The MPV segment of the electric car industry may not see as much excitement as the electric SUV segment, however, there are at least 5 electric MPVs lined up for a launch in the next couple of years from brands that are not new in the EV market.
Maxus MIFA Electric MPV
Source: Youtube/China Auto Show
At this year’s Auto Shanghai 2021, SAIC unveiled the Maxus MIFA electric MPV concept, which is expected to debut as a production-ready vehicle at the 2021 Guangzhou Auto Show on 19 November 2021. In August this year, the company confirmed that the MIFA would launch in overseas markets, and Norway is a market that is already home to the Maxus Euniq 7 and the Euniq 6 is anticipated too.
The launch of the Maxus MIFA electric MPV in Europe will further bolster the Chinese car maker’s export ambitions. In July 2021, Maxus exported over 5000 electric vehicles to European markets (Britain, Ireland, and Norway).
The Maxus MIFA sits on the new modular Maxus Intelligent Flexible Architecture (hence the name MIFA) and the concept was announced with two motors with a combined 680 PS and 900 Nm of torque with a 0-100 km/h time of just 3.8 seconds. SAIC announced that if a solid-state battery was used, it could see around 800 km of range from the MIFA, though even with its lithium-ion battery, the MIFA concept was pegged at 600 km thanks to a high energy density of 300 Wh/kg.
Expect the production-ready MIFA to be announced for European markets in 2022 post its Chinese launch later this year or in early-2022.
The Mercedes EQT is expected to launch in Europe in the first half of 2022, with a design closely resembling the concept EQT revealed this year. The EQT electric MPV essentially shares platform and components with the Renault Kangoo Z.E. and Mercedes eCitan, so expect a 44 kWh battery giving a range of about 265-285 km (165-177 miles) as per WLTP, with a single motor driving the front wheels and giving around 102 PS and 245 Nm with a top speed of 130 km/h (81 mph).
Thanks to charging up to 75 kW, an 80 per cent quick charge takes around 40 minutes on the eCitan, which again will be replicated by the EQT.
With a 4.9-meter length and 1.8 meters in width and height, the Mercedes EQT would get sliding doors for the rear which should make access very easy for rear occupants especially if a child seat is involved. An optional third-row that could have the flexibility of being removed completely could make the EQT popular among adventure enthusiasts for carrying cycles, surfboards or camping gear.
Hyundai Staria FCEV
At the 2021 Munich Motor Show (IAA 2021), the Hyundai Staria FCEV was announced for a market launch in the second half of 2023. While the company confirmed there was no plan for an electric Staria, engineers will equip the MPV with the third-generation fuel cell system.
The Staria FCEV is expected to get the 100 kW (there are two versions of the fuel cell system, 100 and 200 kW the latter for commercial trucks mainly) system which is 30 per cent smaller than the Nexo’s fuel cell architecture and leads to improved vehicle packaging. The Hyundai Staria FCEV’s availability will be exclusive to countries that have hydrogen refuelling stations though.
Lantu H56 Electric MPV
Lantu (English name ‘Voyah’) which is a high-end electric vehicle brand under China’s Dongfeng group, will gear up for its second product at the Guangzhou Auto Show this month. Codenamed H56, the second product will be an electric MPV, following the Lantu Free which is an electric SUV. Spyshots of the Lantu H56 reveal a large, high-end electric MPV with design inspiration coming from the Lantu Free.
According to a report on Autohome.com.cn, Lantu CEO Lu Fang told media members last month (at the Lantu User Night event) that the H56 electric MPV will have the best performance in its class and that the Toyota Alphard was used as a benchmark for comfort and luxury. It features sliding doors and has a bold overall styling.
The VW ID.Buzz is anticipated to be unveiled early next year with deliveries in Europe expected from the second half of 2022. The ID.Buzz will use the MEB platform, which will be stretched (MEB-XL) to accommodate a wheelbase of 3,300 mm. Apart from the longest range variants going up to 350 miles (560 km), an optional solar roof option, single and dual motor configurations with battery sizes going up to 111 kWh, the electric MPV will be the company’s first autonomous vehicle with LiDAR integrated.