By on December 17, 2019

The first fully electric Mercedes-Benz, slated to arrive on these shores early next year, will instead spend 2020 backpacking around Europe.

Called the EQC, the conventionally-styled compact EV crossover is positioned to do battle with Jaguar’s I-Pace and Audi’s E-Tron — vehicles that garnered a tepid consumer response in the States, despite claims to the contrary by their respective builders. Mercedes-Benz isn’t saying the year-long delay has anything to do with that, however. It’s apparently all about serving Europeans better.

Word reached U.S. dealers on Friday, Automotive News reports. The anticipated delay is “at least” one year, which could mean Americans won’t see the EQC until late spring or perhaps even early summer, 2021.

“In a recent direction from Daimler AG, it is a strategic decision to first support the growing customer demand for the EQC in Europe,” the automaker told AN.

While the EPA hadn’t gotten around to testing the EQC, an early range estimate of around 200 miles left EV fans recoiling in horror before the automaker stepped in and called the figure an error. Converting European range figures to U.S. values is a tricky thing; the best guess we’ve seen out there is 222 miles. It’s unlikely the EPA would go higher. While that figure would pale in comparison to Jag’s I-Pace or Tesla’s Model X, it’s at least greater than the E-Tron’s lackluster 204-mile rating.

Image: Daimler AG

Powered by two electric motors drawing current from an 80 kWh battery pack, the EQC boasts a combined output of 402 horsepower, ensuring that the all-wheel drive CUV won’t be a slug on the highway. Still, news of the delay quickly sparked speculation that M-B’s motivation lay in waiting for U.S. consumer demand to pick up. If that’s true, the automaker isn’t talking.

European-based automakers must conform to increasingly stringent environmental mandates in that region; launching whole-hog EVs is seen as the quickest way to reduce fleetwide emissions. Given the proliferation of recharging infrastructure, shorter distances between cities, and higher fuel prices in that market, buyers appear vastly more willing to purchase an EV than their American counterparts.

When the EQC does arrive stateside, it will have a new competitor in the form of the equally conventional-looking BMW iX3 — an EV take on the brand’s standard X3 crossover. Porsche’s Macan will also drop its internal combustion clothes in 2021.

[Image: Daimler AG]

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21 Comments on “Whoa, Hold on There: Mercedes-Benz EQC’s Arrival Delayed...”

  • avatar

    So they are avoiding the EPA range number that is certain to stop this thing in its tracks?

  • avatar

    The article talks about the EPA testing vehicles. The EPA does not test vehicles. The manufacturers do, and report the numbers back to the EPA. Teslas range numbers are less conservative than other options. My employer’s vehicle can pretty much match a model X side by side, but because of other news that still hasn’t been forgotten by the news, the EPA number is way more conservative.

    • 0 avatar

      Incorrect when it comes to EVs, as a search of the EPA website will show. All new EVs are tested at the EPA lab in Ann Arbor MI.

      “EPA Confirmatory testing – Currently, EPA performs confirmatory testing on all new light-duty electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles at EPA’s emission testing laboratory in Ann Arbor Michigan.”

      This is a .pdf:

      • 0 avatar

        All “confirmatory” testing, not all testing. It’s written a bit confusing, but the same language is used for ICE vehicles. It means when they do testing to confirm test results that the manufacturers provide. Especially when you ad the ICE fleet, the amount of vehicles they can test is very limited.

        I’m also not saying that Tesla wouldn’t get their published range on the EPA test, and I have no idea how the Mercedes does either. Simply saying, some manufacturers are providing more conservative numbers. I also doubt that even if the EPA tested a vehicle and the range was greater than what the manufacturer provides, the EPA won’t make them change it.

  • avatar

    It’s hard to believe that for all their innovation, this is the best MB can manage. Ford will have a Tesla competitor in North America before Daimler does for crying out loud. And when this does arrive, IF it arrives, it will be uncompetitive at best. The folks in Stuttgart should be embarrassed.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I’ll bet they’re having trouble sourcing batteries – a very common theme among would-be EV mfrs.

    As for the range, 80 kWh should be giving a vehicle that size an EPA range of about 240 miles, maybe more.

    • 0 avatar

      Bingo. Not enough batteries.

    • 0 avatar

      Said it below, but I bet the culprit is weight and design. This car and the E-Tron are based on conventional designs, and I have a feeling that compromises them as EVs. If the problem’s insufficient batteries, the design may have a lot to do with that.

      The E-Tron’s also a total pig – it weighs in at 5800 pounds, which is about the same as a V-8 pickup.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        “The E-Tron’s also a total pig – it weighs in at 5800 pounds, which is about the same as a V-8 pickup.”

        No, that is over 1000 pounds heavier than an F150 supercrew.

        • 0 avatar

          Model X is 5500lb

          • 0 avatar

            The weight figure I found was 5100-5400 (probably equpiment-dependent), but the Audi’s still 400-500 pounds heavier, and that’s a big deal. The added weight puts it at a disadvantage no matter how you slice it, and clearly Tesla’s done a far better job working around the weight.

          • 0 avatar

            A few hundred lbs extra for an interior appropriate in a $70k car isn’t that big of a deal. People would take issues with a Tesla rattle trap interior in a base Versa, but somehow charge 10 times for it and everyone’s happy.

      • 0 avatar

        Yikes. That’s more than a full ton heavier than my 238-mile Bolt.

  • avatar

    The culprit on the weaker range for this car and the E-Tron, I suspect, is weight. For example, a E-Tron weights about 700 pounds (!) more than the Model X, which may explain at least part of it.

    I’d also guess the extra weight comes from not using a purpose-built EV platform (the E-tron shares its’ platforms with a bunch of other Audi models, and I bet that’s true of the Mercedes as well).

    In the end, though, if the range stinks, Mercedes is right to hold off until the problem’s addressed (if it can be).

  • avatar

    The front end is hideous.

  • avatar

    “The first fully electric Mercedes-Benz, slated to arrive on these shores early next year”

    Didn’t the B-class arrive first?

    …not that anybody noticed.

  • avatar

    ” It’s apparently all about serving Europeans better.”

    Yeah, right, Europeans are so happy now. But in all seriousness – it should stay where it belongs and come here when it’s ready.

  • avatar


    +1 !

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