2020 Mercedes EQV electric MPV: price, specs and release date
The Mercedes EQV electric MPV is now on sale in the UK, with pricing starting from £70,665 for the EQV 300 Sport model. It has a 90kWh battery that gives it a 213-mile driving range.
Higher-spec Sport Premium and Sport Plus trim levels are also available, priced at £72,895 and £77,145 respectively. As no EQV costs less than £50,000, the model is not eligible for the government's grant for plug-in vehicles.
Standard equipment on the entry-level Sport comprises 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a Driving Assistance package, the MBUX infotainment system with Navigation Plus, a reversing camera, electric sliding doors, an 'easy-pack' tailgate, ambient lighting and and eight-metre charging cable.
Sport Premium adds a 360-degree camera, a memory package for the seat and steering-wheel adjustments, an 'Exterior Design' package, a table for the seating area and full smartphone integration. The range-topping Sport Premium Plus, meanwhile, includes a Burmester surround-sound system, air suspension and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The EQV joins the Mercedes EQC SUV in the German brand's electric passenger-car range, while Mercedes also offers electric eVito and eSprinter vans, as well as the eVito Tourer, a more functional minibus version of the EQV. A smaller electric MPV, bearing the new name T-Class, is planned for 2022.
Mercedes EQV electric motor, performance, range and charge time
A driving range of 213 miles from a full charge is expected from the EQV, as well as rapid charging of the 100kWh lithium-ion battery (which has a useable capacity of 90kWh) from 10 to 80% capacity in around 45 minutes at the maximum charge rate of 110kW. Charging fully from a home wallbox overnight should take under 13 hours.
Mercedes claims a top speed of 87mph, with the option to increase that to 99mph, but has not confirmed a 0-62mph acceleration figure for the EQV. Total output from the electric motor is 201bhp and 362Nm of torque, all going through the front wheels.
Mercedes elected not to produce a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the V-Class, instead skipping to full electrification. The company's chief engineer for mid-size vans, Andreas Hasselwander, explained that it would have been "theoretically and technically possible" to build a V-Class PHEV, but that regulations on minimum electric range for the Chinese market would make it too expensive.
Interior, exterior, design and technology
On the outside, the EQV is distinguishable from its V-Class sibling by a black-panel 'grille' with chrome fins, lightweight 18-inch alloy wheels and 'EQV' badging just next to the door mirrors.
A variety of seating configurations will be available in other markets, from six-seater VIP transporter to seven-seater family car and eight-seater minibus, as well as two different wheelbase lengths (3.2 or 3.4 metres), but all cars sold in the UK will be eight-seaters on the longer of the two wheelbases.
The EQV's batteries are fitted below the floor, meaning the interior space and layout are unchanged from the conventional diesel-powered V-Class models. Up front, a 10-inch touchscreen gives access to the latest version of Mercedes' MBUX infotainment software, which displays charging current, energy flow and energy consumption information, as well as sat nav and the car's different driving modes.
A voice-command feature, first seen in the latest Mercedes A-Class, is also present, activated by saying 'Hey Mercedes'. This can be used to carry out many functions, including setting a sat-nav destination, making a phone call, selecting music, setting the climate control and adjusting the interior lighting.
There's also a 'Mercedes me' smartphone app that pairs with the car, allowing for remote route planning and pre-conditioning of the interior temperature before departure. Users in continental Europe get access to 300,000 charge points with integrated payment through this app, however the current lack of interoperability between the various UK charging-point networks means this function won't immediately be offered here.
On the move, a brake-energy recuperation system is used to keep charge going to the EQV's battery and thus maximise its electric driving range. Drivers can adjust the strength of this regenerative effect using paddles behind the steering wheel, with the strongest setting allowing for 'single-pedal' driving, where the slowing effect of lifting off the accelerator is sufficient to bring the car to a complete stop without touching the brake.
An 'ECO assistant' function pulls data from the navigation, traffic-sign recognition and safety radar and camera systems in order to automatically set the most effective level of regenerative braking and coach the driver on the most energy-efficient driving style to use.