Very few personal car users drive more than 100 km per day, within city limits. There’s mathematics to support the case. Suppose you live in Gurgaon, and even if you drive across a state, to your office in Noida, the return journey won’t be more than 100 km. Throw in a meeting in Delhi and a dinner, and the maximum you drive will be 130 km. In an electric car that travels 450 km on a full charge, it shouldn’t be a problem. The newest electric car to be launched in India (later this month) is the Mercedes-Benz EQC. We drive it near Delhi. EQ is a sub-brand under which Mercedes-Benz will launch its electric cars; the EQC is the first of these, based on the GLC midsize crossover. Globally, it competes with Tesla Model X, Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron. Unlike these three cars— which silently shout they are electric, even from a distance—the EQC doesn’t look vastly distinctive.
The cabin is probably the most luxurious for any car, electric or not—it is a Mercedes-Benz, after all. Unlike a Tesla, whose cabin is like a luxury unfurnished apartment, the cabin of the EQC resembles a fully-loaded seven-star hotel room. Space, however, isn’t a luxury in here. Front row is spacious, but the second row is comfortable enough only for two passengers—a thick central tunnel takes away legroom of the middle passenger. From the gear-shift selector to lights to controls to the central screen, it’s an out-and-out Mercedes-Benz. The difference, of course, is the intense power delivery of the 80-kWh electric motor, which produces power output of 300kW (408hp) and peak torque of 765Nm. The EQC accelerates from 0-100kph in just 5.1 seconds (faster than some Mercedes AMG cars) and its top speed has been limited to 180 kph.
Another difference in terms of driving is that the EQC can be driven only by using the accelerator pedal—if you fully activate its brake energy regeneration feature, the car will sharply slow down when you take your foot off the accelerator pedal, bringing it even to a complete stop, and as you press the pedal again, the car will start to move. This mechanism converts the kinetic energy into electric energy, used the recharge the battery. Germany, the EQC is priced 67,900 euros (about Rs 59 lakh at current exchange rates). It will be imported into India as a CBU (completely built-up) unit, and so post all the taxes, the final price in India could be upwards of Rs 1 crore.
While the EQC is a great electric car with a week-long city driving range, its tentative price may push it into direct competition with bigger and far more luxurious SUVs such as the GLS. Will you trade-off an exciting electric drive (the EQC) with the comfort of a super-luxury lounge (the GLS)?
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