Mercedes EQC: pleased to meet you, I-pace
Jaguar has the right car in the right place at the right time with the all-electric I-Pace, but Mercedes is ready to catch up. Today, the Star revealed its long-awaited GLC-sized crossover. Called EQC, it boasts 2 electric motors producing 300 kW and carries 80 kWh worth of lithium ion batteries. That should give it a NEDC range of 450 km. The Jag claims 480 km – under stricter WLTP conditions.
It was at the 2016 Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris that Mercedes first presented its new product and technology brand for electromobility: EQ. Given the global success of SUVs, it was only logic that the OEM from Stuttgart decided to prioritise the launch of the EQC over that of the EQA – indeed, the electric A-Class.
Silent (brain) power
Like its British rival, the EQC can accelerate in an unseemly fashion to 100 km/h (5.1 seconds). To safeguard the battery (and its green credentials), the top speed is limited to 180 km/h. Good news for wealthy ecologists in need of a trailer puller: this Merc is allowed to drag 1,800 kg.
The EQC is also a very clever car. Its connected navigation system, integrated in the revolutionary MBUX ecosystem, adapts your route on the basis if the remaining range and the available charging poles. If you hook it up at a Ionity fast DC charger, the car takes care of the bill for you, too.
Made in Germany and China
The batteries for the EQC are produced by Deutsche Accumotive, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler AG. Accumotive has already been producing hybrid and plug-in hybrid batteries for cars and commercial vehicles, plus drive batteries for the current smart EQ fortwo and forfour, since 2012.
The car itself will be built at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen, Germany, from 2019 onwards. Alongside Bremen, the Sino-German production joint venture Beijing Benz Automotive Co (BBAC) is preparing to start production of the EQC for the local market in China.
Probably depending on the final trade agreements between China, the States and Europe, the EQC could be shipped to North America from either Germany or Beijing. Another possibility is that Mercedes subsidiary in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will assemble the car for the local market. “SUVs under the product and technology brand EQ will be produced by the US plant in Tuscaloosa (MBUSI, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International)”, the press release reads.
German shock wave
Mercedes is not the only German premium brand that has its eye set on the luxury EV market, which today is dominated by Tesla. According to LMC Automotive, the German premium trinity Audi-BMW-Mercedes will surpass the Californian EV builder in 2020, taking a combined market share of 11.8 percent. By 2023, that share is expected to have risen to roughly 19 percent.
Audi delayed the presentation of its e-tron in the wake of the arrest of its CEO in June but reported today that the production of its electric flagship in Brussels has started in the meantime. BMW will show its iNext level 3 autonomous electric crossover next week, but it will take another two years before show is translated into reality.
Picture copyright: Mercedes, 2018