Electric drivetrains are the future of the automotive industry. All types of vehicles are moving toward this realm. There are a lot of hybrids and PHEV models out there, but the EV segment is not in full swing yet. However, technology evolves, so such powertrains are closing the gap with conventional engines regarding performance. Emissions can’t be compared, since EVs are making zero gases.
Here we talk about the minivan class, which is not too popular. But, on the other hand, it is not dead yet. Specialists for passengers or cargo transportation still can do something other vehicles can’t. With electric motors, those can become favorites. So, let’s check what models could be out in the next few seasons.
Interesting – the German automotive giant is teaming up again with the Nissan-Mitsubishi-Renault alliance. This time, their Mercedes EQT will use the same platform as Nissan Townstar and Renault Kangoo. The electric minivan will be launched very soon. According to initial details, the T-Class vehicle will deliver 300 km of range (186 miles) and we’ll see it in Europe first. That will be a 5-seater, while the model with 2 extra seats is coming out in a few months after the debut of the base model. Pricing is not unveiled yet. But, having in mind that advanced EV technology is mixed with Mercedes luxury, the cost of the MPV won’t be so cheap.
Next-gen Mercedes EQV
Mercedes is not working on the EQT, but also the new version of the EQV minivan. This model debuted in 2019, and the second generation is coming out in 2025. Compared to the T-Class, this one is using company’s VAN.EA architecture. The current range of the minivan is 222 miles (357 km). The upcoming model will provide extra distance. Experts predict between 270 and 310 miles (up to 500 km). This is not bad, but Mercedes will also have to think about the recharging systems for their electric vans. Converted to USD, the vehicle costs from $64,000. The new price will depend on the cost of the building, as well as the competition.
Of course, when one of the German carmakers announces some new model, others are following and respond. Audi urbansphere is the minivan for the Chinese market, but the vehicle will be available in other countries and regions pretty soon. It is the third model from the ‘sphere’ family. Others are activesphere and grandsphere. The minivan can cover up to 750 km (466 miles) and recharges 80 percent of the battery in 25 mins (270 kW charger). The Audi urbansphere should have the Level 4 autonomous drive system. Well, if the company wants to keep the word, we might wait for 2 or 3 years before the electric minivan’s debut.
Toyota HiAce Electric Van
The HiAce is a vehicle that is in the market for more than 50 years. Now, it is ready for the next chapter. The Toyota HiAce Electric Van is a new project by the Japanese carmaker and the minivan will be out by 2025. A standard model with a diesel engine is under the question mark and the manufacturer could discontinue it. Sources say the vehicle is going to land in Australia first. Currently, the van is out as the H300 and the next-gen minivan will be launched as the H400. The platform of the HiAce is the same one you can find underpinning the bZ4X.
Toyota ProAce Electric
While the HiAce is Toyota’s model all the way, the Toyota ProAce Electric is the rebadged Citroen Jumpy. A few more vehicles are using the same platform. The EV is out for a while. ProAce was used for the first time in 2013. The third generation came out in 2016 and we’ll see the current version for a while. On the other hand, Opel, one of the members of the big international alliance of carmakers, launched a hydrogen-powered Vivaro-e. French manufacturers are already adopting the platform, but Toyota is not in those stories. The electric minivan covers 160 miles on a single charge, and the new model will go up to 200 mi.
Chrysler Pacifica Electric
Pacifica is one of the rare nameplates available with the Chrysler badge. The company introduced the plug-in hybrid version last year. So, the next step is moving to an all-electric platform. Those are not rumors, since even the company’s spokesmen mentioned it a few times. But, without providing details. Of course, it is early to talk about range without architecture in the development. But, the carmaker needs to speed up the process and launch the Chrysler Pacifica Electric in 2024 or 2025. Besides the minivan, the Stellantis group is going to introduce the Jeep Wrangler Magneto.
Buick Electra MPV
It is not a surprise to hear that General Motors is building an electric vehicle. There are already a few models available, and one of the future projects is the Buick Electra MPV. The Ultium platform is versatile and it can also underpin the minivan. We can compare it to the existing vehicles, but the range varies from 200 to 400 miles on some high-end tri-motor configurations. From what we saw so far, the Buick Electra MPV might arrive to the Chinese market first, and maybe even exclusively. The brand is focused on this region since more than 80 percent of sales are from there.
VW ID. Buzz
European buyers already know about the VW ID. Buzz. The minivan is heading to the US market and it will become available in 2024. However, it won’t be the same vehicle, since the electric van is introducing a few changes, outside and inside. But, the MEB platform still underpins the ID.Buzz. The EV can go up to 300 miles thanks to a 111 kWh battery pack. Experts believe that the company will sell the base version for $60,000. There are no details about any of the higher-end packages.
VW ID. California
Another electric minivan is almost ready for the US market. The VW ID. California will be the model exclusive to this part of the world. However, there are not too many details available about this one. Chiefs confirmed that production is taking place in the homeland. The VW ID. California should be a 2025 YM. We don’t know if the vehicle is going to use the MEB platform and what will be the range, price, or size of the EV. So, all we can do is wait.
The Urbanaut is a new project by the British carmaker. The company is yet to make its debut official. The concept is there, but the building process is totally different from all we saw by MINI. Even if it is not launched soon, the platform can serve in the future. The carmaker is going to partner with BMW for the MINI Urbanaut. Another possibility is investing in the Canoo startup and joining forces for the new market. This is the project name and some reports say that Traveller nameplate could return for this one.
Hyundai Staria FCEV
Many carmakers on this list are rookies in the EV segment. Not the Hyundai. The Korean company is preparing the next project, which will be launched late in 2023. The Hyundai Staria FCEV is the minivan with a bright future, at least if the production model carries over all the stuff from the prototype. Two types of drivetrains are on the way, with the capacity of 100 and 200 kW. This is the third generation of batteries and we can expect the Hyundai Staria FCEV to be more efficient than any of its predecessors.
Kia Carnival EV
One of the fastest-growing nameplates both in the electric segment and the automotive industry overall is Kia. Their minivans are among the best in the market. The new Kia Carnival EV is just one of the fresh additions to the lineup since the carmaker plans to add the FCEV as well. The range of the MPV is still unknown, but it is a good thing to know that Korean company is going to compete in this segment. The vehicle is going to share some solutions with the Hyundai Staria. The Carnival EV won’t be out in the next two years. First, Kia will test the market with electric crossovers and SUVs.
Honda Electric Minivan
Not too long time ago, the Japanese automotive giant introduced a long-term plan for the next 10 years. The focus is on electrification, and by 2030, there will be 30 EVs in the lineup. We could see only a teaser, but among all those cars and crossovers, we also spotted the Honda electric minivan. Well, the shadow of the vehicle can’t tell us much about the final product. Bosses didn’t go into details about price, release date, or range. The new electric minivan is going to replace the legendary Odyssey in the US.
Canoo Lifestyle Vehicle
Canoo is building some of the most interesting electric concepts. But, what those projects need is funding. The Canoo Lifestyle Vehicle is definitely the best-looking minivan in this review. Spokesmen made the bold prediction that production will start in 2022, but it didn’t happen. Well, they will more likely build an SUV first, since the demand for such vehicles is higher. Anyway, the Canoo Lifestyle Vehicle should be out with 300 horsepower and 250 miles of range. The size of the van is similar to the passenger car. Also, the pricing starts from $35,000, which is a bargain for an electric vehicle. Pre-orders with a $100 deposit have started. When will Canoo deliver the product, no one knows.
The Chinese market is introducing some cool electric vehicles. The Voyah Dreamer is a minivan built by the Dongfeng Group. It belongs to the luxury segment with all the advanced stuff that enhances overall comfort. Two layouts are available – for 4 and 7 persons. Maximum power coming from the electric battery is 430 horsepower and the minivan can sprint 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds. Besides Chinese, the van is also available in the Norwegian market. The company plans expansion to the rest of Europe. Debut in the USA depends on the political situation. It will be interesting to see the Voyah Dreamer and its 2+ autonomous drive system.
Maxus MIFA 9
The Maxus MIFA 9 is another electric minivan coming from China. The van looks bold and aggressive. Inside, it is very cozy with captain’s chairs in the middle row. The dashboard is fully digital and the Maxus MIFA 9 offers a virtual assistant. The range of the EV is 323 miles. The long-range version comes out in 2023 with 405 miles and an increased price. The base version costs $40,000. Chinese company introduced the vehicle in the UK, so we expect to see it on British roads very soon.
Geely has already a well-known brand coming from China. Now, the carmaker entered the EV market and one of the models is the Zeekr 009. It uses the SEA platform and the base model is 205 inches long, 87 inches wide and 73 inches high. The long wheelbase stretches for 126 in. The next-gen battery pack is going to stun you with the range. Experts predict even 1,000 km (621 miles). But, it seems far-fetched for now. Also, with the great range comes speed charging. Again, rumors say the Zeekr 009 can restore 80 percent of the huge battery in just 10 minutes. Those are results for a high-end and expensive model. The base configuration will deliver lighter numbers.
BYD ‘R’ Premium MPV
BYD is another startup project that is trying to lure investors to finance their electric vehicles. According to the initial plan, the electric SUV was supposed to come out early in 2023, but it is not going to happen. The BYD R Premium Minivan will be released 12 months after the SUV. This should be a large MPV with an electric drivetrain. The seating capacity is seven, and captain’s chairs can increase comfort. The range starts from 500 miles.
Another electric minivan with an experimental look is the XBUS. You might know it as Bussy. Two types of bodies are available for pre-order. The Off-Road variant is wider and taller than the Standard. What really draws the attention are the outputs. The XBUS delivers only 75 horsepower. But, batteries can crank 885 lb-ft of torque. Well, measuring the twisting power on the EVs is different and the real-life results are closer to normal outputs. Bosses are not promising long-range. The base version of the XBUS can cover 85 miles, while batteries with a higher capacity can do 250 miles. According to official statements, so far there are more than 15,000 pre-order reservations.
Li Auto MPV
The Li Auto MPV is not official yet, but the company teased it on one of its releases. So, it leaves a lot of room for speculations. Still, we can compare it to other electric vehicles by Li Auto. For example, automotive experts from China expect the minivan to offer a range of 250 miles. The Qilin technology is making batteries more efficient, so the ultimate goal is to build a vehicle with a range of 1,000 kilometers. At this point, it seems impossible. But, as the automotive industry progress, those numbers are going up. So, eventually, some of the minivans will hit a four-digit range.