Mercedes launches EQV electric MPV and a plugin A-Class

As much as 75km electric range for Merc’s new plugins

Mercedes is expanding out its EQ-branded electric and plugin-hybrid technology to its smallest, and tallest, models, the A-Class and B-Class, and the V-Class-based new EQV

Mercedes is expanding out its EQ-branded electric and plugin-hybrid technology to its smallest, and tallest, models, the A-Class and B-Class, and the V-Class-based new EQV

 

Mercedes is expanding out its EQ-branded electric and plugin-hybrid technology to its smallest, and tallest, models, the A-Class and B-Class, and the V-Class-based new EQV. EQ is Mercedes’ new electric car brand, which also encompasses its fully electric models such as the EQC SUV (which goes on sale in Ireland next week) and the forthcoming EQS luxury saloon.

While these new EQ-badged A250e and B250e models are not fully electric, they do seem to offer conspicuously more electric-only range than most rivals. Whereas most competitor vehicles offer battery-only range of around 50km, the small Merc EQ models claim to be able to go as far as 75km on one charge of their batteries.

The EQ system used in the A250e and B250e combines a 15.6kWh lithium-ion battery with the 1.33-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol engine taken from the standard A-Class. It has 160hp, but combined with a 75kW electric motor, the combined system total is hot-hatch-like 218hp. That’s combined with a total system torque output of 450Nm, which is actually more than you’ll find in the high-performance AMG A35 model. 0-100km/h comes up in a claimed 6.6secs, with a top speed of 235km/h, or 140km/h if you’re running on just the battery.

The electric motor is packaged as part of an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and Mercedes claims that even though the battery pack weighs a hefty 150kg, it doesn’t impinge on boot space or storage. That’s partially thanks to a new exhaust system which ends half way along the underside of the car. The space at the rear, normally reserved for the silencer and catalytic convertor, is now occupied by the batteries.

From a 7.4kW wall-mounted charger at home, the cars can be fully charged from ten per cent power in one hour and 45-minutes. From a high-speed DC charger, an 80 per cent charge takes just 25-minutes.

The MBUX digital dashboard gains specific route-planning technology for the sat-nav which which finds the most economical route and the route that allows you to deploy the highest proportion of electric power. You can also use the gearshift paddles behind the steering wheel to select from different levels of regenerative braking.

The A-Class versions of the 250e, in both saloon and hatchback forms, can be ordered across Europe now, and the B250e goes on sale in a few weeks’ time.

Also on sale very shortly will be the EQV. Basically a V-Class van-based MPV with electric power, it gets a 90kWh battery pack, mounted under the floor, and the more streamlined-looking radiator grille and lights from the EQC electric crossover.

Mercedes currently claims a one-charge range of 405km for the EQC, which gets a single front-wheel drive electric motor developing 204hp. The top speed is limited to 160km/h. It can take an ultra-rapid charge from the new 150kW IONITY charging points, the first Irish one of which has recently opened near Cashel.

Inside - and Mercedes again claims that there’s been no intrusion on the passenger space from the battery pack - you can have a luxurious six-individual-seat layout, or more space-efficient seven or even eight-seat setups, with a choice of two wheelbase lengths.

“Our MPVs meet the highest standards in terms of functionality and variability. The EQV also does not compromise in this respect. It offers comfortable handling, dynamic electro-aesthetics, intuitive operation and generous space - and all locally emissions-free. This means that it offers all of the typical qualities of the brand and segment that our customers expect, whether as a family car or a shuttle vehicle with a lounge-like character”, says Marcus Breitschwerdt, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.