How much do you really know about Mercedes’ new EV SUV?
The EQC isn’t just a new SUV from Mercedes-Benz—it’s the start of a completely new line of electric cars from the luxury automaker. And when it comes to the 2020 EQC 400’s electric powertrain, Mercedes has thought about the details.
Keep reading to learn about six cool electric-tech features on the new EQC, and read our review here.
EQC drivers can plan their journey from home or office using the ‘Mercedes me’ app. They can enter a departure time to ensure the interior is heated or cooled to the desired temperature, and can target the state of charge they want in the battery at their destination. Accessing a cloud-based data pool, the system will take into account traffic, topology, consumption, battery temperature, and charging station availability and power to determine the optimal route, including charging stops, if necessary. The system can also be programmed directly in-car via the MBUX interface.
The EQC’s MBUX interface features a voice control function tailored to operating an electric vehicle. Like Amazon’s Alexa, the system is activated is activated by speaking a key phrase. In this case it’s “Hey Mercedes.” A few examples of the sorts of questions that can be asked of the EQC’s electronic brain: “Show me the energy flow”; “What charging settings have been made?”; “Charge the vehicle to 85 percent”; “Where is the nearest charging station?”
EQC engineers say up to one-third of an electric vehicle’s energy consumption is directly impacted by driver behavior. The car’s ECO Assist function is thus designed to help EQC drivers to achieve maximum efficiency. The system networks data from the navigation system, traffic sign recognition, and safety hardware such as the radar and stereo camera, and prompts the driver to lift off the accelerator at appropriate times, such as when the vehicle is approaching a changing speed limit. The system also automatically adjusts regen modes to ensure optimal energy recovery.
Max Range Mode
In addition to the traditional Mercedes-Benz drive modes—Eco, Comfort, Sport, Individual—accessed via a switch on the center console, EQC drivers can select Max Range mode. In this mode the EQC’s neural network figures out exactly how much energy is needed to keep the vehicle rolling along at the speed limit and at maximum efficiency until the next charge point, and instigates a haptic pressure point in the accelerator’s travel arc to ensure you don’t use more. Drivers can push past the pressure point if they need to accelerate in an emergency. It’s not fun driving, but for those taking their EQCs to the edge of the range envelope, it’s a useful tool to ensure they won’t be stranded by the side of the road.
EQC customers in Europe are able to access more than 300,000 charge points across the continent, and make payment via the ‘Mercedes me’ charge card, the ‘Mercedes me’ app, or directly from the car. No separate contracts are required, and apart from authentication, customers benefit from an integrated payment function with simple billing. Owners choose their preferred payment method only once, and then every charging procedure is debited automatically. Individual charges are clearly listed in a monthly invoice. The ‘Mercedes me’ charge card also allows access to the quick-charge stations being rolled out across Europe by the Ionity joint venture between Daimler, BMW, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen. U.S. EQC customers can expect to be offered similar services.
The EQC’s liquid-cooled, 384-cell, 80 kW-hr battery, which is made by Daimler subsidiary company Deutsche Accumotive, is surrounded by a robust frame with an integral crash structure. Deformation elements are installed between the frame and the battery, and a guard at the front of the battery is designed to prevent it from being pierced by foreign objects. The high-voltage system will also shut down automatically in a crash, with the EQC’s electronic brain able to decide with the shutdown should be reversible or irreversible. When it is shut down, the voltage outside of the battery quickly drops to a safe limit. The system will also automatically stop the charging process if an impact is detected while the EQC is stationary at a quick-charging station.