Battery-electric Benz hits showrooms on December 9 with the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X in its crosshairs
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Mercedes-Benz’s first battery-electric vehicle (BEV) in Australia, the EQC 400, will hit showrooms on December 9, ahead of deliveries to those who’ve made deposits from early 2020.

The company today announced a price of $137,900 before on-road costs for the single specification offering, placing it in line with the mid-range Jaguar I-Pace SE ($135,400), and between the Tesla Model X Long Range ($131,900) and Performance ($141,100).

Its competitor set will be expanded with the arrival of Audi’s e-tron and e-tron Sportback BEVs during the course of 2020.

For some further context, the EQC’s price point bisects its two AMG-badged GLC performance SUVs, which share some components and are similar dimensionally. These are the GLC43 ($109,900) and GLC63 S ($161,000).

It’s the first member of Mercedes-Benz’s ‘EQ’ sub-brand, which will soon be bookended by the small EQA fully electric hatchback (or compact SUV) and EQS electric limousine. The moniker also covers plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and ICE cars with 48V onboard power systems.

Unlike the Jaguar and Tesla, and divergent from the strategy used by the likes of the Volkswagen Group, the EQC does not sit upon a bespoke EV-only architecture, but rather a heavily modified GLC and C-Class platform with a claimed 85 per cent new components.

This means it can be made in the same Bremen factory as this mass-market pair, saving huge costs and giving it production flexibility pending demand. Down the track, Mercedes-EQ models will also sit on bespoke EV platforms, once demand is deemed sufficient.

“The EQC is a game-changer for Mercedes-Benz, but also it imposes a more luxurious standard of electric vehicle ownership,” claims Mercedes-Benz Australia-Pacific CEO and managing director Horst von Sanden.

“Our aim has never been to be the first to this market, but to offer the most complete solution possible to the question of future mobility. With the all-electric EQC, we are confident we have done just that. Electric now has a Mercedes.”

The EQC sports an 80kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and a 405V architecture. Two asynchronous motors output a combined 300kW/760Nm. The fully variable AWD system comprises a single-speed transmission linked to each axle and each motor.

Mercedes claims a 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.1 seconds, and power use of 21.4kWh per 100km of driving, equating to a useable ADR driving range of 434km with waste-energy regeneration factored in. Alternately, the more real-world-focused European WLTP cycle calculates this range as a more modest 414km.

Owners will get unlimited free access to the Chargefox rapid-charging DC network, which currently comprises about 20 sites but is marked for quick expansion. The EQC’s maximum onboard charging rate is 110kW, so you can add 220km of range in 30 minutes.

Alternatively, commercial 50kW DC fast-chargers with a compatible Type 2 CCS plug will on average provide extra range of approximately 100km from a 30 minute charge. Mercedes will also sell its AC wallboxes with 7.4kW single-phase or 22kW three-phase outputs, while a 240V trickle-charger (suitable for a regular powerpoint) comes standard.

The battery comes with an industry-standard eight-year/160,000km warranty, while the rest of the car gets the usual three-year warranty. Any “metropolitan” Mercedes-Benz dealer will have trained staff to service the car.

Inside the EQC are side-by-side 10.25-inch digital screens running the MBUX infotainment system with conversational voice control. The Mercedes me Connect app lets you check your car’s status remotely, lock and unlock it, and even geofence it.

If the regular car doesn’t quite do it for you, Mercedes will offer 25 Edition 1 EQCs priced at a $6900 premium, in exchange for 21-inch AMG multi-spoke alloy wheels, two-tone Nappa leather with diamond-stitched inserts, ventilated front seats, three-zone climate control, MBUX navigation with augmented reality, and 'Edition 1' badging on the B-pillar.