New Mercedes EQV people carrier concept to be shown at Geneva
The new V-Class switches to Mercedes’ OM654 - the same engine used in the plug-in hybrid C 300 de. But despite this level of electrification now being technically possible for the people carrier, Mercedes has elected to stick to combustion-engined variants until an all-electric MPV arrives early in the next decade. It has confirmed today that it will show an EQV concept in Geneva - and Auto Express understands that a production version of this vehicle could be in dealerships by 2021.
Andreas Hasselwander, Chief Engineer for Mercedes mid-size vans, told Auto Express that plug-in electrification for the V-Class had been seriously considered. “We had long discussions about it,” he said, “but the problem is not a technical one, really. It is theoretically and technically possible to do the same electrification [as the C-Class]. However, we have to cope with customer demands and this is a global product, so we also need to factor in legislation, especially in China. The rules there on minimum pure-electric mileage are the big problem, because 100km is a major challenge.
“With just one battery I would say it is feasible to have up to 50km of pure-electric running in the V-Class,” Hasselwander explained. “But with China increasing the range required for incentives, we’d need to look at a second battery. That would increase complexity and cost, so we have decided to go another way.”
That alternative path is expected to be the EQV. Mercedes has not issued any technical information but the vehicle is expected to use the V-Class platform and incorporate a large battery pack that could be as large as 100kWh.
When the EQV arrives, it will join existing all-electric commercial vehicles in Merc’s line-up. The firm already offers an eVito, and an eSprinter is scheduled to appear in the second half of the year.
The Mercedes EQ sub-brand has already revealed its first production model, the 402bhp EQC pure-electric SUV, which is due on sale in the final quarter of 2019 with a range of around 280 miles. This is expected to be joined in 2020 by the EQA, an A-Class-sized EV hatchback - but there’s no official word yet on when the EQV is expected to reach customers. Mercedes has also trademarked a wide variety of EQ-related badges, including some that would be suitable for a small MPV and potentially an all-electric S-Class-sized limousine.
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