With its QC line Mercedes-Benz has laid out the future of driving. An electric concept that combines the best of Mercedes-Benz know-how with the design and performance of the future.
Launched exclusively with Gargash Enterprises in Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates, the EQC is the first vehicle to hit the road under the EQ brand, marking a huge moment for the future of the industry. We took the opportunity to test-drive this full-electric vehicle and get a glimpse into the future of driving.
From the outside, this car resembles any other Mercedes design with its smooth seamless shape and elegant design. But as the first Mercedes-Benz model to be launched under the new product and technology brand EQ, the EQC features an all-new drive system development with compact electric drivetrains at each axle. These give the EQC the driving characteristics of an all-wheel drive.
To reduce power consumption and increase dynamism, the electric drivetrains are configured differently: the front electric motor is optimised for the best possible efficiency in the low to medium load range, while the rear one determines dynamism. Together, they generate an output of 300 kW and a maximum torque of 765 Nm. A sophisticated operating strategy enables an electric range of more than 450km so you can embark on long journeys without having to stop and charge the engine.
When you do have to charge, there are several different methods making it simple and convenient. There are several charge points around the UAE now so just plug in and head to the mall and leave your car charging while you shop!
The overall aesthetic revolves around a conscious clash of digital and analogue elements as well as the seamless merging of intuitive and physical design bringing together the modern and traditional and highlighting the innovation of the brand. The interior features a ribbed edge along the instrument panel, which resembles the cooling ribs of a hi-fi amplifier. The instrument panel is designed as a driver-oriented cockpit.
The car is almost silent when the engine is running – to the point that we had to double-check several times before moving! Mercedes-Benz engineers have enhanced noise comfort with a number of measures. In the EQC the powerpacks are isolated by rubber mounts at two points: where the powerpack connects to its subframe and where the subframe connects to the body. This effective isolation is supplemented with insulation measures. As a result, the interior of the EQC is extremely quiet.
The EQC features an innovative multimedia system. The MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience has a number of EQ-specific functions to enhance your experience including the display of range, charge status and energy flow. EQ-optimized navigation, driving modes, charging current and departure time can also be controlled and set via MBUX. There is a special EQ menu that assists with all elements related to the operations of the car.
The EQC comes complete with comprehensives services to assist with the electromobility of today and tomorrow. Some of the most important new services and functions of the EQC including the Pre-entry climate control system. This ensures that the vehicle interior is already at the desired temperature on departure. It can be programmed directly via MBUX or via the Mercedes me phone app. A sophisticated system with a heat pump and electric heater boosters pre-climatises the interior.
Intense safety tests have been applied to the battery and all component parts carrying electrical current. These standards exceed legal requirements. The vehicle structure of the EQC has been adapted to suit the special requirements of the electrical components and battery and is configured to achieve the usual high safety level. The high-safety design begins with the installation position of the high-voltage battery beneath the vehicle floor. The energy storage unit is surrounded by a stable frame that can absorb energy. Deformation elements are installed between the frame and the battery, and these are able to absorb additional forces in the event of a severe side impact. A battery guard in the front area of the battery is able to prevent the energy storage unit from being pierced by foreign objects. The extensive experience of Mercedes-Benz with high-voltage drive systems has led to a multi-stage safety concept that deploys in the event of an accident. The high-voltage system automatically shuts down, reversibly or irreversibly, according to the severity of the accident. There are also shutdown points where emergency teams can deactivate the high-voltage system manually.
One of the biggest positives of owning an electric can in the UAE is the many benefits offered to those embracing a more sustainable lifestyle. Committed to working towards a better tomorrow and reducing its impact on the environment, the UAE has rolled out a series of regulations and exemptions that further encourage its residents to make the switch to an electric vehicle. This include:
- Free public charging:EQC owners enjoy free charging until the end of 2021 through the DEWA charging network. A charging card can be applied for through the DEWA online platform.
- Free public parking across all RTA parking spaces until June 2022
- Exemption of ‘Salik’ tag: EQC owners are excepted from the fee to purchase the ‘Salik’ (toll) tag
- Exception from registration and renewal fees: All electric vehicles are exempted from the additional registration and renewal fees.
The car is powered by a lithium-ion battery, with an energy content of 80 kWh (NEDC). The power consumption and range of electric vehicles depend very much on the driving style. The EQC supports its driver with five driving programs, each with different characteristics: COMFORT, ECO, MAX RANGE, SPORT and an individually adaptable program. In the more economical driving modes, the haptic accelerator pedal that prompts the driver to conserve power plays an important role. The driver is also able to influence the recuperation level using so-called paddles behind the steering wheel.
The ECO Assist system gives the driver comprehensive support when driving predictively: by prompting the driver when it is appropriate to come off the accelerator. Navigation data, traffic sign recognition and information from the intelligent safety assistants (radar and stereo camera) are linked and processed.
As standard, the EQC is equipped with a water-cooled onboard charger (OBC) with a capacity of 7.4 kW, making it suitable for AC charging at home or at public charging stations which are located across the UAE at public places Charging at a Mercedes-Benz Wallbox takes approximately 10.5 hours for a full charge, up to three times faster than the standard household AC charging. It is faster still with DC charging – which is standard for the EQC, with an output of up to 110 kW at an appropriate charging station, the EQC battery can be charged from 10-80%, within approximately 40 minutes.
the EQC requires a DEWA ‘green charger card’, that would enable users to find their nearest charging station using DEWA’s green charger location map. Alternatively, customers can use the Plugshare website and smartphone application to understand the available type of charging stations and plugs around the area.