15 Apr 22

With Mercedes EQE fleets can now choose an all-electric E-Class

Mercedes is not leaving anything to chance with its brand new executive sedan EQE. As the first all-electric car in its class, it offers impressive range and all the refinement you’ve come to expect from a zero-emission E-Class. How do we know? We had a very close look. And we drove it.

With fleets accounting for a high share of its European sales, Mercedes has a strong corporate circle presence and executive sedans play a quintessential role in that strategy. They are the business choice par excellence, both for management as long-distance drivers.

With fleets electrifying more rapidly than ever, it is clear that the task of the all-new EQE, which can be regarded as a 100% electric E-Class (though it is technically unrelated), isn’t to be taken light-heartedly. But that’s the last thing Mercedes did. Indeed, sitting on a dedicated architecture (the same EVA platform as the luxury liner EQS) the EQE tries to woo corporate drivers with:

  • Short charging times (250 kilometres in 15 minutes)
  • Long range (up to 654 kilometres according to WLTP)
  • Class-leading safety (predictive speed regulation, lane changing aid, detection of stationary vehicles up to 100 km/h, self-monitoring high voltage system...)
  • A myriad of convenient services (navigation with charging intelligence, automatic billing, options purchase by OTA, automatic parking by smartphone...)
  • Comfort for all senses (sound relaxation, air suspension, smart ergonomics, widescreen display for infotainment...)   

Despite its shared genes with the EQS, the EQE is shorter and comes with a slightly smaller battery pack. However, it still got a net capacity of 90 kWh and is offered at launch as a 350+ (215 kW) with rear-wheel drive or an AMG 43 4Matic (350 kW) with four-wheel drive.

Larger interior

Long-distance drivers will be best off with the first one since it boasts range to a whopping 654 kilometres. The downside of the battery pack is that it eats away 100 litres of luggage space compared to the E-Class, totalling 430 litres. Interior space is larger though (length: + 80 mm).

Equipped with a 400 volt onboard network, peak charging can be performed at a maximum of 170 kW, so you shouldn’t spend more than half an hour on a 10-80% SoC provided you are charging at an appropriate station.

Mercedes also went the extra mile to make that charging experience as smooth as possible. With Plug’n’Charge, vehicle authentification and billing happen automatically and to equal out the various tariffs of different operators, Mercedes offers subscription plans, ranging from Small, Medium to Large. A preferential rate at Ionity is included. Furthermore, the brand guarantees that electricity from renewable energies will be fed into the grid for the quantities of charging flowing via the app Mercedes me Charge.

Pioneer in the executive class

One of the most significant advantages of the EQE is that it arrives first. While Audi is developing its all-electric A6 E-Tron and BMW is working on the i5, the Mercedes EQE gets a headstart. As the test drive revealed, it doesn’t fail to live up to the reputation of the car that it is most reminiscent of, the E-Class.

Driving noise is extremely low for an EV, and the seating comfort meets the expected high standards. But in the end, the refinement of the ADAS systems for semi-autonomous driving impresses the most, which will suit the corporate driver who regards his company car as an extension of his desk. The self-driving abilities of the EQE act with a softness that easily wins over the driver’s confidence. They do the trick by striking the right balance between efficiency and safety.

Suggestive ergonomics

In the cockpit, those long mileage drivers can enjoy the optional Hyperscreen, which ranges from A-pillar to A-pillar, incorporating the instrument panel, the infotainment display and a codriver panel all under one wide curved piece of glass. It’s a marvel. And the ergonomics think for themselves. The system detects personal preferences and makes suggestions for shortcuts.

Some of the options can be added after purchase by over-the-air updates. They range from more advanced four-wheel steering to mini-games and even the projection of warning symbols onto the roadway by the headlights.

The test drive also demonstrated how the EQE benefits from its sleek styling. It accounts for an extremely low drag coefficient (Cd: 0.22), reducing energy consumption significantly. We returned 19.5 kWh (official figure: 18.7 kWh) after covering some swift stretches of the German Autobahn.

Sales of the EQE start at the end of the month, and in Germany, the base price rests at € 70,626. Other versions? Those will follow later, with a more engaging 500 4Matic and 53 AMG 4Matic already confirmed. Mercedes refuses to comment on a smaller and cheaper battery pack, but moving down the ladder seems more than likely for a car aiming at such a strong base of fleet followers.

Image source: Mercedes

Authored by: Piet Andries