Mercedes-Benz billed the EQV as the World’s first fully electric luxury MPV. Available with six individual seats as standard or an optional seven or eight seats the EQV is clearly flexible. The fact it is an EV is a real bonus for those using it as a shuttle bus. For those early morning winter runs you can pre-condition the vehicle once it is plugged in using mains electricity using the vehicles own interface (MBUX) or with the Mercedes Me app. This means no more having to run the diesel shuttle bus engine for a good 10 minutes to heat up the cabin – that’s a win win – plus it means more time in bed for the driver!
I’ve spent a lot of time being shuttled from airports and hotels in posh van conversions to know their shortcomings only too well. While the cabin space is truly impressive and often very well appointed, the issue of noise from their diesel engines remains. The rattle or vibration of a diesel engine at idle can undermine the sense of luxury. The engine noise can also intrude in to the cabin and draw attention to the fact you’re in a diesel van – especially if the engine is under strain. With an electric motor the noise, vibration and harshness is gone – completely! Well not quite as road noise still is an issue when cruising.
All that reminds you of the EQV’s van origins is its silhouette. Once inside, the spaciousness and variable layout of the cabin wins you over. Ireland buyers can choose the EQV 300 with six seats as standard with prices from €95,955 (excluding SEAI grant). Our test car is an EQV Avantgarde in seven seat configuration – and of course the side door are motorised! An eight-seat option is available but if you need a shuttle there is the electric Mercedes-Benz eVito Tourer. We’ve tested it and it is a fine machine too. Back to the EQV – Two wheelbase versions are available that means you can get a short or longer body depending on your carrying and cargo requirements. The exterior features 18 inch alloys and a unique grille that help the EQV look a bit more premium and less commercial van conversion.
The vast cabin sits on top of the underfloor rechargeable battery pack. Standard EQV features include: electric sliding doors, the familiar MBUX infotainment system with its “Hey Mercedes” voice activated driver assistance feature we know from its passengers cars. There is a high-res 10-inch media display that features a host of information like: the electric energy flow, battery power and usage, plus driving modes, voice- activated features, infotainment, navigation and route planning.
The EQV has a 204hp/366nm electric motor that gets its power from a 90kWh battery. As it is an EV there is a seamless drivetrain that for passengers means no lurching between gear changes. Mercedes quotes a maximum driving range of 350kms. The EQV is obviously big and as such will consume much more power than an electric car. At best The EQV will use 26kWh per 100km. At a fast charger the EQV can go from 10-80% charge in 45 minutes using its CCS (combo AC/DC) socket. Some stats say the average European spends 50 minutes doing the weekend shopping. The EQV can sprint (no Mercedes van pun intended) from 0-100km/h in 12 seconds and its top speed is an adequate 140km/h. Of course the motorway and high speed will drastically impact on the EQV’s driving range. There are four driving modes/programmes and you can also vary the amount of brake recuperation manually. My only driving gripe is the steering weight is too heavy for frequent use and could be a lot lighter at urban speeds.
The German brand’s EQ range is delivering more and more electric options (EQC, EQA, EQS and EQE) to cater for all people carrying needs from 4 upwards. With the Vito eTourer and the larger EQV MPVs, large families, hotels and other businesses like shuttle services that require multiple passenger transport with green credentials now have some great options. The EQV requires a fair amount of power to shift its bulk along and at best will consume 27.6kWh/100km – circa 10kWh/100km more than an electric car. We had to frequently charge up to have a reasonable driving range available to us. Where the EQV also scores awell is that any MPV loses so much boot space when all seats are in use – not so our EQV with its 1,030 litre boot. The tailgate’s rear glass pops open too to help loading in tight spaces.
The EQV starts from €97,005. Annual motor tax is €120. Our test car and its metallic paint (€2,001) had a list price of €99,006.