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Mercedes-Benz Concept EQV electric van | 5 cool discoveries

Mercedes EQV
Mercedes-Benz has invested billions of dollars in its new battery-powered electric vehicle platforms, spawning another sub-brand (EQ) as well as a future in which literally dozens of electric plug-in vehicles will feature the three-pointed star. The latest entry in this panoply is the Concept EQV, an all-electric van, based on Benz’s popular V-Class medium-size hauler (known here in the States as the Metris.)

The van will have a range of nearly 250 miles from its 100-kWh battery pack. And it will, like the current V-Class, be available in multiple configurations including cargo, family hauler, and shuttle.

But that’s not all it can do, or all it implies or presages. We sat in the spacious and luxurious rear cabin of the new EQV Concept on the Mercedes stand earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show with Daimler global design director Gorden Wagener, and found out much more.

Here are five key things that we we discovered.

Vans are Easier to Electrify:

“Like with every EV, you have to store the battery, and that is always a challenge. But with a van, you don’t have to sacrifice proportions, visually, in order to do that because you can just store the battery in the existing floor. That’s what we did here. There is plenty of floor space for battery storage.”

It Has EQ Family Accents:

“We brought in the color and trim bits from the EQC Concept, with blue and black leather, rose gold accents, and especially the EQ face and grille and headlamp cluster. The only real design freedom on a van is in the front end. The rest is mainly just package and volume. But we did a good job of cleaning it up, and giving it the beauty, as well as trim and materials it requires to be a luxury van.”

Vans May Become More Ubiquitous:

“If autonomy comes, and I believe it will take quite some time, a vehicle may become a ‘third place’ in addition to your home and your work. And if that happens, then what will you prioritize in that vehicle? You will prioritize space. And a van, or a single volume [one box] vehicle has that. Like the F015 that we showed a few years, it can be a rolling loft with plenty of room to stretch out and work or relax while the vehicle drives you through the traffic of Beijing or LA.”

People Already Have Ideas of What They Will Do in That Space:

“You might use that space to cook. Or to sleep, put in a bed. Actually, I read a survey of what people believe they will plan to do in autonomous vehicles, and one of the top three was to have sex. Tint the windows. Get romantic.”

Vans Can Be Cool Again, Like They Were in the 70s:

“I was always surfing, so I always loved vans. They have more usable space than in an estate [wagon], you can throw your boards in there, you can sleep in there. But to make vans cool again you have to make them good looking. You have to give it some nose, not just blunt functionality. Status is important in many of our key markets like China and among some customers in the U.S., so you have to give it some presence.”

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