche in the near future.

        Rivian I think is the next. They’re talking a “tank steering” capability, so that should be interesting. There may be others as well.

        The four motor thing is pretty common in robotics. Even better are macanum wheeled robots. With mecanum wheels, you get sideways motion in addition to forward and reverse. Not sure if anyone has built full size on or off road vehicles with mecanum wheels yet, but you can do some really amazing stuff. I’d love to whip through traffic with a mecanum wheeled car:

      • 0 avatar

        Acura NSX has two electric motors up front, and one in the rear.

  • avatar

    I think they’d sell some here. It would make a dandy airport shuttle for the Hampton Inn.

    But I think this luxed-out preview model isn’t really what M-B thinks will be the viable sales unit. Picture this van with no seats, no windows, and a rubber floor. It will make a brilliant local delivery vehicle.

  • avatar

    For those not familiar with this market segment check out the Toyota entry into the Asian luxury van market.


  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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.

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