The fast-growing market for electric camper vans is set to gain another contender next month, when Mercedes-Benz will reveal a new Concept EQT Marco Polo.
The new machine is based on the EQT electric people carrier – which is basically twinned with the electric T-Class van – and will be revealed on December 2 as a “near-series concept vehicle”. The firm says that it will go on sale in production form in the second half of next year.
Oh, and don’t be fooled: the image in the press image you are above that Mercedes has released isn’t the new machine: it’s the larger Mercedes-Benz EQV eCamper that was revealed earlier this year. There's a space left next to it that's reserved for the EQT Marco Polo, you see.
The new EQT Marco Polo will effectively be a smaller companion piece for those with smaller families or the ability to pack far more lightly. The heart of the concept will be a flexible Marco Polo module for the EQT. That unit contains a bed and kitchen unit, and the firm says can “be installed and removed in no time at all”. Yes, that basically means you can use an EQT as a van during the week, and then go camping in it at the weekend.
Mercedes hasn’t given too many technical details of the new machine, but says that it will have a “modern drive concept”. But we have some idea what to expect: it’s built in partnership with Renault and effectively twinned with the Kangoo E-Tech Electric, which has a 75kW motor and a 45kWh battery that gives a range of around 165 miles.
The EQT Marco Polo and its larger EQV camper sibling will face plenty of competition in the electric camper market: Volkswagen is working on an ID Buzz California and Renault has shown off a Hippie Camper Motel concept based on the Kangoo E-Tech Electric, while start-up XBus has revealed a micro-sized Camper concept. And you can expect plenty of third-party conversions of just about any electric van you can fit a bed and a fridge in.