Experimentation seems to be in your stride when you are a leader in what you do. After a flurry of electric SUVs introduced into the market in the last 12 months, India’s largest luxury carmaker is gearing up to create a new benchmark in the EV space on October 8 with the launch of EQC.
Martin Schwenk, MD & CEO of Mercedes-Benz India, however, believes ‘EQC to begin with, will not be a volume model’ and ‘is aimed at early adopters who always wanted a luxury EV, which is luxurious, sporty, fun to drive and most importantly have zero tail-pipe emission’.
At the heart of the matters, Mercedes-Benz EQC gets a dual motor setup, one for the front axle and one for the rear. The combined output stands at 408 PS and 765 Nm of peak torque. The new EQC gets an all-electric range of 450 kilometres. Addressing the concerns of charging, Mercedes considers EQC will be chosen more for intracity travel over outstation.
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“The EQC will be extensively used for intracity travel by our customers for which the battery range is more than sufficient to take care of everyday travel requirements. The long battery range of EQC is something you have witnessed during the media drive and we are confident it will be hassle free for customers taking care of any range anxiety,” said Schwenk.
EQC, which is built on the GLC platform, according to us after the drive, is an exciting and swift SUV to drive around. It’s capable of clocking 0-100 kmph acceleration under 6 seconds while the comforts of seat ventilation and massage feature for front seats, ambient lighting, energising package, electric sunroof, three-zone climate control, M-BUX paired 10.25-inch infotainment screen are borrowed from the biggest SUV of them all – the GLS. The niggle, however, is in the form of low clearance due to the batter pack positioning and tight backseat space. The European engineering has also led to firm ride quality and superb handling.
The 80kWh battery pack used in EQC will be the largest in capacity over any other carmaker by a fair margin. A DC fast charger will take 90 minutes to full charge while the AC shall box charger, which Mercedes will install at the preferred location of the customer, will take around 10 hours to full charge.
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“Though charging infrastructure is still at a nascent stage, we have seen positive efforts from the government in accelerating public charging infrastructure capacity creation. Charging facility creation by the government will create the required infrastructure and can be complemented by OEMs going forward,” said Schwenk.
The German luxury carmakers are in a race to bring in over 10 pure electric cars across all segment by 2020 and expects 50 per cent of overall sales from battery-operated electric vehicle (BEV) by 2030. Commenting on the introduction of the other products from EQ portfolio in India, Schwenk said, “We are confident that EQC will find acceptance amongst the early adopters of luxury EVs in India and pave the way for other Mercedes EVs.”
Mercedes-Benz India surely has a pricing strategy, but whether it will lure the buyers or not is anyone’s guess. We expect the EQC should fetch around Rs 90 lakh to 1.1 crore (ex-showroom). Schwenk concluded, “The EQC at the end of the day is a Mercedes-Benz, it will be attractively priced and we expect a positive customer reaction.”