Mercedes-Benz Reveals Electric Minivan Camper Concept
More and more brands have started to shift their focus toward electric vehicles. These have the potential to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable. The technology just keeps getting better, and the new electric minivan camper concept from Mercedes-Benz is a wonderful example of just how far we’ve come.
Mercedes-Benz has always been something of an industry standard when it comes to camper vans. These vehicles are used as the base for a variety of campers and motorhomes. They’ve pushed the envelope even further with the recent announcement of their new micro campervan: The EQT Marco Polo.
This electric minivan contains everything you need for a great camping trip and then some! Best of all, it’s easy to remove the camping equipment so you can use this vehicle as a regular van when you just need to drive around town. This flexibility is amazing, and it opens up a whole new world to camper van enthusiasts.
Even though this prototype is being marketed as a micro camper, it has an impressive number of features we want to cover. Let’s dive in!
The EQT Marco Polo
The quest to create electric vehicles isn’t new, but it has been picking up steam in recent years. Just last year, Mercedes-Benz Switzerland division created a prototype van that was converted into a fully functional electric camper van. Sortimo (a German automaker) then combined the techniques used for the Marco Polo camper van prototype with the electric EQT long wheelbase van.
The result is the EQT Marco Polo. The vehicle was recently debuted, but so far it is only a prototype or a “concept” according to the brand. But if this is just the starting point, it seems like we’ve got a lot to look forward to! It’s already a very impressive van that has a superb layout and lots of clever storage and conversion capabilities.
So far, the current model can travel for a maximum of 175 miles before it needs to be recharged. It’s likely that this travel range will be improved before the vehicle is put on the market, but 175 is nothing to sneeze at! That’s enough range to help most people travel to campgrounds within their state.
And even when the charge does run down, it doesn’t take too long until you’re back on the road. Mercedes-Benz estimates that is takes about 38 minutes for the battery to go from 20-80% charge (source). So once you pull over, grab a meal, and stretch your legs, you’ll be ready to get back on the road!
These micro camper vans are quite small, but they make great use of the space they have. Only one floor plan was revealed in the initial announcement, but it’s likely that more iterations will appear in the coming years. The prototype layout will also recieve a few tweaks before it’s available for purchase. But the current floor plan is still quite impressive, and it’s definitely worth talking about.
Behind the driver and passenger seats, there’s a large padded sitting area. This has storage space located underneath and is tucked right up against the backs of the chairs so it doesn’t intrude into the floor plan too much.
Along one side of the van, there’s a small kitchenette and a long bench with pull-out storage located underneath. The kitchenette is compact, but it still has space for a sink, refrigerator, and an induction cooktop. Additional storage space is included here as well.
Finally, the opposite wall has a counter with an extendable surface. It works well as a dinette because it’s located directly across from the bench. Storage drawers are located underneath this surface as well, so you can get the more bang for your buck!
Perhaps most impressive of all, all of the furniture can combine together to form a flat surface for a fold-out bed that occupies the entire space in the back of the van. This electric minivan has more than a few surprises hidden throughout the design, and we’re excited to see what other innovations will be included in the final product.
Second battery for amenities
If you have an electric vehicle, you’re probably wondering how the various appliances in the van are powered. After all, if they rely on the van’s power source, you’ll cut into your traveling capabilities. Not to worry! The EQT Marco Polo has a removabale second battery that’s solely designed to power the appliances and amenities within the van.
Although there is a small kitchenette included in the floor plan, sometimes it’s nice to stretch out and cook outdoors. This electric minivan comes with a slide-out gas stove that’s tucked underneath the bench seat. It’s easy to take in and out, so you can easily cook outside with this handy attachment.
It might feel a bit awkward and exposed to sleep in a van with so many windows. But there’s no need to worry! Mercedes-Benz designers though of everything, including your privacy.
The windows on this vehicle can instantly darken when you push a simple button. That way, nobody can see in, and you don’t have to go through the hassle of setting up curtains every night.
Pop-top roof and solar panel
Things can get a little bit cramped inside a van, so this model comes with a pop-up roof. It adds a nice bit of extra head space, plus it can be equipped with an extra bunk bed. The pop-up roof is lined with LED lights too, so you’ll always have some illumination.
In addition, the top of this roof is outfitted with a special solar panel. This is designed to supplement your vehicle’s battery and help you retain a charge throughout the day. It can keep everything running smoothly, plus it ties in with the clean energy focus of this model.
Easily removable furniture
Finally, you don’t have to use the EQT Marco Polo as a camper van if you don’t want to. It’s specifically designed to work well as an RV or just as a regular day-to-day vehicle.
All of the furniture in this build can be taken out if you just want to use it as a normal van. It only takes five minutes for two people to remove all of the extra furniture in here, so it doesn’t have to be a big hassle when you want to convert it from one state into another. That’s pretty impressive if you ask me!
The future of the electric minivan
Even though the EQT Marco Polo was only a prototype, a Mercedes-Benz spokesperson said that it’s quite close to what the finished product will look like. So if you like what you see here, you’re in luck!
“In the second half of 2023, we plan to expand our range even further with a fully-fledged and also fully-electric micro camper. The Concept EQT Marco Polo already gives a glimpse of the upcoming series production vehicle.”Klaus Rehkugler (Head of Sales Mercedes-Benz Vans)
If all goes according to plan, thee beauties should become available in the second half of 2023. Prices are still unknown, but a standard EQT Mercedes-Benz electric minivan typically costs around $52,600. This doesn’t account for the camping amenities and furniture that will be added, but it’s a base price to keep in mind. On the other hand, the initial Switzerland camper van prototype cost $75,600.
The new model will probably be closer to this price point, but we won’t know for certain until they’re up on the market. If you want to learn more about this innovative camper concept, check out the full announcement from the Mercedes-Benz press room.
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