Mercedes-Benz Vans has firmly anchored its leadership aspirations for electric mobility in its strategy and is systematically electrifying all model series. This includes a range of industry-specific electric mobility solutions – also for the camper van industry.
With the Concept EQT Marco Polo1 the brand with the star is providing a preview of the new, fully electric and fully fledged micro camper van based on the EQT, which is equipped with numerous innovations for the segment. The series version is expected to be presented in the second half of 2023.
The Mercedes-Benz EQT, which is also a product innovation in its own right and will soon be available to order, is a small van that combines the variability and high-quality equipment level of the T-Class – its conventionally powered sister model – with the advantages of an all-electric drive. In the near future, the Marco Polo Module a first, practical camper solution for fully electric short trips with the EQT will be available.
“For us, the future is electric – regardless of the size or purpose of a van. The latest proof of this strategic direction is our new EQT with all-electric drive. With the Marco Polo Module, we also have a first, simple solution for the all-electric camping trip on offer in the near future. 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. As the name suggests, we are expanding our Marco Polo family with both products, based on the EQT,” says Klaus Rehkugler, Head of Sales Mercedes-Benz Vans.
Innovative highlights: New fully fledged micro camper van with all-electric drive ex factory
The Concept EQT Marco Polo1 is based on the long-wheelbase EQT variant. The near-production concept vehicle provides a first glimpse of the new, all-electric and fully-fledged micro camper with the star, which is currently still in development. The equipment of the Concept EQT Marco Polo includes a pop-up roof with a roof bed. Thanks to a scissor design, the pop-up roof can be raised easily with a slight angle of inclination to the vehicle roof. This means that the Concept EQT Marco Polo1 offers enough space in the rear to stand upright. In addition, the pop-up roof can be opened all around or in window form with a zip on the rear for that typical camping sense of freedom. The roof bed has a sleeping area that measures 1.97 metres by 0.97 metres. A point-elastic disc spring system, among other things, ensures a high level of sleeping comfort.
In the rear there is a further folding sleeping facility measuring 2 metres by 1.15 metres. Directly in the second row of seats behind the driver’s seat, there is an element with a recessed washing facility and a likewise recessed 16-litre compressor refrigerator box. Directly docked to it is one of two bench seats. Another seat is located on the left side of the vehicle in the interior (facing the rear cockpit). The drawer system built in here offers sufficient storage space for camping accessories. There is also an induction hob and a drawer that can be pulled out of the vehicle interior with a flexible removable gas cartridge cooker, so that there are two options for cooking. On the right-hand side of the vehicle in the interior (looking towards the rear cockpit) is a fold-out table which is also electrically height-adjustable. In addition, further stowage compartments are incorporated.
All furniture units in the interior can be removed easily by two people in less than 5 minutes. This means that the all-electric micro camper van can also be used as an everyday vehicle if required. With its height of less than two metres, it can also easily enter all conventional garages, multi-storey car parks and car washes in the future.
The furniture of the Concept EQT Marco Polo1 is not only functional, but also fits seamlessly into the high-quality interior of the new EQT. The design, for example, takes up the seating concept of the electric Small Van: like the seats, the kitchen, bench and bedroom elements are also done in Artico Microcut. The panelling of the furniture fronts, meanwhile, is finished in Avola cherry wood by way of contrast. Ambient lighting in the joint areas creates the right atmosphere. There is also a dark roof liner and LED lighting in the upper bed area. In total, the vehicle covers 7 USB ports, one of them being in the pop-up roof area and two in the living area of the micro camper van.
The future long-wheelbase version of the EQT, which has been used as the basis for the concept car, is painted in chromite grey metallic with contrasting elements in black gloss. These include the black-painted chrome trim at the front and rear and the special 19-inch diamond-cut wheels. The beige colour tone of the pop-up roof can be found in other elements of the vehicle – like for example the sun sail. Reddish accents on the boot and rim, among other things, bring colour into play.
Another eye-catching feature in the Concept EQT Marco Polo1: the solar panel on the pop-up roof. This and an additional, removable battery unit allow the camping unit to be self-sufficient in energy for a certain period of time and conserve the range. The additional battery is stored in a drawer in the seat during use – but can be easily removed for recharging and charged, for example, at the socket in one’s own flat or house, or even at the campsite. Other highlights include the sun awning, which is attached to the side of the vehicle, and an innovative blackout system for the rear windows. These can be coloured at the touch of a button. Curtains or roller shutter systems are a thing of the past in the concept car.
“A new spin on the classics”: Camping pleasure in no time at all with the Marco Polo Module
With the Marco Polo Module, which can be flexibly installed and removed and will be available for the new EQT with a short wheelbase5, among others, Mercedes-Benz is offering a first practical solution for basic camping requirements in the near future. With the standard bed and optional kitchen unit – both classic solutions for the small van segment in the camping environment – the EQT becomes a simple travel companion in no time at all.
The bed unit offers a 2 metre by 1.15 metre sleeping surface. A point-elastic disc spring system and a ten-centimetre-thick mattress ensure ergonomic lying comfort right up to the edges. When needed, the bed frame can be pulled out forwards and the mattress folded out. While on the move, the bed frame with folded mattress is in the load compartment. The rear seats can then be used without restriction. The standard equipment for high sleeping comfort also includes manually attachable blackout elements for the window panes and a ventilation grille with insect protection that can be clamped between the panes and the frame. Also standard are two window pockets between the C-pillar and D-pillar for smaller items.
The optional kitchen unit is based on a drawer system. It includes a sink with a 12-litre water tank, a 15-litre compressor refrigerator box and a flexible removable gas cartridge cooker. Further drawers provide space for cutlery, crockery and food supplies. In addition, two camping chairs and a table are available in combination with the optional kitchen unit. The table comes with two different feet. This means it can be placed outdoors as well as attached to the centre console inside the EQT – a first in the segment.
If the bed or kitchen unit is not needed, thanks to its light weight, it can be installed and removed in a few easy steps and in a short time. When attached, it is fixed to the lashing eyelets in the luggage compartment.
The entire Marco Polo Module has a stylish, clean design and the colour anthracite. As a result, it blends in perfectly with the high-quality interior of the all-electric small van. In addition, the Mercedes star and lettering show the clear affiliation to the brand.
The Marco Polo Module can be ordered directly from Mercedes-Benz branches and dealers in the near future.
The new Mercedes-Benz EQT: the basis for innovative camping solutions and much more
The new EQT not only forms the basis for the Concept EQT Marco Polo1 and the Marco Polo Module, but also offers families as well as recreationally active people and camping fans an attractive entry into the fully electric world of the brand with the star. The electric small van will be available for order in the near future. Prices start at around 49,000 euros for the EQT with 90 kW e-motor and standard length.
Thanks to the Black Panel radiator grille with central star and dynamically designed cooling louvres, the new EQT is instantly recognisable as a member of the Mercedes-EQ family. The electric small van combines compact exterior dimensions with ample space. At the same time, thanks to the protected, space-saving installation of the battery in the underbody, with a favourably low centre of gravity, it offers almost the same variability and functionality in the interior as the conventionally powered T-Class. The EQT is 4498 millimetres long, 1859 millimetres wide and 1819 millimetres high. A long-wheelbase variant will follow in 2023.
Just like the T-Class, the new EQT offers many advantages that make everyday life easy and comfortable for families and the recreationally active. These include the low loading sill of only 561 millimetres, which makes it easier to load heavy objects. The sliding doors on both sides of the vehicle each offer an opening measuring 614 millimetres wide and 1059 millimetres high. This allows convenient access to the rear, and loading can be done flexibly from three sides, including the tailgate. There is room for up to three child seats on the rear bench seat.
Modern electric motor
At the market launch, an electric motor with a peak output of 90 kW (122 hp) and a maximum torque of 245 Newton metres is available. The lithium-ion battery sits in a crash-protected location in the underbody in front of the rear axle and has a usable capacity of 45 kWh. At work, at home or at public charging stations, the EQT can be conveniently charged at 22 kW with alternating current (AC) using the onboard charger. It is even faster at rapid charging stations using direct current (DC), depending on the SoC (State of Charge) and the temperature of the high-voltage battery. The EQT is equipped with an 80 kW DC charger, the charging time will then be 38 minutes from 10-80 percent. The EQT is charged in the front under the Mercedes star, which is practical and convenient, especially when charging in the city in tight parking situations. A CCS charging plug as well as CCS charging cable is also included as standard for AC and DC charging in the EQT.
Sustainable business strategy covering the full life cycle
Mercedes-Benz Vans has firmly anchored its leadership aspirations for electric mobility in its strategy, and is systematically electrifying all model series. Today, customers, fleet operators and bodybuilders can already choose from four battery-electric models: the eVito panel van, the eSprinter, the eVito Tourer and the EQV. With the EQT, the electric portfolio will now be extended to the small van segment in the near future. When it comes to eCamper vans, Mercedes-Benz Vans has so far mainly worked with partners in the classic dual-invoice business. This currently applies primarily to the EQV and eVito midsize vans. In the near future, Mercedes-Benz will also be increasingly addressing the trend towards eCampers ex works.
In addition, as part of its sustainable business strategy “Ambition 2039”, Mercedes-Benz Vans is pursuing the goal of making the fleet of new private and commercial vans CO₂-neutral in balance sheet terms across the entire value chain by 2039 – from development to the supplier network, own production, electrification of products, renewable energies for the use phase of electric vehicles, and recycling. To achieve this ambitious goal, Mercedes-Benz is investing a further 40 billion euros in the development of battery-electric vehicles by 2030. From the middle of the decade, all newly launched Mercedes Benz vans will be exclusively electric. To this end, Mercedes Benz Vans is developing a fundamentally new, modular and fully electric van architecture. It bears the name VAN.EA. The company plans to invest accordingly in the development of this platform for all-electric medium and large vans, as well as in production sites.