The car takes 21 hours (claimed) to charge using your regular home socket. The AC Wallbox supplied with the car can charge it in 10-12 hours, while the DC fast chargers meant specifically for electric vehicles will charge it fully in 90 minutes.
When electric car poster boy Tesla comes to India next year, it will likely have two big luxury car makers to contend with. BMW has been waiting in the sidelines with the i3s since last year, while Mercedes-Benz has launched the EQC, its first all-electric vehicle. But unlike the i3s’ toned down interiors, the EQC doesn’t skimp out on the luxury and tech bits to simply bring an electric car to the market.
It’s built on the GLC platform of the company, so it’s no surprise that there’s a resemblance between the two in terms of looks. But the EQC is also distinctly electric, with smooth lines and a hint of the futuristic in its design. It’s just enough to give the EQC its own identity and will turn heads when you’re out on the roads. That is, if the lack of engine noise hasn’t done that already.
Electric cars are often all about the torque, whereas in-case systems are kept as light as possible. Not the EQC. This one gets Mercedes’ Pre-Safe system, Blind Spot Assist, Attention Assist and more. You don’t get the nearly autonomous features that an S-Class would have, but that’s fine.
Instead, the car can recognize if the driver’s attention isn’t on the road and it can try to avoid collisions to some extent. So, the car can brake automatically if it detects a possible collision and even swerve out of the way if the traffic around it allows it to.
It also has Active Parking Assist, which helps in difficult parking scenarios. The car will manoeuvre forward or in reverse during perpendicular parking, while in parallel parking it will reverse into the space automatically. Once you’ve parked, the car can also manoeuvre out of the space automatically.
Next, there are the DAuto driving modes, which decide how to conserve battery. With this, the car can make decisions about speed so that the battery levels are conserved as much as possible. There’s also regenerative braking technology, which charges the battery just a bit whenever you hit the brakes. It’s a common technology used in electric cars nowadays, and something the BMW i3s also has.
Other than that, you get two 10.25 inch screens inside for various in-car systems. There’s a touch panel next to the driver, which makes it easy to control music or operate other functions. It does require you to take your eyes off the road at times, but most simple functions can be controlled without looking after you’ve had some practice. If you want, this uses the new MBUX system, which means you can give some voice commands too, by saying “Hey, Mercedes".
Despite all that tech, the obvious detriments of an electric vehicle in India remain. The car takes 21 hours (claimed) to charge using your regular home socket. The AC Wallbox supplied with the car can charge it in 10-12 hours, while the DC fast chargers meant specifically for electric vehicles will charge it fully in 90 minutes. It’s this last one that you will struggle to find, as charging stations for electric vehicles are still far and few in India.
On the other hand, Mercedes claims a whopping 450km per charge, which means it will suffice for most city drivers. If you’re just driving to and from work every day, you’re looking at a week without charging most of the times.
The Mercedes-Benz EQC is the first luxury electric SUV to be launched in India and it shows that despite roadblocks electric vehicles are making their way into India, slowly but surely. It’s heavy on the tech and more complete than pretty much any other electric car you can get here.
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