Would You Buy a Minivan If It Were an Electric Mercedes-Benz?

The concept debuted at Geneva and will hit showrooms soon

March 5, 2019 9:00 am

During the minivan’s peak in 2000, Americans bought 1.4 million of the family-friendly schleppers. Today, that figure is down by about two-thirds, with some 480,000 rolling off the lot in 2018. But the decline seems natural, a survival of the fittest, if you will. Why buy a van that drives like a car when we have much better looking SUVs that drive like cars and seat seven (aka crossovers)?

During the Geneva Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz is answering that question with the Concept EQV, “the first purely battery-electric people mover in the premium segment.” In other words, a luxury all-electric minivan (“people mover” is the European term for “minivan”).

The vehicle is looking to entice practical car owners back to the minivan life with room for eight, a 100kWh battery offering up to 249 miles of range, and the ability to add 62 miles in just 15 minutes via fast-charging stations. But because the mere act of buying a minivan means your primary concern isn’t the car, but the cargo — whether it’s kids, clients or equipment — you can also charge this blue leather-trimmed beast at a regular household socket.

Concept EQV (4 images)

As Wired writes, the performance specs “aren’t too impressive,” with 201 horsepower and a top speed of 99 MPH. But when have you ever seen a minivan go over 70? Maybe the time you were running late for the soccer game because you forgot it was your turn to bring orange slices. (And the field was conveniently downhill from the grocery store. And there was a strong tailwind.)

Unlike other concept vehicles, Mercedes-Benz plans to put this baby into production as soon as possible. After the official unveiling this week, a series-production vehicle based on the concept will be presented at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show. No pricing or official release has been announced, but expect more concrete details come the fall.

Images courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

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