Mercedes Benz EQC launched as India's first luxury EV
Has an all-new propulsion system, sure, but is it an all-new car as well?
Until yesterday, the most expensive Electric Vehicle (EV) one could buy in India was the Hyundai Kona Electric. Priced at sub-25 lakh mark, the South Korean e-SUV was touted to be a good EV for someone eagerly waiting to jump on the EV bandwagon. But for those who want their share of luxury with the futuristic propulsion system, Mercedes claims to have come up with an answer.
Called the EQC, this e-SUV is Mercedes’ first all-electric offering for the world, and now for the subcontinent as well. Launched today at an introductory price of INR 99.30 lakhs for the first 50 customers, the EQC aims to please those who can’t let go of luxury at the cost of eco-friendliness, even if it means paying a premium. The Mercedes EQC comes with an all-new electric propulsion system, sure, but is it an all-new car as well?
Even though it comes in swankier clothing which includes the likes of width-stretching light bars at the front and rear along with those dual-tone wheels, don’t be fooled by its appearance. Underneath, the German brand has retained the GLC as a base while binning the petrol-powered engine to make way for two electric motors.
The front and rear axle of the car gets an electric motor each. When paired to the 85kWh lithium-ion battery pack mounted on the car’s floor, the combined engine output sums up to 408hp and 765Nm of torque. While official WLTP test cycle claims this electric three-pointed star can do over 400kms on a single charge, a bit of enthusiastic driving and real-life conditions may bring that figure down to 350kms. Even then, the car would require a full charge just once a week, provided the driving routes are restricted to the city.
Charging up the EQC via standard 15A home power socket will take it a little less than an entire day, i.e. 21 hours! However, this day-long affair can be cut short to just 10 hours if one charges the car via 7.5kW wall-box charger provided by Mercedes. And if that doesn’t fit into your schedule as well, then you’ll have to rely on 50kW fast chargers which can be done with the charging business in a matter of minutes. The trouble is we only have a handful of them across India. However, Mercedes claims its steadily building a 100+ charging station network across 48 Indian cities.
A revolutionary all-electric car should feel all new which is why Mercedes have taken the pain to redesign the dashboard. The EQC now gets two massive 12.3-inch screens that dominate the driver’s view. Only the most necessary and minimal functions have been bestowed with a button in the cabin while all other functions can only be operated via the dual-touchscreen setup. And yet, presence of specific elements such as fabric upholstery, sleeker air-con vents with bronze surround and a ribbed finish on the doors further aid in distinguishing the EQC as a part of Mercedes’ new EQ family.
Additionally, the EQC offers some software add-ons that aims to connect the driver with the vehicle by setting up a mood. Called the ENERGIZING modes, the software alters the temperature controls, audio track and even the interior fragrance to suit the selected option. And there’s a Training mode as well, allowing the driver to work his muscles without leaving the driver’s seat, by simply listening to the audio instructions.
Initially, the Mercedes Benz EQC will only be sold across six cities, namely Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. Potential customers residing outside these cities can book the car online via Mercedes’ website. The company is offering a 5-year warranty on the vehicle with a 3-year assured buyback scheme available. The Germans did a thorough study of the Indian mindset.