Electric Cars

Mercedes-Benz Concept EQV previews an attractive electric van

The production version will debut in Frankfurt later in 2019.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Mercedes-Benz on Tuesday unveiled the Concept EQV at the Geneva Motor Show. The concept is an all-electric van that's slated to enter production in the near future. The actual production version will be introduced properly at the Frankfurt Auto Show this fall, but for now, the "concept" version gives us a pretty good idea of what to expect.

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We'll start with the most important part, the powertrain. The EQV is front-wheel drive, containing all its motive-force bits in the front end. Its electric motor puts out 201 horsepower, and it's combined into a single unit with the transmission, cooling system and power electronics. Juice comes from a 100-kWh lithium-ion battery, which gives the EQV a range of about 249 miles and a top speed of 99 miles per hour. With fast charging, it can add about 62 miles of range in 15 minutes or so.

The best electric vehicles don't look all that different from today's cars, and the EQV fits that bill to a T.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

From an aesthetics standpoint, the EQV looks very close to the Mercedes V-Class that debuted at the end of January. There are a few touches to let you know it's electric, like a sleeker grille and headlight combination, as well as some unique alloy wheels with blue accents, but it's largely the same on the outside as the V-Class.

The EQV's interior is just a bit fancier, with blue and rose-gold elements all over the place. The Nappa leather appointments are obviously more suited to the EQV as a passenger vehicle, but odds are that there will be a stripped-down commercial version that can take a little more abuse, too.

While the production EQV will likely arrive within the next year or so, Mercedes-Benz has bigger plans beyond that. The automaker hopes to electrify its entire portfolio -- that is to say, it will offer at least one electrified variant of all its models -- by 2022. The future is electric, but it seems Mercedes-Benz doesn't want to wait until the absolute last minute to hop on the bandwagon.