Electric SUV hits sunny Spain for development testing

The upcoming Mercedes-Benz EQC electric SUV has been previewed again, this time during hot weather testing on Spain's Iberian peninsula.

Dry heat is the first challenge in the series, as exposure can cause battery damage in electric vehicles. Therefore, with temperatures in the region reaching up to 50° celsius, the Iberian peninsula is a great location to test the EQC's battery cooling systems in terms of heat insulation and how it copes with high power requirements in these conditions.

Another area the vehicle is tested in the dry heat is the effectiveness of the air-conditioning system, and how it affects the vehicle's calculated range.

The dusty plains are also a good spot for Mercedes-Benz's technicians to see where dust may deposit in the vehicle's components and the effectiveness of the EQC's seals.

Other things set to be tested during the Spanish test phase include traffic sign recognition – something that will be assessed across various regions – toll station recognition, and the effectiveness off the cameras for the vehicle's assistance systems.

Additionally, noise characteristics of various components – including the air-conditioning compressor – are specifically examined against the company's benchmarks.

Mercedes-Benz says the EQC will be subjected to the various stages of testing it uses for all its new vehicles, including digital simulation, dynamometer, real-world road driving, NVH, extreme weather, and regional.

Some 200 prototypes and pre-series vehicles will be built over the test program, and these vehicles will be assessed by several hundred experts across the company's departments.

All up, the development phase for the new EQC will take four years – according to Mercedes-Benz.

The Mercedes-Benz EQC is expected to be revealed in full sometime next year, following the rival Audi e-tron quattro SUV due to launch in global markets before the end of this year, and will be joined in the EV SUV space by the BMW iX3 in 2021.

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