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Mercedes-Benz electric SUV sets sights on the I-Pace

Mercedes-Benz is to launch a long-range, high-performance electric SUV next year, rivalling the Jaguar I-Pace, Audi E-Tron and Tesla Model X.

The EQC has a range of 280 miles, and ultra-fast charging capability.

The EQC has a range of 280 miles, and ultra-fast charging capability.

The EQC is a similar size to the GLC SUV, with which it shares a production line, and is the first member of the carmaker’s ‘EQ’ electric sub-brand. This will grow to include other SUVs, built in North America, and a compact electric car earmarked for production alongside the A-Class.

It launches as a single-model range – the EQC 400 4 Matic – featuring motors at each axle offering 402bhp and four-wheel drive, and an 80kWh battery (twice the capacity of the new Nissan Leaf), providing enough energy storage for a range of 280 miles under NEDC conditions. Fast charging, at up to 110kW, means most of that can be restored in 40 minutes once the compatible high-power network is rolled out.

Long-range driving is supported by navigation which plots routes around the fastest charging points, and using topography and live data about the road ahead. Mercedes-Benz will offer a domestic charging point which can enable fleets to monitor energy use when employees top up at home, and a smartphone app for drivers to use multiple charging networks. The EQC launches mid next year.

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Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.