Mercedes-Benz is the next luxury automaker out the gate with their first electric vehicle, the 2020 EQC. This is the first model in Mercedes' EQ (short for Electric Intelligence) sub-brand that is expected to have 10 models by 2025.
The exterior looks a bit like a GLC crossover brought from the future. The overall shape and dimensions of the EQC are similar to the GLC. Up front is where most will decide wether they like it or not with a large emblem that lights, two grille styles, black material running around the outer edges, and boomerang-shaped headlights. Inside, the EQC is recognizable as a Mercedes with a similar dash design and dual rectangular 10.25-inch media displays. A rose gold finish on the trim is available on the the Electric Art trim.
The Mercedes MBUX infotainment system has some features that are exclusive to the EQC such as a navigation system that can figure out a route to maximize range and the ability to set charging times.
Under the skin, the EQC follows the template of other electric vehicles by using a dual motor layout and a 80 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Mercedes says the electric motor on the front axle is set up for economy - this will provide the power for most situations. The motor on the back axle "adds sportiness." Total output is rated at 402 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque. The dual-motor layout also brings forth all-wheel drive traction.
Mercedes estimates that that EQC can travel 200 miles on a full charge, disappointing when you consider the Jaguar I-Pace can travel 250 miles - although the Jaguar has a larger 90 kWh battery pack. (UPDATE: Mercedes-Benz has told The Verge that the 200 mile range mentioned in the press releases is wrong. It is now citing a range of about 450 km, about 280 miles. We should note this figure is based on the NEDC standard, which tends to be more optimistic than the EPA standard.) No timeframe was given on how long it takes to recharge the EQC on a home charger. Mercedes does say that on 150-kW DC charger, the EQC's battery only needs 40 minutes to get an 80 percent charge.
Sales of the EQC begin next year in Europe, while the U.S. has to wait until 2020.
The new Mercedes-Benz EQC
- The Mercedes-Benz among electric vehicles
Mercedes-Benz is flipping the switch. The new EQC is …
… The first Mercedes-Benz under the product and technology brand EQ
- EQ stands for "Electric Intelligence"
- It is derived from the Mercedes-Benz brand values of "Emotion" and "Intelligence"
- The EQC is part of a growing family of all-electric vehicles from Mercedes-Benz
- Conceived to meet all the requirements for a battery-electric drive system
- Convincing in the sum of its attributes with respect to Mercedes-Benz comfort, quality and operating range
- An estimated electric range of around 200 miles
… Progressive in design
- Pioneer of an avant-garde electric look
- Progressive luxury design points the way to the future
- Large black-panel surface as a striking front feature
- Optical fibers as a visual link to the torch-like daytime running lamps
- Sporty, stretched silhouette
- Innovative interior design inspired by the world of consumer electronics
… Excitingly dynamic
- A dual motor electric drivetrain at each axle, with a combined output of 402 horsepower
- Superior and confident driving characteristics of an all-wheel drive vehicle
- Various driving modes with different characteristics
- Battery recuperation can be adjusted as the customer requires, using gearshift paddles behind the steering wheel. In "D Auto" mode, the EQC can adapt recuperation according to the traffic ahead with the aid of ECO Assist
… The Mercedes-Benz among electric vehicles
- Latest-generation driving assistance systems including Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC and Active Steering Assist
- Extensive crash test programs, meeting strict Mercedes-Benz requirements
- Stringent additional tests completed for the battery and all components carrying electrical current
- Pre-climatization for a comfortable cabin upon arrival in all temperatures
- Extremely quiet interior
- Trailblazing MBUX multimedia system - Mercedes-Benz User Experience with numerous EQ-specific functions
- Integration into ongoing series production at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen
- Battery produced by the Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE
… More than just a car, and a symbol of a new era of mobility
- Comprehensive services for electric mobility for today and tomorrow
- Relaxed, uncomplicated travel with transparency and planning certainty
- Dialogue with visionaries, business people and opinion leaders in the "EQ Community"
- New event formats "EQ Dinner" and "EQ Nights"
- Entry into Formula E for the 2019/2020 season
It was at the 2016 Paris Motor Show that Mercedes- Benz first presented its new product and technology brand for electric mobility. In mid-2019, the EQC will be the first Mercedes-Benz vehicle to be launched globally under the EQ brand. With its seamless, clear design, it is a pioneer for an avant-garde electric look while representing the design idiom of Progressive Luxury. With respect to quality, safety and comfort the EQC is the Mercedes-Benz among electric vehicles, and highly convincing in the sum of its attributes. These are accompanied by dynamic performance, thanks to two electric motors at the front and rear axles with a combined output of 402 horsepower. A sophisticated operating strategy enables an estimated electric range of around 200 miles (preliminary estimate). EQ also offers comprehensive services with Mercedes me connect, which makes electric mobility convenient and suitable for everyday driving. The EQC also symbolizes the start of a new mobility era at Daimler. The EQC will celebrate its World Premiere in Stockholm on September 4, 2018 and will go on sale in the U.S. in 2020.
As the first Mercedes-Benz model under the new product and technology brand EQ, the Mercedes-Benz EQC has many trailblazing design details and color highlights typical of the brand. Both inside and out, the EQC embodies the design idiom of Progressive Luxury. This arises from the combination of digital and analogue elements as well as the seamless merging of intuitive and physical design.
By virtue of its muscular proportions, the EQC is classed as a crossover SUV. The extended roofline and window layout with a low shoulderline and the coupe-like roof visually position it between an SUV and an SUV coupe.
A striking feature at the front is the large black-panel surface combining the headlamps and grille. For the first time, the black panel is bordered at the top by an LED Light Band as a visual link between the torch-like daytime running lamps. At night, this creates an almost uninterrupted, horizontal light band.
The high-quality interior of the EQC also pioneers an avant-garde electro-look. One example is the louvered edges of the upper dashboard and door trim which resembles the cooling fins of a hi-fi amplifier. The instrument panel is designed as a driver-oriented cockpit. The unmistakable Mercedes-Benz wing profile is asymmetrical, with a "cut-out" in the driver area. This is where one of the visual highlights of the cockpit is located - a high-tech, high gloss housing with rectangular air vents with key-shaped, rose-gold colored louvres.
Powertrain: Dynamic performance meets efficiency
As the first Mercedes-Benz model to be launched under the new product and technology brand EQ, the EQC features an all-new drive system development with compact electric drivetrains at each axle. These give the EQC the confident and dynamic driving characteristics of an all-wheel drive vehicle.
To reduce power consumption, the electric drivetrains are configured differently: the front electric motor is optimized for best possible efficiency in the low to medium load range, while the rear motor adds sportiness. Together, they generate an output of 402 hp and a maximum torque of 564 lb-ft.
Mercedes-Benz engineers have enhanced noise comfort with a number of measures. In the EQC the powerpacks are isolated by rubber mounts at two points: where the powerpack connects to its subframe and where the subframe connects to the body. This effective isolation is supplemented with insulation measures. As a result, the interior of the EQC is extremely quiet.
The lithium-ion battery, which has a usable energy content of 80 kWh supplies the vehicle with power. The power consumption and range of electric vehicles depends very much on the driving style. The EQC supports its driver with five driving programs through DYNAMIC SELECT, each with different characteristics: COMFORT, ECO, MAX RANGE, SPORT and INDIVIDUAL for an individually customizable program. In the more economical driving modes, the haptic accelerator pedal that prompts the driver to conserve power plays an important role. The driver is also able to influence the recuperation level using paddles behind the steering wheel.
The ECO Assist system gives the driver comprehensive support by prompting the driver when it is appropriate to lift off the accelerator, for example when the vehicle is approaching a change in speed limit, and by functions such as coasting and specific control of recuperation. For this purpose, navigation data, traffic sign recognition and information from the intelligent safety assistants (radar and stereo camera) are linked and processed.
Up to 200 miles
2 asynchronous motors, all-
Top speed (mph)
112 mph (electronically limited)
Acceleration 0-60 mph
4.9 s (est.)
Length / width (width with mirrors) / height
187.4 / 74.2 (82.5) / 63.9 in
Track width (F/R)
Charging: Flexible and fast
As standard, the EQC is equipped with a water-cooled onboard charger (OBC) with a capacity of 7.4 kW, making it suitable for fast AC charging at home or at public charging stations.
Charging at a home wallbox is up to three times faster than at a domestic power socket. It is faster still with DC charging – which is standard for the EQC – for example via CCS (Combined Charging Systems) in Europe and the USA. Depending on the SoC (status of charge), the EQC can be charged with a maximum output of up to 110 kW at an appropriate charging station. In around 40 minutes, the battery can be charged from 10 - 80 percent SoC (provisional data).
The multimedia system MBUX: with EQC-specific functions
The EQC features the innovative multimedia system MBUX - Mercedes-Benz User Experience - which has numerous EQ-specific functions such as the display of range, charge status and energy flow. EQ-optimized navigation, driving modes, charging current and departure time can also be controlled and set via MBUX.
The MBUX touchscreen display has a special EQ menu where numerous EQ features are grouped. Alternatively the user can access the EQ menu of the MBUX system directly using a hard key in the lower left control panel. Thanks to natural language recognition, the EQ-specific voice control helps the driver to operate the EQC.
Intelligent services: Relaxed travel from start to finish
EQ with Mercedes me connect provides comprehensive services for the electric mobility of today and tomorrow. The most important new services and functions of the EQC planned for market launch include:
Pre-entry climate control: This ensures that the vehicle interior is at the desired temperature on departure. It can be programmed directly via MBUX or via the Mercedes me connect App. A sophisticated system with a heat pump and electric heater boosters pre-climatizes the interior for optimal comfort in the cold winter or hot summer days.
The EQ-optimized navigation bases its calculation on the fastest route, taking into account the shortest charging time. The route planning also responds dynamically to changes, and can take place both offboard and onboard, externally (via the Mercedes me connect App) and within the vehicle. Thanks to EQ-optimized navigation, Mercedes-Benz customers can easily find charging stations, and Mercedes me Charge gives them convenient access to the charging stations of numerous providers.
Active and passive safety: EQC-specific safety concept
The EQC is equipped with the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz driver assistance systems. In the Driver Assistance Package, these include new functions such as predictive speed adjustment when approaching traffic: when traffic is detected, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC® reduces the speed as a precaution.
The EQC also meets the highest requirements with respect to passive safety: in addition to the usual, extensive program of crash tests, Mercedes-Benz applies further, particularly stringent safety standards to the battery and all component parts carrying electrical current. These standards exceed legal requirements. The vehicle structure of the EQC has been adapted to suit the special requirements of the electrical components and battery, and is configured to achieve the usual high safety level. For example, a new subframe surrounds the drive components located in the front section, and this unit is supported by the usual mounting points.
Mechanical protection of the battery: the high-safety design begins with the installation position of the high-voltage battery beneath the vehicle floor. The energy storage unit is surrounded by a stable frame that can absorb energy. Deformation elements are installed between the frame and the battery, and these are able to absorb additional forces in the event of a severe side impact. A battery guard in the front area of the battery is able to prevent the battery from being pierced by road debris.
Electrical protection of the high-voltage system: the extensive experience of Mercedes-Benz with high-voltage drive systems has led to a multi-stage safety concept that deploys in the event of an accident. The high-voltage system automatically shuts down, according to the severity of the accident. There are also shutdown points where emergency teams can deactivate the high-voltage system manually.
Testing: Endurance tests around the world
By market launch, 200 prototypes and pre-production vehicles of the EQC will have covered several million miles across four continents (Europe, North America, Asia and Africa). The test program comprises more than 500 individual tests. Like all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the EQC must pass all of the demanding test programs. There are also special tests for the electric powertrain, the battery, and the interplay of all powertrain components.
In the process the test experts are able to build upon the extensive findings from their digital testing work, used to ensure both the buildability of the vehicle and for the simulation of crash behavior, aerodynamics and NVH (noise, vibration, harshness). In addition there are intensive tests on numerous test rigs at the Mercedes-Benz Technology Center in Sindelfingen. The ratio between digital and real testing is roughly 35 to 65 percent.
Production: Preparations in full swing in the Bremen plant
Production of the EQC will start in 2019 at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen. The new EQC will be integrated into ongoing series production as a fully electric vehicle, and the very latest production technologies will be employed.
In typical series production, the joining of the powertrain to the body is called the "marriage." One decisive innovation is the battery-joining center where the EQC undergoes a second "marriage" following installation of the two electric motors in the bodyshell. This is where the EQCs are equipped with a battery for the first time. The body is suspended from a C-carrier and deposited on a frame. Support arms raise the battery to the vehicle's floor from below, and an employee monitors the automatic bolting in place.
In parallel with this, production of our own batteries for the EQC is coming on stream at the expanded battery plant in Kamenz (near Dresden) Germany.