The EQC – the Mercedes-Benz of electric cars
Gulf Business|February 2021
We got behind the wheel of the Mercedes-Benz EQC, the automaker’s first EV
DAVID NDICHU

You could call the EQC Mercedes-Benz’s transition car as the illustrious brand shifts to an all-electric future.

That is because the EQC is largely the electric version of the existing GLC SUV. Upcoming models on the other hand will be built as electric vehicles from the ground up, a Mercedes-Benz representative told me. That should mean lighter, roomier and longer-range vehicles.

The EQC is Mercedes-Benz’s first model under the new label EQ, embodying the design idiom of what the company calls ‘progressive luxury’.

Over the next 24 months, the company plans to launch the EQE, EQA, EQB and the all-electric variant of the flagship S-Class, the EQS.

Market forces

The era of the electric vehicle is truly here, led by customer demand, widespread environmental concerns and various governments that are now pushing forward an electric-first agenda within the auto sector.

In China, the government wants ‘new energy vehicles’ to make up at least 15 per cent of the market by 2025, and twice that figure a decade later. By 2035, the UK says it will ban the sales of ICE cars. Ahead of everyone is Norway, where full EVs comprise around 60 per cent of sales each month and will permit the sale of only full-electric cars by 2025.

A study by Allied Market Research states that the electric segment will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.7 per cent from 2019 through to 2026, clearly demonstrating that the market is ripe for EVs.

Design

The EQC silhouette resembles its spirit animal the GLC, albeit with more curves and a sportier facade. The unit I tested had a matte grey finish.

At the front is a large black-panel surface enclosing the headlamps and grille. At the top of the black panel is an optical fibre that creates an almost uninterrupted horizontal light band at night.

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