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2020 Mercedes EQC: A Model X killer?

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Mercedes EQC Exterior
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Mercedes has recently launched its first all electric SUV. Daimler, the group Mercedes belongs to did already have some electric experience with an all electric Smart car and in 2014 Mercedes added a battery powered B-class to its lineup. The 2020 Mercedes EQC will be the first all electric SUV in the Mercedes line.

The EQC will the first addition to the EQ lineup: Mercedes is about to launch a whole family of electric cars under the EQ name. Mercedes promised to introduce at least 9 new all-electric models without combustion engine by 2023. First models to be expected after the SUV are the 2021 Mercedes EQA and 2021 Mercedes EQA, both compacts sedans.

Based on the Mercedes GLC platform

The EQC is built on the same base as the gas powered GLC but with a chassis that has been strengthened to bear the load of the 1433 pounds worth of lithium-ion batteries. Mercedes assembles the batteries in-house with battery cell from different subcontractors. Interior and Exterior design follows the lines and looks of the GLC.

Apart from strengthening the GLC base we do not see much use of alumimum to save on weight.

The battery-kit is installed in the floor of the car, as with the Model X from Tesla, and is contained by a protective casing. A capacity 80kWh is provided, slightly under battery capacities from the main competitors Audi e-Tron, Jaguar i-Pace and the Tesla Model X. This is almost 15% less than most competitors and with a weight of 5346 it is barely 5% lighter than the competition. 293 Miles is the expected max range at full charge. In reality we expect real world figures to be 80% lower than the officially stated range.

Electric SUVs by battery capacity:

  1. Tesla Model X – up to 100 kWh
  2. Jaguar i-Pace – 95 kWh
  3. Audi e-Tron – 90 kWh
  4. EQC – 80 kWh

Mercedes has not only saved on battery capacity, we also raise our eyebrows at the suspension choice. The suspension only consist of a passive suspension limited to the leveling of the rear axle. Ride does however provide enough ride comfort without feeling too soft. The car sticks to the road and the drive is precise. Its weight and passive rear axle do seem to be a disadvantage a bit when taking sharp corners.

Sound of Silence

The EQC is very silent: electric engine sound is barely noticeable and engineers have worked on dampening the rolling sounds and wind interference.

2020 Mercedes Benz EQC Engine

There are 2 electric motors in the EQC, one for the front axle, one for the rear axle. Combined they provide 204 hp. When we compare the torque the four wheel drive delivers, the EQC comes in second:

Electric SUVs by torque power:

  1. Tesla Model X – 1000 Nm torque
  2. EQC – 760 Nm torque
  3. Jaguar i-Pace – 696 Nm torque
  4. Audi e-Tron – 561 Nm torque (with 644 Nm burst)

When driving at a gentle pace, only the front motor is delivering the needed traction. The rear motor only assists when the EQC needs more power. This makes the EQC very reactive. Control of the traction is electronically steered and tuned for energy efficiency and a neutral balance of power.

You will however not get a whiplash when hitting the gas full throttle. The reaction time is much slower than the Model X, the X is still the king of acceleration. When ranking the cars on acceleration the ECQ comes in third, after the Model X and Jaguar i-Pace. It does however allow for quick reactions and taking over other cars in traffic.

Range & Charging

Like most electric vehicles the EQC uses heat dissipation when braking to recharge the batteries and changing the engine in generators. This is however just a small fraction of the charge of the batteries. The generative power saves your brakes, when in on of the regenerative driving modes you barely use your brakes.

The consumed kWh per mile should be lower than the competition. Mercedes is late at the game but they made a little leap in electric efficiency.

Main power source still comes from the charge received from the plug in the wall. When charging on a normal outlet a full charge takes more than 40 hours. The EQC can be plugged into fast chargers powering up to 100 kW. Fast charging enables owners to charge 80% in 40 minutes. Non Tesla fast charging stations in the US are still thinly spread. You’ll be in for range anxiety when choosing this car. EVgo and Wallmart have made some effort to build out the DC fast charging network but we hope the expansion will continue.

Technologic & Entertainment features

The model is equipped with the Mbux infotainment system, voice control, adaptive cruise control, lane assist and lane following assist. There is also a D-auto driving mode that auto regenerates by taking into account driving conditions, navigation, radar and camera info. It maxes out and optimizes the regenerating recharging.

2020 Mercedes EQC Factsheet

EngineEQC 400 4matic
lb ft of torque760 Nm (561 lbft)
Type2 x Asymmetric Electric Engine
Horse Power402 horsepower
Battery
TypeLithium-ion
Classic Plug Load Time45 hours
Fast Charge Full Load90 minutes / 80% @ 40 minutes
Max Range293 Miles
Powertrain
Drive TypeAll wheel drive
TransmissionAutomatic dual clutch
Performance
Top Speed112 Mph.
0 – 605.1 seconds

2020 Mercedes EQC Price & Release date

The EQC is expected to hit Europe in June 2019 and the US in the late fall of 2019. Expect a price tag at around 90000$ for the base model.

Being more conventional and more compact than the Model X we doubt the EQC will claim a big chunk of market share in the US. It is not setting new boundaries like Tesla, it seems to be designed to lure existing gas powered Mercedes owners. Don’t be put off by the smaller battery capacity: this ride is more efficient, it does not compromise the range. For more Electric SUV reads, read our Tesla model X review.

The US model will be built in the Mercedes factory in Tuscaloosa.

Is there a place for full electric SUV’s like this in the US? Let us know in the comments!

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