Mercedes-Benz reveals new all-electric SUV arriving in Ireland next year
Mercedes enters the electric race with its new EQC SUV
Mercedes-Benz chose Stockholm Sweden as the launch venue for its new EQ electric vehicle sub brand and its first production vehicle the EQC on Tuesday. The Scandinavian region has embraced EVs more than most up to now but that will change with the all new five door electric SUV.
The highly anticipated first model from the German firm’s EQ brand is based on the GLC but was designed from scratch. The twin motor all wheel drive five seat machine is aimed squarely at the premium EV buyer and is expected to cost in the region of €84,000 when it arrives in Ireland in September 2019.
The timing of the launch gives Mercedes-Benz a head start on key rivals Tesla, BMW, Volvo and Audi who are all set to launch new premium electric cars in the coming weeks. The EQC launch shows the mainstream automotive industry is getting serious about alternative power trains to the castigated internal combustion engine. Mercedes-Benz as a global premium carmaker with EQ is signaling its intent to drive EVs forward while also tackling Tesla head on with a range of premium electric cars.
Elon Musk’s operation is automotive small fry next to the main players and the sense is similar to the peloton catching up on a lone breakaway in the Tour de France. Jaguar has already put a warning across Tesla’s bow with its i-Pace electric SUV and its Car building experience has delivered a superior build. The only thing we don’t know is what tricks, if any, Elon Musk has up his sleeve.
The EQC looks like a conventional SUV on the outside apart from the obligatory cool light signatures and other embellishments that mark it out in a quite glaring way as an electric vehicle. The cabin is large and seats five in comfort. The latest Mercedes-Benz user interface MBUX is fitted as standard inside. Stylish double dash mounted wide screens supply driving information and other secondary controls also.
Think of the new dashboard tech found in the latest A Class combined with the existing GLC and you’ll get a sense of the interior’s design. The ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice activation that was introduced in the new A Class is fully integrated in the new car and works better than most voice systems. Mercedes Engineers pointed you can get hey Mercedes to pre condition the car so you are less likely to see occupants driving in their coats as with a lot of less powerful EVs.
The Bremen built EQC will eventually be built in China, the US and elsewhere alongside conventional machines. Mercedes-Benz is anxious to remain fluid and production will react to Consumer demand. The striped down chassis in very neat and well packaged with the car’s extensive battery pack concealled under the cabin floor and rear bench base. The fast charge cable is connected on the rear three quarter panel on the Driver’s side. The EQC will have a maximum power charging input of 110kWh, which is less than on eked rival but remains compliment with more charging points.
Battery power is 80kWh, that capacity is double the new Nissan Leaf, and that should be able to deliver Tesla rivalling range. Mercedes-Benz quotes 450+ kilometres of driving range calculated under the outgoing NEDC emissions testing protocol. Should power run low to say 10 per cent, just 40 minutes at a fast charger will deliver a charge it up to 80 per cent. As we have come to expect from electric vehicles acceleration from a standing start is brisk with the 0-100km/h dash taking just 5.1 seconds. Power output from the combined motors is a very impressive at 402hp/765nm.
Two motors mounted front and rear combine to make the EQC an intelligent all wheel drive. The driving torque generated by the electric motors can be shifted automatically and instantaneously from both axles to either the front or rear with up to 100 per cent of the available power. The EQC’s automatic gearbox features a glide mode where no gear is engaged to maximise hyper-mileing momentum. Various regenerative braking options are selectable, with an Nissan e pedal-like single pedal operation where strong braking happens when you lift off the accelerator bring the car to a stop available also.
Mercedes-Benz is on a product offensive and we can expect an EQA in 2020 and a further eight new models by 2022 including an EQS.
Exactly how Mercedes-Benz will sell the new sub brand is under consideration. Suggestions are that Mercedes is thinking that the EQ would have an independent showroom, but with small volumes expected initially a “EQ” area is most likely in some of the larger urban Mercedes-Benz dealerships.
“With the EQC - the first fully electric SUV from Mercedes-Benz - we are flipping the switch. Electric drive is a major component in the mobility of the future. We are therefore investing more than ten billion euros in the expansion of our EQ model portfolio, and more than one billion euros in global battery production,” said. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Daimler AG and chief executive of Mercedes-Benz Cars.