Mercedes-Benz expects that the electric car will be cheaper in a year or seven than a petrol or diesel car. This week the brand presented its first fully electric model: the EQC.
Wilko Andreas Stark, director of Mercedes-Benz strategy, is firmly convinced: “Electric cars are now much more expensive, but around 2025 that will change. By that time, they are really cheaper than cars with petrol and diesel engines.”
First of all, according to Stark, this is due to the increasingly stringent requirements imposed by governments on exhaust fumes. “Because of the technology needed to make them cleaner, those engines will become increasingly expensive. At the same time, the batteries for electric cars are becoming cheaper. In the past two or three years the prices of battery packs have already dropped dramatically. Because of these developments, the internal combustion engine will eventually lose the competitive battle.”
More than 130 years ago Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, wrote history by putting the world’s first car on the road. And now the car manufacturer comes with its very first fully electric car, the EQC.
According to Stark: “We have created the sub-brand EQC for our electric cars, to clearly distinguish the new generation of Mercedes cars from the cars we have made for decades.”
From now on, Mercedes-Benz will release a new, fully electric model within a year. Meanwhile, hard work is also being done to improve the batteries. Since 2009, their performance has improved by 10 to 14 percent every year. You will therefore continue with them and they will be able to recharge faster.
“Most fast chargers can now handle 50kW, but we are already experimenting with 250kW charging speed. In theory, you can fully charge the battery pack within half an hour.”
To underline that with the new, electric SUV EQC a new era is coming, this Mercedes gets a completely new family face, in which the grille and the day-row lights form a unit. The headlights are also connected to each other with a light bar. The same design trick is also used with the rear lights. And for the first time even the famous Mercedes star is illuminated in the grille. Behind that lies the radar of the safety systems.
The interior of the EQC has the same style as the latest generation of the Mercedes A-Class, with its huge widescreen display placed on top of the dashboard that replaces the traditional ‘clock house’ with instruments.
However, the round outflow grilles of the A-Class have been replaced by rectangular grilles, the design of which is inspired by the copper lines in the electronic circuit board. And the ribbed edge of the dashboard is reminiscent of the cooling fins of a hi-fi amplifier.
According to the manufacturer, natural and recycled materials have frequently been used in the interior. For example, seat covers are available that are made entirely from recycled PET bottles.
With its artificial intelligence, the EQC is outsmarting the competition. The voice operation works better at Mercedes than with other brands. And if the car knows that there is a traffic jam ahead, it adjusts the speed in time. The adaptive cruise control then reduces the speed to approximately 100km/h as a precaution. Once in a traffic jam, the car is kept to the right of the lane to leave room for emergency services.
The Eco-assistant, which helps to drive economically, uses data from the navigation system, traffic sign recognition and information from the intelligent safety assistants (radar and stereo camera). He notifies the driver when he can release the accelerator.
With the battery and charging technology, the EQC does not appear to be a trendsetter. Its range of 400km (according to the new, more realistic WLTP measurement procedure) is considerable, but not special. Competitors like the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X continue.
In the front and rear axles of the Mercedes are electric motors integrated, together good for 408hp power and a torque (tensile force) of 765 Nm. If an economical driving style is selected, the EQC only has front-wheel drive. If more performance is required, the electric motor at the rear wheels also comes into action. The EQC is a fast SUV. In 5.1 seconds he moves from standstill to 100km/h. Its top speed is 180 km/h.
The 4.76 meters long Mercedes has a hefty luggage space of 500 litters and behind this electric car you can also easily hang a caravan: it can tow (braked) trailers up to 1800kg.
The lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 80kWh. The driver can choose from five different programs to suit the driving style. On average, the Mercedes consumes 22.2kWh of power at 100km. He weighs no less than 2420kg. The battery pack alone weighs 650kg.
Although the EQC is already with the dealers in mid-2019, the manufacturer says nothing about the price.