By on September 4, 2018

Mercedes-Benz has started pre-production on the first vehicle of its electric EQ model range, this one based on the GLC platform and called — what else? — the EQC. It’s a tony but not outlandish electric crossover for posh (but maybe not that posh) types who like the three-pointed star appearing on the front of their vehicle but kind of feel guilty about their carbon footprint.

Luckily, owning an electric car means never having to think about upstream emissions or other unpleasantness that took place before the assembled materials made it to your vehicle.

The EQC, according to M-B, falls under the automaker’s “Progressive Luxury” theme, promising lots of high-tech creature comforts and convenience, as well as an emission-free driving experience. However, it’s starting to become a crowded EV market out there, and some buyers might take exception with one particular aspect of this vehicle.

That would be its range.

M-B promises “up to 200 miles” of driving between charges, which would have wowed anyone just a few years ago. However, the German luxury giant already has to contend with Tesla’s Model X, which gets 237 miles between charges in base 75D form, as well as the imminent Jaguar I-Pace, which promises up to 240 miles of driving from its 90 kWh battery pack. Other challengers wait in the wings.

Perhaps the PR department was looking at other attributes when it called the model “the Mercedes-Benz among electric vehicles.”

Image: Daimler AG

Certainly, in terms of power, the EQC is well matched to take on its cross-Channel rival. Fueled by a 80 kWh battery, the EQC’s front and rear electric motors combine for 402 hp and a maximum torque of 564 lb-ft. On paper, this beats the I-Pace’s 394 horsepower and 512 pound-feet of torque, also funneled to all four wheels, though M-B’s acceleration estimate is four-tenths of a second slower to 60 mph than the electric Brit. We’ll have to wait and see if the EQC undercuts the I-Pace’s $69,500 U.S. entry price.

One thing that’s for sure is that the EQC won’t arrive until well after U.S. buyers get their hands on the I-Pace. Full production begins next year, with deliveries in America beginning in 2020. The I-Pace lands later this year.

Capable of hooking to a 100-kW fast-charger, should you know where one is, Mercedes-Benz claims an EQC can be juiced from 10 to 80 percent capacity in about 40 minutes, which just happens to be the I-Pace’s fast-charge top-up time.

Image: Daimler AG

We’ve detailed the EQ concept vehicle before, but the first production vehicle to emerge from the electric lineup carries the automaker’s MBUX multimedia system, mile-wide touchscreen housing two 10.25-inch displays, five drive modes, app-based convenience functions (capable of remotely warming up the EQC on a cold morning), and a navigation system that displays the quickest and least draining route, depending on the vehicle’s charge. A steering wheel-mounted paddle allows drivers to dial up the desired amount of regenerative braking.

The safety of occupants, other drivers, and pedestrians is paramount, M-B claims, so this model offers the full gamut of available driver-assist features. In the event of a collision, M-B says the EQC’s high-voltage system shuts down automatically. Meanwhile, impact-absorbing deformation elements surround the underbody battery pack, lessening the risk of a post-collision fire.

Will the Mercedes-Benz EQC hit the U.S. market with a thud, or surprise nearly everyone with its popularity? It all depends on brand appeal, green appeal, and the public’s perception of what a useable “luxury” driving range might be.

[Images: Daimler AG]

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40 Comments on “Mercedes-Benz’s 2020 EQC Boasts Plenty of Tech, Less-than-revolutionary Range...”


  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    Seems like it is now becoming “Game On!” in the EV world.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “…who like the three-pointed star appearing on the front of their vehicle but kind of feel guilty about their carbon footprint”

    “Luckily, owning an electric car means never having to think about upstream emissions or other unpleasantness that took place before the assembled materials made it to your vehicle.”

    “…impact-absorbing deformation elements surround the underbody battery pack, lessening the risk of a post-collision fire”

    Reliably, we get the usual snark about EVs. I see you’ve embraced at least 5 falsehoods about EVs, which is contrary to TTAC:

    1. Rich people buy EVs. The definition of a ‘rich’ person is someone with a dollar more than you. A lot of $35k Nissan Leafs have been sold. As for Mercedes, some people actually think they build a good car. Removing the star isn’t optional.

    2. EV buyers are tree huggers. Mostly not.

    3. Upstream emissions are a worse tradeoff than burning fuel in a car. Usually not, and this has been debated for a decade.

    4. ‘Unpleasantness’… let’s talk about cell phones.

    5. Post-collision fire… Glad to see M-B is taking the usual structural precautions, just like every other EV mfr. How many post-collision fires have EVs been in, particularly when driven at legal speeds? Crown Vics blow up in a fireball when rear-ended at 75 mph; should Ford have done something different in its design?

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @SCE: I only know one tree-hugger EV owner. Everyone else is in it for the driving dynamics. I’m seeing more Model 3’s every day around Boston.

      The 3P is starting to have some success in drag racing. Don’t know if the owner is a tree-hugger, but one thing for sure is that they know what automotive technology to use when you want to win.

      https://insideevs.com/tesla-model-3-multiple-drag-races/
      https://insideevs.com/tesla-model-3-race-firebird-trans-am/
      https://insideevs.com/watch-tesla-model-3-performance-rip-down-1-4-mile-in-11-77-seconds/

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      @SCE Agreed. TTAC writers think they’re being snarky with this, but they’re just being tiresome, like a Redditor with a stash of dank political memes.

      The latest study finds that a small EV produces half the lifecycle emissions of a small ICE car. A large luxury EV produces 25% fewer lifecycle emissions than a large luxury car…as you might expect given the temptations of Ludicrious Mode and the convenience of ICE-comparable range, I suppose. https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/electric-cars-vehicles-greenhouse-gas-emissions-climate-change-co2-a8528006.html

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I think it’s nice looking except for all that nonsense in the front, but a $70K car with a less then 200 mile range is going to be a hard sell

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Agreed.

      Used Model Ss with the 60 kWh battery seem like antiques today with their ~150-mile range. However, being used they cost ~$40k, which makes them a legitimate cross-shop with a new Leaf or the mythical low-end Model 3.

      • 0 avatar
        iddqd

        just seen a specific review on a used model s with 300k km`s down the road…
        it still had 90% battery capacity, which equals to 380km range- and i mean REAL range…
        that`s better than the new benz.
        and it costs approx 30k€.
        major fail mercedes.

    • 0 avatar

      Nah, it looks like uglyfied version of Lincoln with cell phone in place of dashboard. Compared to elegantly designed Tesla.

      405 hp? Color me unimpressed. For that amount of money I demand no less than 1000 hp and less than 1 sec 0=60mph.

      And please coffee in cabin, espresso machine.

  • avatar
    James2

    If I had the means –and a charger in the garage– I would go for the I-Pace. Glad to see M-B try to give EQ a unique look, but at the same time they gave a kind-of-weird look as well. It looks like the visor from a visiting astronaut.

    As for the range issue –shrug– just plug it in every night. The Teslas/Leaves (Leafs?) in my charger-free garage seem to manage.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Agreed on the I-Pace; it’s a bit out of my price range, though. :(

      Level 2 chargers themselves are cheap. I installed my own for about $800 in 2012, but they’re about half that price now. My house only has 150-Amp service, and it worked fine. IIRC, I have a twin 40-Amp breaker on the 240 feed line – similar to a kitchen range or other heavy appliance. My former Leaf with 3 kW charging didn’t even tax it, but it can charge a a 6-7 kW system. Two months ago it charged a Model S after sitting idle for 3 years.

      The real money comes in if you need to hire an electrician, have certain structural issues, or need to jump through some code hoops.

  • avatar
    Jagboi

    I really don’t like the “two iPhones stuck to the dash” look. Couldn’t they have integrated the display into the dash a bit better so it doesn’t look like a later afterthought?

  • avatar
    RHD

    Maybe if they went with analogue gauges they could get another mile or two out of the batteries. A solar panel on the hood and another on the roof could pick up a few more miles while it’s parked outside the Galleria.
    Does it have that cheesy illuminated hood ornament? That can go, too, for more than one reason.

  • avatar
    derekson

    I would not be surprised in the least if the Germans were more conservative on their range claims, especially after Dieselgate. And they always report conservative HP/Torque figures as well…

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    Am I the only one who thinks the styling may succeed at diminishing Mercedes-Benz’ brand equity in a way that building over twenty years of low quality Veblen goods has failed to do?

  • avatar
    jmo2

    “this one based on the GLC platform”

    The packaging constraints of an ICE vehicle are just so different from an EV that combining the two involves a lot of trade offs.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Regardless if this is ICE or EV the design language seems to be a big misstep, the front end looks like something I would expect of a Chinese copy cat trying to imagine what a German car should look like, not something actually from MB. The Grille and lights just don’t flow well with the car or the brand. The rear end looks like it was lifted straight off a Kia or Hyundai with the badge placement, plate placement, wrap around lights, and general lazy egg slope shape of the hatch. Seems like a big departure from MB design.

  • avatar
    cityscapex5

    Pretty snarky article with outdated notions of who buys EV’s (cue 1976 review on the .the Accord…that’s for yuppies). EV’s are here..buying a combustion engine in a premium car today is like buying a high end record player in 1988.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “buying a combustion engine in a premium car today is like buying a high end record player in 1988.”

      I agree. ED Betamax is definitely the future. No one will be interested in listening to music on vinyl in 2018.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Buying an EV today is like buying an 8 Track in 19whatever. How long before its outdated as hell and nothing more than the butt of jokes? Go ahead and rush out to ride the wave. Just don’t b¡tch when it comes crashing back to reality,

      • 0 avatar
        MoDo

        I’d rather the high end record player over an 8 track player. Not from Mercedes though, going electric will only help those over engineered unreliable “never own one out of warranty” messes.

  • avatar
    Asdf

    Referring to the Jaguar I-Pace as an “electric Brit” makes no sense, as Jaguar is not a British automaker, but an INDIAN automaker.

    Like the I-Pace, and all other EVs, the EQC appears to be defective by design, unable to compete with ordinary cars with regards to such fundamental things as charging time and driving range. That makes the EQC yet another EV proving that EVs are a dead end.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Smoke-emitting cars are defective and should be taken off the market, because they can’t compete with electric cars with regards to such fundamental things as charging at home and sh!tting their own bed. Just to perform the simple act of charging a smoke-emitting car, I have to make a special trip that takes 20 minutes for the drive there, charging, and the drive back. And then there’s the nasty cloud of unburned hydrocarbons that every single one emits on a cold start, and that you have to drive through if you back out of a garage or driveway.

      (If you’re thinking of an angry reply, look up “hyperbole” in the dictionary first.)

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Charging time doesn’t matter when you’re charging while you sleep, and driving range is more than adequate for the ~40 miles a day the average American drives.

      Obviously if you drive long distances very often EVs are not for you. Most people don’t.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I don’t understand the griping about range. 200 miles is enough to cover a few days of driving for most people, and in any case people charge their EVs at night. Very few people drive hundreds of miles a day with any regularity, and those who do are using gasoline to do so.

    EVs aren’t a one car solution yet, but in a household with multiple vehicles they make sense. Thing for me is I’d rather have a gasoline crossover and EV sedan as the crossover would be the vehicle for family travels. In any case I’m glad mainstream manufacturers are entering the space. Just looking for some more convincing offerings at lower price points.

    • 0 avatar
      EquipmentJunkie

      I agree with you. 200 miles is fine for more than 90% of a vehicle’s annual duty cycle. However, people still think in terms of taking the family EV to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving. (Gotta show off the new EV to Uncle Bob) Right or wrong, range anxiety will need to be dealt with in the buyer’s mind.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Marketeers can sell anything lol. “Station cars” have always been a thing. Plus there are mega cost savings to be had. Charging an EV costs like half of fueling up an equivalent car. If you drive 22K miles a year like me that adds up fast. A Model 3 would save me ~$2000 a year in fuel costs. Even someone in a Prius would save a couple hundred a year here in cheapo NC. Out in Cali even with their eye watering electricity costs we are talking thousands.

        Couple that with the torque… I’m sold. Just don’t make me have to look at a Bolt/Leaf or give up performance to have it. It’s very doable

    • 0 avatar
      cbrworm

      This is my thought. I do about 100 miles per day round trip, with multiple starts and stops in each direction (kids), we are already a 3 or 4 vehicle family, depending on when you catch us. It would make perfect sense for the daily vehicle to be electric now that they are enjoyable. I’m somewhat leery of plugging in an electric German or British/Indian car in my garage, but maybe it could live outside. At the same time, I like the idea of a local dealer network.

      That being said, I don’t have the money to buy one of these things as an experiment.

    • 0 avatar
      Jagboi

      I’m curious what the range will be in a Canadian winter when it’s -40. I’ve driven in circumstances where the heater in a gasoline car is simply inadequate and I had to scrape frost off the inside of the windshield as I drove.

      Sometimes I know I have one chance to start the car before the battery is dead and the car needs to be boosted and thawed before it can take a charge again. I know the li-ion chemistry is different than lead acid chemistry and the cold behaviour is different, but I still wonder how will a battery car cope?

  • avatar
    stingray65

    I always find the EV recharging stats to be so interesting. 10% to 80% in 40 minutes may sound promising to EV lovers, but 10% represents a remaining range of 20 miles, while 80% represents a “refueled” range of 160 miles, which means 40 minutes is actually getting you only 140 miles of range using a charging system that is faster than anything currently available. I also wonder how many people on a road trip or in an unfamiliar area are going to be content to get down to 20 miles of range before “refueling”? I typically refill my gasoline tank when I get down to 50 miles of range (and refill it to 100% in 5 minutes giving me 400 to 600 miles of range). Thus the realistic range for this MB EV in normal driving for someone like me is going to be 110 miles with fresh battery and mild temperatures and no high speed motoring. Add in cold or very hot weather, an age depleted battery, and some high speed cruising and the car is going to have perhaps 60-80 miles of realistic range. I guess MB leasing customers won’t care so much as the battery should still be ok after 3 years, but such range math certainly doesn’t bode well for resale value.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Everything you said here is correct, or at least plausible.

      Although I really like the EV driving and ownership experience, I continue to be annoyed that EV mfrs never want to tell the whole story about range.

      A simple chart or table could illustrate range estimates for the conditions you describe, such as ideal, cold, highway speed, mileage-degraded, and so on.

      A truly safe driving radius under the most adverse conditions seems to be about equal to new range divided by 3 or 4, which means total realistic range is maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of the advertised range in the worst conditions. Speed and cabin heat are the worst offenders.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      stingray65: “40 minutes is actually getting you only 140 miles of range using a charging system that is faster than anything currently available”

      It can be confusing. That time is based on a 100kW charger. Tesla Superchargers are currently maxed at 120kW. There is currently at least one 350kW ElectrifyAmerica CCS Charger working that is located in Chicopee MA. It’s between Boston and NYC. That charger is CCS and could charge the Mercedes at whatever its max charge rate is right now – today. So, it does use a charging system that is currently available. In fact, it can handle a Taycan at 350kW. Right now. Today.

      https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1116550_electrify-america-switches-on-the-first-350-kw-fast-charging-station-in-chicopee-mass

      https://arstechnica.com/cars/2018/04/electrify-america-will-deploy-2000-350kw-fast-chargers-by-the-end-of-2019/

      I also found a chart on the Model 3 Long Range created by an owner and it shows the 3LR able to gain 244 miles of range in 40 minutes at a 116kW Supercharger. Yeah, much better than the Mercedes. More efficient car with the same size battery and faster charging system and network.

  • avatar

    This thing looks like (exterior) something from the Chinese copy/paste manufacturers…

  • avatar
    tekdemon

    This is gonna be a pretty hard sell. The worst range in it’s class, a front end that looks oddly derivative of a CRV and no easy to use fast charging network for it.

    Unless MB is willing to price this insanely aggressively and just eat the loss this is DOA.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    I suspect there’s a limited number of buyers in the market for a $70,000 second car. And there are vast swaths of the country where lousy charging infrastructure and range-slashing cold weather are a fact of life. But I get it, Mercedes, batteries don’t grow on trees.

    So here’s a thought. Why not build a no-compromises plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV): basically a luxury Chevy Volt SUV? If the biggest obstacle to EV production in terms of cost, scalability and environmental impact is the battery, and the biggest obstacle to EV adoption in terms of buyer acceptance is range and recharging anxiety, then why not take the approach that gives you pure-EV operation 90% of the time and a no-worries road-trip machine the other 10%…and lets the manufacturer make up to four times as many cars with the same number of battery cells?

    I admit that most PHEVs aren’t great. Ford, the Koreans, and especially the Europeans insult buyers with half-assed PHEV models with laughable range and piddling electric power. Honda makes a two-third-assed Honda Clarity PHEV version with okay range, but like the others it still can’t offer full power without kicking on the gas engine. That leaves the Chevy Volt as literally the only whole-assed PHEV on the market: the only one that operates as a pure EV even if you floor the accelerator or turn on the heater or drop your hat, and does so long enough to take care of all your errands—yet still offers full power, long range and good MPG on a road trip once gasoline is involved. So okay, maybe it’s not an easy thing to pull off. And maybe it’s not easy to sell your board on a bridge technology when development lead times are long and it seems like the future is closing in fast—like trying to string land-line telephone poles in Africa after the invention of the cell phone. But nobody else is doing it. This could be your opening…

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