Mercedes-Benz, a car manufacturer generally associated with breakthrough technology, setting trends, and staying ahead of the curve, has officially launched its first ever commercially available electric vehicle: the EQC.
The first of ten electric vehicles the German engineering experts plan to roll out over the next five years, the EQC, which is a mid-sized SUV, follows suit from Tesla’s launch into the luxury market in 2012, and Jaguar’s I-Pace earlier this year. Bursting at the seams with additional features, clever technology and some pretty attractive numbers, this Mercedes looks like it might have what it takes to give other marques in the electric category a run for their money.
With a 0-100 km time of 5.1 seconds, and a top speed capped at 180 km/h, it’s as quick as any driver would need in a car this size. Similarly to both Tesla and Jaguar models, each axle gets its own electric motor, delivering 300kW, and 765Nm of torque. It also boasts an 80kWh battery, which Mercedes says will give 450km of distance, however this figure is heavily dependent on the selected driving mode, ranging from Comfort, Eco, Sport and Max Range.
Built in to the dash is Mercedes-Benz’s “MBUX” (Mercedes-Benz User Experience), which features AI technology to learn a driver’s preferences. There’s also a pretty sexy cockpit format, in the form of two large digital monitors for controls running horizontally from the steering column.
Mercedes-Benz claims that the EQC can reach 70 percent charged in 40 minutes, appealing to the concerns of many who are still unsure about making the switch to electric, as running low on power isn’t as simple as just swinging in to the nearest petrol station and filling the tank.
At approximately AU$100,000, this will offer serious bang-for-buck, and could rattle a few feathers for other electric vehicle manufacturers, especially Tesla, who are in dire need of a more affordable option, but probably won’t be able to deliver on this, in the form of their new Model 3, for at least 18 months, amid concerns that CEO Elon Musk has overextended his production capabilities, and speculation that he is running out of money.
Production of the EQC is tipped to start early next year, with the first examples making their way to Australian shores either late 2019 or early 2020.