Mercedes’ latest addition to its micro-camper range – the all-electric Concept EQT Marco Polo is set to be launched in full in the second half of next year.
Having teased what it calls “a first, simple solution for the all-electric camping trip” a few weeks ago, the new ‘Marco Polo,’ built atop Mercedes’ all-electric mid-sized van at its base, is said to feature the practicalities of its petrol-equivalent – the T-Class ‘Marco Polo’ – with the added bonus of electric range and additional space thanks to the compact nature of the EQT’s drivetrain.
Two different versions of the micro-camper concept have been revealed, the first of which – the “near-production concept” Concept EQT Marco Polo (silver) – is based on the long-wheelbase EQT that’s scheduled to land in 2023. The most distinctive element is the pop-up roof with a roof bed that houses a dedicated 1.97-metre by 0.97-metre sleeping area (about the size of a standard single mattress) as well as ambient lighting and one of the vehicle’s seven USB ports. A slightly larger second sleeping area folds out of a storage compartment mounted behind the front seats.
Beneath the pop-up roof, the second row has been removed entirely and replaced with a unit boasting a recessed washing basin, a 16-litre compressor refrigerator box, and a drawer system for additional storage. Behind this – essentially where the driver’s side third row would be – is a second unit that acts as additional seating but which also houses an induction hob and a flexible removable gas cartridge cooker. In a neat touch, the latter is mounted on a drawer so that occupants can cook in and outside of the vehicle.
Mounted on the opposite of the rear cargo area is a foldaway table, under which, again, is additional storage. An “innovative blackout system” for the rear windows replaces traditional blinds and/or curtains, though the micro-camper does come with a side-mounted sun awning.
In true Mercedes fashion, the bench and bedroom are finished in Artico Microcut upholstery while the units are surfaced with Avola cherry wood. Should the owner wish to use the vehicle as a standard van, the Marco Polo kitchen can be removed in less than five minutes.
Alternatively, a Marco Polo Module can be purchased separately. Rather than individual units, this features one standalone drawer unit attached in the cargo area via the eyehooks (and can also be removed easily) that incorporates a sink with a 12-litre water tank, a 15-litre compressor refrigerator box, and a flexible removable gas cartridge cooker. The second row of seats is retained, in front of which is a mounting point for a table, though the latter can also be used outside the vehicle with two optional camping chairs.
Interestingly, despite the additional weight, the EQT’s electric drivetrain remains unchanged, with the single, front-axle driving e-motor – mated with a 45 kWh battery – continuing to produce 90 kW and 180 lb ft of torque. Prices for short-wheelbase EQT start from 49,000 euros (around $70K), though Mercedes has not yet confirmed a price for either the Marco Polo camper or the module. How much the Marco Polo module and/or kitchen units affect the EQT’s estimated 280 km range is also unknown. Interestingly, though, if purchased with an additional battery – stored in a drawer under one of the rear seats – and bespoke solar panels mounted on the pop-up roof, Mercedes claims the Concept EQT Marco Polo could be fully self-sufficient “for a certain period of time.”