Mercedes-Benz launches first EQ all-electric model
The first production Mercedes-Benz under the new “product and technology” brand EQ was revealed in May to the press in the European "capital of e-mobility,” Oslo, Norway. The EQC joins a growing mid-size, luxury crossover EV market that includes Tesla’s Model X, Jaguar i-Pace, and Audi e-tron. The company says that the crossover is differentiated by its “human-centered innovation” and to make e-mobility simple, reliable, and convenient for the customer.
“The Mercedes-Benz EQC is not just a vehicle with electric drive,” said Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales. “Its progressive design, unique driving comfort, and an operating range absolutely suitable for day-to-day needs emphasize that the EQC is the Mercedes among electric vehicles. This is also shown by its services—from optimized navigation to charging management. It all comes under the heading ‘Electric Intelligence’—a mobility package that goes well beyond the vehicle itself.”
Mercedes-Benz said it is taking a more comprehensive approach to e-mobility, with its intelligently coordinated drive system, battery management, charging management, and recuperation strategies—as well as digital services and the MBUX infotainment system. For instance, the vehicle’s optimized navigation uses numerous factors—the current charge status of the battery, the weather, the topography and traffic flow, and available charging stations—to plan a route. Calculations are based on a fast, convenient route with few charging stops and short charging times, with quick-charging stations given preference. Route planning can take place both onboard and offboard via the Mercedes me app. Voice control specific to the EQC is said to provide better natural language recognition for navigation and other purposes.
The EQC customer receives, via Mercedes me Charge, access to more than 300,000 charging points offered by a range public charging station operators in Europe. This allows access to charging in municipalities, carparks, motorways, and shopping centers, with just one contract. Every charging session is debited automatically and listed in a monthly invoice. The arrangements include access to the fast charging of the pan-European Ionity network, which plans to construct and operate around 400 stations along main traffic arteries in Europe.
The EQC is 4761 mm (187.4 in) long, 2096 mm (82.5 in) wide (including mirrors), 1623 mm (63.9 in) tall, and a 2873 mm (113.1 in) wheelbase. Maximum luggage volume is about 500 L (17.7 ft³). A curb weight of 2495 kg (5500 lb) and 445 kg (980 lb) payload add up to an EC-permissible gross vehicle weight of 2940 kg (6480 lb). Permissible trailer load for a 12% uphill gradient is 1800 kg (3970 lb).
Powertrain engineers started with a clean sheet on the EQC’s new electric all-wheel-drive system. The eATS electric powertrain and the battery were developed with an asynchronous motor at each axle for output of 300 kW and 760 N∙m (560 lb∙ft). NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) power consumption ranges from 20.8 to 19.7 kW∙h/100 km. Top speed is limited to 180 km/h (112 mph), and 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration is 5.1 s.
The electric motor, fixed-ratio transmission and differential, cooling system, and power electronics are combined in a compact unit. Intelligent control allows dynamic torque distribution between the two driven axles over a wide operating range for good driving dynamics. To reduce power consumption and improve dynamics, the front electric motor is configured for best possible efficiency in the low- to medium-load range, while the rear one has a focus on dynamics.
The EQC will need all of that intelligently coordinated drive system. Its 80-kW∙h, 652-kg (1435-lb) lithium-ion battery pack, produced in Germany by the Daimler subsidiary Deutsche Accumotive in Kamenz/Saxony, enables an electric range of just 445-471 km (277-293 mi) by NEDC measurements. Its modular design consists of 384 cells in two 48-cell modules and four 72-cell modules with a maximum of 405 V and a nominal 230-A∙h capacity. The pack can be liquid-cooled or heated to ensure performance and efficiency, especially while charging, and is an integral part of the vehicle crash concept. Its low and central location, positioned underfloor between the two axles, as with many other recent EVs, has a positive effect on EQC handling characteristics.
The driver has more control than usual for energy recuperation, on the overrun or when braking, with slowing vehicle speed being converted into electrical energy to charge the battery. The steering wheel paddle on the left increases the level of recuperation, the paddle on the right reduces it, in the following stages: D Auto (recuperation via Eco Assist to suit the situation); D + (coasting); D (low recuperation); D - (medium recuperation); and D - - (high recuperation). This makes for EV-typical one-pedal driving, in most situations the recuperative deceleration enough to require brake pedal use.
An Eco Assist system coaches drivers to achieve maximum efficiency, coordinating navigation data, traffic-sign recognition, and information from the intelligent safety assists (radar and stereo cameras). Additional eco support is provided in the Max Range driving mode, with the driver encouraged to maintain a speed by haptic accelerator pressure reach the next charging point or destination. The haptic pedal also supports general driving modes of Comfort, Eco, Sport, and Individual.
The EQC is equipped with a water-cooled 7.4-kW onboard charger to ease AC charging at home and at public charging stations as well as at faster DC charging stations via the CCS (combined charging system) in Europe and the U.S., CHAdeMO in Japan, or GB/T in China. Depending on battery SoC (state of charge), the EQC can be charged with a maximum input up to 110 kW. In around 40 min, the battery can be charged from 10% to 80% SoC. In cooperation with country-specific charger installation partners, Mercedes-Benz also offers easy and rapid installation of a Mercedes-Benz Wallbox home charger and professional advice on all aspects of e-mobility.
Optional EQC e-mobility services include Maintenance Service, Pick-up & Delivery Service, Vehicle Warranty Extension, and Wearing Parts packages. The Maintenance Service covers all required maintenance work for up to six years or 150,000 km. Pick-up & Delivery Service, which covers a period of six years (or up to six times), is available from the customer’s home, office, or from any other place within a defined radius around an authorized Mercedes-Benz workshop. Interestingly, a Holiday Mobility Package will be available for customers in Germany that provides access to a Mercedes-Benz rental vehicle with a traditional combustion engine to travel further distances in areas that do not yet have sufficient charging infrastructure.