To quote Malcolm X, “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
In anticipation of our future, Mercedes ideated and announced the new all-electric EQ range. Valuing emotion and intelligence, the name EQ (emotional quotient/intelligence) hits home because these future-proof machines are geared towards the wellbeing of future generations. And though we could argue that they’re a little late to the party here, it may have been a wise move…
Rapid advances in lithium battery technology are extending periods of travel and shortening how long it takes for batteries to recharge. With that in mind, it would make total sense that this new EQ range will be a cut above competitors like BMW’s ‘i’ range – though only time will tell. Besides, the infrastructure in place to enable charging is very much in its infancy. And if the voltage coming through those charging cables derives from coal-powered turbines, there’s not much point anyway.
For South Africans, innovations like the EQ range are only relevant to those who have both the financial means to outlay a lot of money initially and who have a real determination to minimise their carbon footprint. Investing in solar panels used for charging at home would be a supporting example of an initially capital-heavy outlay which more than pays for itself if you’re willing to wait a while.
So the EQ range is not going to be for everyone. But nevertheless – the first member of the family, the EQC SUV is set to release internationally in mid-2019. The EQC boasts a 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.1 seconds, a 480km range and just 40 minutes to get from 10% to 80% charged.
In all fairness to BMW’s i series, the EQC’s time to charge is actually in line with it.
So yes, Mercedes is late to the party. Fashionably late…
Disguised as an alien spacecraft, the EQC was previewed at the Paris Motor Show in 2016 – displaying Mercedes’ ambition to energise the market for emission-free luxury vehicles. This was also where Mercedes announced it intends on producing 10 EQ models by 2022, three of which will carry the Smart brand.
We can tell Mercedes really mean business here because their target for the EQ range is for it to make up 15-25% of their global sales by 2025. To meet production targets, Mercedes’ Holding brand, Daimler AG, is actually investing €1 Billion for expansion on its battery production facilities and up to €10 Billion for design and development of the EQ range.
We’re certainly intrigued by Mercedes’ new venture and for the sake of generations to come, we look forward to a more electric future.
But for now – we’ll enjoy the grunt that a 2017 GLE43 or 2016 G63 AMG delivers.