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Mercedes-Benz showcases EQC, announces EQB electric SUVs at Shanghai show, new DENZA PHEV/EV

At Auto Shanghai 2019, Mercedes-Benz is premiering the close-to-production show car Concept GLB and the Mercedes-AMG A 35 L 4MATIC developed exclusively for China. Alongside the Concept GLB are the battery-powered EQC (electricity consumption combined: 20.8 – 19.7 kWh/100 km) (earlier post) and the new GLE, both of which celebrate their China premieres in Shanghai. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, also announced another all-electric compact SUV: the EQB, which will be available in China from 2021.

Furthermore, Hubertus Troska, Member of the Management Board of Daimler AG responsible for China activities, announced a new DENZA product in development, to be introduced in 6 weeks. Troska said it will be a plug-in hybrid and a battery-electric vehicle.

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The Mercedes-Benz EQC is the first model from the EQ product and technology brand. The EQC has a compact electric powertrain (eATS) front and rear, giving it the handling characteristics of an all-wheel drive with dynamic torque distribution between the two driven axles.

The asynchronous machines have a combined maximum output of 300 kW and a maximum torque of 765 N·m. To reduce power consumption and increase dynamism, the electric drivetrains are configured differently: the front electric motor is optimized for best possible efficiency in the low- to medium-load range, while the rear one determines dynamism.

Mercedes-Benz engineers have enhanced noise comfort with a number of measures. In the EQC the powerpacks are isolated by rubber mounts at two points: where the powerpack connects to its subframe and where the subframe connects to the body. This effective isolation is supplemented with insulation measures. As a result, the interior of the EQC is extremely quiet.

At the core of the EQC is a lithium-ion battery produced in-house and mounted into the floorpan. The energy storage unit is surrounded by a stable frame that can absorb energy. Deformation elements are installed between the frame and the battery, and these are able to absorb additional forces in the event of a severe side impact. A battery guard in the front area of the battery is able to prevent the energy storage unit from being pierced by foreign objects.

With an energy capacity of 80 kWh (NEDC), it uses an intelligent operating strategy to supply the vehicle, thus enabling an electric range of more than 445 km (NEDC) (277 miles).

Power consumption and range of electric vehicles depend very much on the driving style. The EQC supports its driver with five driving programs, each with different characteristics: COMFORT, ECO, MAX RANGE, SPORT and an individually adaptable program. In the more economical driving modes, the haptic accelerator pedal that prompts the driver to conserve power plays an important role. The driver is also able to influence the recuperation level using so-called paddles behind the steering wheel.

The ECO Assist system gives the driver comprehensive support when driving predictively: by prompting the driver when it is appropriate to come off the accelerator, e.g. because the vehicle is approaching a speed limit, and by functions such as coasting and specific control of recuperation. For this purpose, navigation data, traffic sign recognition and information from the intelligent safety assistants (radar and stereo camera) are linked and processed.

The EQC is equipped with a water-cooled onboard charger (OBC) with a capacity of 7.4 kW, making it suitable for AC charging at home or at public charging stations.

Charging at a Mercedes-Benz Wallbox is up to three times faster than at a domestic power socket. It is faster still with DC charging— which is standard for the EQC—or example via CCS (Combined Charging Systems) in Europe and the USA, CHAdeMO in Japan or GB/T in China. Depending on the SoC (status of charge), the EQC can be charged with a maximum output of up to 110 kW at an appropriate charging station. In around 40 minutes, the battery can be charged from 10 - 80 percent SoC (provisional data).

Series production of the EQC will start in 2019 at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen. The preparations for this are already fully under way. The new EQC will be integrated into ongoing series production as a fully electric vehicle.

One decisive innovation is the battery-joining center where the EQC undergoes a second “marriage”" following installation of the two electric powerpacks in the bodyshell. This is where the EQCs are recognized as electric models with the help of data tags attached to the body, and equipped with a battery.

The body is suspended from a so-called C-carrier and deposited on a frame. Support arms raise the battery to the vehicle’s floor from below. An employee monitors the automatic bolting in place.

In parallel with this, production of batteries for the EQC is coming on stream at the expanded battery plant in Kamenz (near Dresden).

Alongside Bremen, the Sino-German production joint venture Beijing Benz Automotive Co. Ltd. (BBAC) is also preparing for the production start-up of the EQC for the local market.

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