Mercedes-Benz EQV Camper conversion raises many questions
- Mercedes-Benz unveils its EQV motorhome conversion by Sortimo specialist Walter Rüegg PLC, based on the EQV 250 and EQV 300 models.
- The motorhome has a sunroof, a kitchen unit with gas stove and a bed positioned above the folded rear seats, in addition to swivel front seats.
- The longer-range EQV 300 model has a 90kWh battery, giving the van a range of 225 miles in the WLTP cycle.
While the expected arrival of the Volkswagen ID.Buzz California is still a long way off, automakers have already thought about giving electric vehicles the camper van treatment. Earlier this month, Mercedes-Benz unveiled a motorhome based on the Mercedes-Benz EQV, which has been in production since 2020, with Swiss conversion specialist Sortimo Walter Rüegg PLC offering an additional bed unit. above the folded rear seats, a pop-up roof and a kitchen unit in the rear boot.
Among other elements, the motorhome includes two solar panels integrated into the sunroof, which charge the auxiliary battery and the starter battery, swiveling front seats and darkened rear windows. The aft galley unit includes a sink, fridge, drawers and, oddly enough, a gas cooker. The bed unit, meanwhile, rolls up to allow the rear seats to be used when needed, while in its deployed position it sits level with the window sill.
“The special feature of the camping modules is their lightweight construction. This pays off especially when used in an electric van, because every kilogram saved means greater range,” Mercedes notes.
The van itself is offered with a choice of two transmission batteries, and therefore ranges. The EQV 250 has a 60 kWh battery, providing a range of 236 kilometers (146 miles) in the WLTP cycle. The EQV 300, on the other hand, has a 90 kWh battery and offers a range of 363 kilometers (225 miles) in the WLTP cycle.
As you’ve probably noticed, the EQV motorhome seems to come up against some very harsh realities of typical motorhome use, namely range, with the smaller 60kWh battery placing the EQV 250 along with some of the lower end. Electric vehicles on the market, most of which are small hatchbacks. The 90kWh battery, while giving it a range of over 220 miles in the (still optimistic) WLTP cycle, improves the equation a bit, it’s probably not enough for those living the van life in Europe opt for this model, given the price of the base vehicle itself.
The motorhome lifestyle does not always mesh well with the EV lifestyle when it comes to charging infrastructure in Europe, where the EQV will be marketed, raising real concerns about the flexibility of a motorhome with such a low base range.
The prospect of charging an electric vehicle via an appliance outlet at a campsite for two days may also not sound appealing to some motorhome owners.
On the other hand, the issue of adequate charging might otherwise work well with the philosophy of camping: traveling from campsite to campsite while recharging very slowly at each location. Perhaps that will be the whole point of an EV motorhome without a massive battery.
More than just raising questions about its own limitations, Mercedes’ Sortimo motorhome could also predict how well received other EVs of its kind will be in a few years, when there are some to choose from. VW has largely confirmed that it will produce a California version of the ID.Buzz, but that does not necessarily imply that it will be regularly used as such by its owners when traveling beyond the Pacific Coast Highway, for example in places like Montana or Alberta. .
Will motorhomes of this type remain petrol and diesel in the current decade and beyond, or will battery-electric models quickly win over buyers? Let us know in the comments below.
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