New Zealand’s first electric Mercedes-Benz production vehicle, the EQC, will arrive in local showrooms in January.

In a press release with our first details around New Zealand pricing, it’s obvious Mercedes-Benz have the Jaguar iPace and Audi e-tron set dead in their sights. Base-model pricing at $142,900 means that the EQC slots right in between those two cars.

According to Mercedes-Benz, the EQC 400 4MATIC, a family-size SUV, is the result of several years of research, development and testing to create a production-ready, all-electric vehicle delivering the performance, comfort, safety, luxury and practical ownership experience expected of a Mercedes-Benz vehicle.

The first of a new breed

The EQC is the first fully electric vehicle to be offered for sale from EQ, the division of Mercedes-Benz established to guide the company’s transition to electric mobility. EQ will offer a range of options including electrically boosted combustion engines, plug-in hybrids and fully electric models.

Mercedes-Benz New Zealand General Manager Lance Bennett said New Zealand would be among the first countries in the world to receive stock of the Mercedes-Benz EQC.

“Electric now has a Mercedes. The EQC changes the game in the electric vehicle market, adding a level of luxury and attention to detail that meets the exacting demands of our customers in every way.

“We’re not the first to market in the electric segment, we simply wanted to be the best. The EQC is a complete, user-friendly solution to future mobility, but it’s also a signpost to an exciting rollout of hybrid and all-electric vehicles from the EQ division over the next few years and beyond.

“New Zealanders have shown great enthusiasm as early adopters of electric
vehicles, and the arrival of the EQC heralds a maturing of this segment that further prises open the door for the EQ models that will follow.”

Apparently the Mercedes-Benz EQC incorporates the accumulated knowledge of more than a century of experience in mass vehicle production. It also harnesses cutting-edge thinking in the creation of a premium driving experience alongside an enticing ownership proposition.

Energy consumption for the EQC is rated at 21.4 kWh/100km. With a full charge on board, the EQC can travel between top-ups for up to 434 km (ADR).

When recharging is required, EQC owners have numerous choices. These include a growing number of public charging stations throughout New Zealand offering costeffective recharging options at shopping centres, car parks and other convenient locations. Mercedes-Benz EQC owners can also access a growing number of commercial pay-as-you-go fast-charging locations fitted with a Type 2 CCS plug.

This would on average provide extra range of approximately 100km from a 30-minute charge. EQC customers may also add a Mercedes-Benz Wallbox Home to their purchase, which can be installed on regular single-phase power to deliver up to 7.4kW, which is also the EQC’s maximum AC charging rate. At 7.4kW, the Mercedes-Benz Wallbox Home can add approximately 15km extra range in 30 minutes. The Wallbox Home can also be future-proofed with a supply of three-phase power to deliver approximately 22kW AC.

Alternatively, flexible charging is possible from any conventional domestic electrical outlet using a supplied trickle-charger with eight-metre cable.

Charger typeEQC battery
input
Approx. range added in
30 mins*
240V AC – domestic outlet2kW4km
Mercedes-Benz Wallbox
Home AC
7.4kW15km
DC fast charger50kW100km
DC ultra-rapid charger110kW220km

* Range may differ subject to variables including charging infrastructure, ambient temperature and battery state

Service and warranty
The EQC is fitted with a lithium-ion battery pack and comes with an eight-year, 160,000km warranty, while a three-year, unlimited kilometre vehicle warranty applies to all other items, with annual servicing intervals.

Owners may specify a cost-effective maintenance package or wear-and-tear
package as an option when purchasing, or benefit from three-year, capped-price servicing.

All servicing and mechanical repair work may be performed at any metropolitanbased Mercedes-Benz service centre. Any high-voltage repairs will be performed by specially trained technicians at designated EQ centres.

Power drivetrain details

Ample performance comes standard on the EQC 400 4MATIC, courtesy of two asynchronous 150 kW electric motors generating a total of 300 kW of power and 760 Nm of torque. Via a single-speed, fixed ratio transmission on each axle, and 4MATIC all-wheel-drive with dynamic torque distribution, the EQC 400 can sprint from standstill to 100km/h in a brisk 5.1 seconds. The 405-volt, 80kWh (usable) lithium-ion battery forms part of the EQC’s floor, providing a low centre of gravity.

A highlight of the interior is side-by-side 10.25-inch digital screens, including information displays and functions specific to the emerging EQ family of electric vehicles. This is augmented by the MBUX operating system, which allows voice-actuated control of dozens of common functions and also has the ability to ‘learn’ the driver’s habits and preferences.

EQC owners will enjoy all the connectivity benefits of Mercedes me Connect, the smartphone-based app that allows remote engine starting and door locking/unlocking, remote checking of vehicle status, geofencing and many more functions.

Standard trim, option packages

The Mercedes-Benz EQC can be ordered in any of seven standard metallic paint finishes from Polar White and Brilliant Blue to High-Tech Silver, Graphite Grey and Obsidian Black. Three ‘designo’ colours – Diamond White, Hyacinth Red and Selenite Grey Magno – can be added as an option. Open-pore black ash wood trim is standard on the EQC 400, while carbon-fibre-look trim and aluminium-look trim are no-cost options. Upholstery including seats is in AMG black leather, with ARTICO/DINAMICA microfibre able to be optioned at no cost, while other premium finishes such as Nappa leather are available as part of a wider package.

The Electric Art Line package ($5,900 MRRP) includes top-stitching in rose gold, dashboard with fine surface texture in metallic silver grey and topstitching in rose gold, the ENERIZING PACKAGE PLUS wellness program, AIR-BALANCE ioniser, multi-contour front seats featuring adjustable bolsters and massage function, climatised front seats, and a choice of leather finishes.

Pricing
The Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 4MATIC is priced at $142,900 (MRRP). It will be on sale and available to view in EQ showrooms from January, with first customer deliveries to begin from early 2020.

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How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on www.usa2nz.co.nz. We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm also an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.

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