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The Mercedes-Benz EQC: Electric Intelligence
By Bennett Oghifo
The new Mercedes-Benz EQC (combined power consumption: 20.8 – 19.7 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km) is the first Mercedes-Benz under the product and technology brand EQ, the automaker has said.
At the press driving presentation in Oslo, the European “capital of e-mobility”, the EQC is dynamically demonstrating its all-round qualities for the first time. It systematically embodies the principle of “human-centred innovation”, and makes e-mobility simple, reliable and convenient for the customer. The EQC combines the know-how from more than 130 years of automobile engineering with the mobility requirements of the future, and stands for Electric Intelligence, the automaker said in a statement.
“The Mercedes-Benz EQC is not just a vehicle with electric drive, it combines hallmark attributes of the brand such as quality, safety and comfort. Its progressive design, unique driving comfort and an operating range absolutely suitable for day-to-day needs emphasise that the EQC is the Mercedes among electric vehicles. This is also shown by its services – from optimised navigation to charging management. It all comes under the heading “Electric Intelligence” – a mobility package that goes well beyond the vehicle itself,” says Britta Seeger, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales.
Optimum planning before a journey
Individual services relating to e-mobility have been around for a while. The EQC takes a new, comprehensive approach: the intelligent networking of services and functions considerably simplifies use of the vehicle. With its intelligently coordinated drive system, battery management, charging management, recuperation strategies, digital services and the infotainment system MBUX, the EQC is a new departure in e-mobility.
The experience already begins before the journey. EQC drivers can plan their destinations from the home or office, enter a departure time and bring the interior to the desired temperature. They receive an intelligently planned route including necessary charging stops and an arrival time.
On request they can receive a push notification when the charging process starts and ends. This creates transparency and helps drivers to plan upcoming journeys to best effect. Programming is possible directly via MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience or via the Mercedes me App.
Intelligent navigation – more than just from A to B
The vehicle’s electric intelligence is also shown in for the EQC optimised navigation. It uses numerous factors to plan a route automatically – including loading stops if necessary. It takes into account e.g. the current charge status of the battery, the weather, the topography and traffic flow, and available charging stations. The route calculation is always based on a fast and convenient route with few charging stops and short charging times – therefore quick-charging stations are given preference. Customers do not necessarily have to charge the vehicle fully, but can charge it to suit the total journey time. The route planning also responds dynamically to changes. It can take place both offboard and onboard, i.e. externally (via the Mercedes me App) and within the vehicle. The journey can therefore be conveniently planned at home before departure, or while already en route if required. The voice control specific to the Mercedes-Benz EQC makes operating the EQC easier – thanks to natural language recognition. It is activated by the key words “Hey Mercedes”. This is because the LINGUATRONIC of MBUX recognises and understands many questions and commands relating to electric car specific control aspects. A few examples: “Show me the energy flow”, “What charging settings have been made?”, “Charge the vehicle to 85 percent” or “Where is the nearest charging station?”.
Via Mercedes me Charge the customer receives access to the world’s largest charging net with over 300,000 charging points and over different operators of public charging stations in Europe alone (municipalities, carparks, motorways, shopping centres, etc.). Thanks to EQC-optimised navigation, Mercedes-Benz customers can find these stations easily and can gain convenient access to the charging stations via the Mercedes me Charge card, the Mercedes me App or directly from the car. No separate contracts are necessary for this: apart from authentification, customers benefit from an integrated payment function with simple billing. The customer chooses the preferred payment method only once. Every charging procedure is debited automatically. The individual charging processes are clearly listed in a monthly invoice.
Mercedes me Charge also allows access to the quick-charging stations of the pan-European network IONITY. Especially over long distances, the short charging times make for a pleasant journey. By 2020 IONITY will construct and operate around 400 quick-charging stations along the main traffic arteries in Europe. IONITY was founded in November 2017 as a joint venture by BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen group with Audi and Porsche.
Tailor-made drive system for efficiency and dynamics
To exploit the advantages of locally emission-free electric drive to the full, the developers of the first Mercedes-Benz vehicle under the new product and technology brand EQ decided on a completely newly developed drive system with intelligent control. Both the electric powertrains (eATS) and the battery were tailor-made for the Mercedes-Benz EQC. Tractive power is provided by an asynchronous motor at each axle. The asynchronous motors generate an output of 300 kW and a maximum combined torque of 760 Nm. The electric motor, a fixed-ratio transmission with a differential, the cooling system and the power electronics form a highly integrated, very compact unit.
The compact electric powertrains (eATS) at the front and rear axles give the EQC the driving characteristics of an all-wheel drive. Intelligent control allows dynamic torque distribution between the two driven axles over a wide operating range, creating the conditions for high driving dynamics. Torque shifting allows the torque to be distributed dynamically between the front and rear axles, ensuring that there is always a satisfying balance between power and efficiency.
To reduce power consumption and increase dynamism, the electric drivetrains are configured differently: the front electric motor is configured for best possible efficiency in the low to medium load range, while the rear one determines dynamism.
The battery: powerful energy pack from in-house
The centrepiece of the Mercedes-Benz EQC is the lithium-ion battery arranged in the vehicle floor. With an energy content of 80 kWh (NEDC), it employs a sophisticated operating strategy to supply the vehicle with power, enabling an electric range of 445 – 471 km (NEDC)2.
The latest-generation lithium-ion battery consists of 384 cells and is located in the vehicle floor, between the two axles. The battery system is modular in design, consisting of two modules with 48 cells each and four with 72 cells each. The powerful high-voltage battery has a maximum voltage of 405 V and a nominal capacity of 230 Ah.
The entire battery system is liquid-cooled. At low temperatures a battery heater ensures outstanding performance and efficiency, especially while charging. The battery is an integral part of the crash concept for the vehicle as a whole. Its low, central location also has a positive effect on the handling characteristics of the EQC. The battery is produced in Germany, by the wholly-owned Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE in Kamenz/Saxony.