As expected following months of rumours, Mercedes announced its new all-electric brand called ‘EQ’ at the 2016 Paris Motor Show today. The German automaker says that the name EQ stands for “Electric Intelligence”.
Under the new brand, Mercedes will not only sell electric vehicles, but it will also deploy charging stations, sell home chargers and even home battery packs. Does it remind you of anything? More importantly, Mercedes unveiled the first vehicle under its new brand: the ‘Generation EQ’.
‘Generation EQ’ is an all-electric SUV with two electric motors on the front and rear axles for a total power output of up to 300 kW. Mercedes says that it will be able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in under five seconds.
The battery pack will be equipped with lithium-ion battery cells originating from the Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE. Last year, the automaker announced a €500 million ($543.5 million) investment in a new battery factory for the company in Kamenz, Germany.
Mercedes says that the ‘Generation EQ’ battery pack will be scalable up to a total capacity of over 70 kWh for a range of ‘up to 500 kilometres’ (310 miles). Of course, that’s based on the NEDC standard and the real-world range or EPA-rated range would be expected to be significantly less.
For example, the Tesla Model X with a 75 kWh battery pack has an NEDC-rated range of 259 miles and an EPA-rated range of 237 miles.
The ‘Generation EQ’ will be capable of fast charging with the Combined Charging System (CCS). Mercedes says the vehicle will be able to take charge rates of 50 kW up to sometimes 150 kW and it eventually sees a charging capacity of even up to 300 kW.
Of course, owners will also be able to charge at home with a wall charger. The company will also offer a wireless induction charging system:
The interior of the ‘Generation EQ’ features a 24-inch (53 x 11 cm) TFT high-definition wide-screen display that acts as an instrument cluster.
The centre console, which is bordered in rose gold, has no mechanical controls since they have been replaced with touch-sensitive elements. The entire console looks like it is floating between the front seats.
It looks significantly different from your average Mercedes interior, but the German automaker says that you will find all the features typical of Mercedes- aside for the mirrors. The vehicle is only equipped with cameras feeding images visible on integrated displays in the doors.
Driver Assist and Autonomous Driving
The ‘Generation EQ’ will be equipped with the latest driver assistance systems from Mercedes-Benz and more advanced autonomous driving systems will be introduced in the new ‘EQ’ lineup “always under the premise of safety and in compliance with the statutory regulations”, says the automaker.
Mercedes didn’t go in details about the availability of the ‘Generation EQ’, but it referred to it as “close to production”. Rumours prior to the official unveiling of the SUV today suggested that it could in production as soon as next year, but that remains unconfirmed at the moment.
As for pricing, it is expected to around the same price as Mercedes’ GLC: 49,000-euro ($55,000 US)