Is the future of electric mobility already in motion?
The Mercedes-Benz EQC rolled out of Stuttgart and straight into Malaysia just last month, making its ASEAN debut alongside the latest C 300E and S 560E. Here’s what you can expect from the history-making model, before we see any on the road next year.
First of the future
Though Mercedes-Benz has inducted several models under its EQ umbrella, the EQC is the first all-electric vehicle released under the automaker’s electric mobility arm. It combines knowledge from 130 years of industry experience to create a vehicle that will herald Stuttgart’s electric future.
All-electric means zero carbon dioxide emissions, but that’s not the be-and-end-all of efficient EVs. Mercedes-Benz EQC employs a host of smart built-in assistants to optimise energy output.
Chief of these is the Eco-Assist feature, which teaches the driver how to accelerate for maximum efficiency based on data from the navigation system, 360° camera and radar. You will also find a special EQ sub-menu inside, complete with information on the EQC’s electric performance.
One battery, two motors
Mercedes-Benz EQC weighs a whopping 2,495 kg, and over 600 kg of this can be attributed to the battery alone. This 80 kW/h lithium-ion battery pack sits flat in the floor, which lowers the SUV’s centre of gravity and allows for better handling. In addition to the battery, the two electric motors of this model were also exclusively created for EQ. There is one at each axle, generating an output of 300 kW for a combined torque of 765 Nm.
Power consumption is estimated to be between 22 to 25 kW/h per 100 km, which Mercedes says grants the EQC a range of 450 km on full tank.
A primary concern for EV users in South-East Asia is the lack of charging infrastructure on the road. Mercedes-Benz EQC has a couple of neat tricks to manage this. For one, the driver display always shows how much further your current charge can take you.
Additionally, the Mercedes-Benz EQC is smart enough to charge on the move. Power released going downhill or braking is not wasted – instead, it is converted into usable charge by the car’s two electric motors (more on this later).
The navigation system is also able to map out the charging stations closest to you, and warm up the battery on your way there. This ensures the battery pack can receive and store power optimally once plugged in, which comes in handy in cold climates.
While any ol’ domestic socket can charge the SUV in 11 hours, Mercedes-Benz Wallbox Home does provide faster DC charging; it would only take 40 minutes to get from 10% to 80%.
Immersive cabin experience
The Mercedes-Benz User-Experience comes standard in the Mercedes-Benz EQC. It includes a double display, each screen measuring 10.15-inches, and the one on the right being a self-learning touch-screen. In addition, Linguatronic voice control has been enhanced to recognise EQ-specific commands and dialects. Just a mention of “Mercedes” is enough to activate it.
Covered in Artico faux leather upholstery inside, the Mercedes-Benz EQC has a unique blue-line accent running along the entire interior to showcase its EQ identity. Combined with augmented reality directions and 64-colour ambient lighting, the cabin is a haven of convenience and comfort.
Strategic driving with 5 modes
To further expound smart driving, Mercedes-Benz EQC comes in 5 unique driving programs to meet changing road needs. Comfort, Eco and Sport are no-brainers, but you can also get in on Max Range to make the most of long-distance journeys, or set Individual parameters based on your driving style.
Mercedes-Benz EQC could well be the electric cousin of the GLC; it is ever-so-slightly longer, wider, and lower, but shares all basic underpinnings. Of course, it’s also missing a petrol engine, which results in what many are calling the most silent Mercedes-Benz yet.
Regardless, the EQC performs the century sprint in a smooth 5.1 seconds, and can go up to a digitally-preset speed limit of 180 km/h. That’s faster than many standard petrol SUVs, only without any semblance of a growl. While some may argue this compromises driving pleasure, we’d argue that accelerating into an electric future requires redefinition. The days of boisterous speed may well be behind us – the future of mobility is understated function, and in that sense, Mercedes-Benz EQC may just offer a new brand of driving pleasure.
Mercedes-Benz EQC will be available for order in 2020. While its price is not yet official, it is estimated to start from RM 600,000.
For more information, visit the official website.
Images: Mercedes-Benz Malaysia