Mercedes-Benz looks to an electrified future with EQ models
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Premium carmakers are embracing electrification with bespoke model lines. For Mercedes-Benz, the magic letters are “EQ”, indicating the combination of Emotion and intelligence Quotient.
EQ covers all of the marque’s electrification efforts: EQ Boost for mild hybrids and EQ Power for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs). But the hero brand is simply EQ, for Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) that have moved beyond internal combustion engines.
The first full EQ model from Mercedes-Benz was the EQC, a medium SUV that made its international debut in 2018 and was voted New Zealand Car of the Year in 2020. It’s an all-wheel drive wagon with 760Nm and 336km range.
It’s loosely based on the conventional GLC SUV, although only 15 per cent of parts are common. Mercedes-Benz NZ has since followed the EQC up with the EQA urban SUV: roughly equivalent to the petrol GLA, the EQA is front-drive and offers range of 408km.
There are more EQ models to come for NZ. Mercedes has already created a BEV version of the GLB, called the EQB, which will arrive in NZ this year. Unlike its C and A siblings, it’s recognisably similar to the petrol equivalent on the outside, although some EQ signatures like the blackpanel grille/light strip have been added.
Inside, the EQB retains seating for seven, with the third row able to be folded away when required. The next step for EQ is a range of models on a bespoke BEV platform.
The flagship will be the EQS, a super-luxury sedan that’s a pureelectric alternative to the S-Class, although it shares nothing with that more “traditional” model. The EQS will have pretty much every piece of high technology Mercedes-Benz can offer, including the MBUX Hyperscreen, a combination of OLED and LCD clusters that cover the entire dashboard and centre console.
There will also be a BEV alternative to the classic E-Class, called the EQE. Both the EQS and EQE will be available as enhanced MercedesAMG models, with specific performance features and tuning. Mercedes-AMG is also creating its own standalone BEV platform, called AMG.EA.
It will be the base for a number of AMG-only BEVs in the years to come. Mercedes-Benz plans to be CO2-neutral by 2039, shifting from “electric first” to “electric only”. It will have BEVs in all its vehicle segments from this year and from 2025 all new platforms will be EV-only.
Initiatives include CO2- neutral battery production from this year and a move towards zero-carbon status for its factory at Sindelfingen, location of the new ultra-modern Factory56 facility, which includes photovoltaic systems, a DC power grid and storage using secondlife BEV batteries.