The lifecycle CO2 balance of the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 4MATIC is as low as 17.1 tonnes of CO2 when the electricity is produced by hydropower; 16.4 tonnes of that is from the production of the vehicle itself.
On the average EU electricity mix, the lifecycle CO2 balance almost doubles to 32.4 tonnes CO2, based on the 360˚ environmental check by Mercedes; the results were verified by TÜV Süd. The calculations for the EQC are based on a driving distance of 200,000 kilometers (124,000 miles).
EVs have a higher production phase CO2 burden than conventional vehicles. During subsequent operation, and depending on their power source, electric vehicles can compensate the initially higher CO2 emissions that occur during production, due to the production of the battery cells. If one is able to operate electric vehicles only with renewable energy sources, the CO2 emissions compared to those of vehicles with combustion engines shrink by up to 70% over the lifecycle.
The 360° environmental check is not just about CO2 emissions and energy requirements. In order to gauge a vehicle’s environmental compatibility, the experts consider all emissions and the use and consumption of resources over the entire lifecycle.
In production, the drive components specific to the EQC also require a greater use of material and energy resources compared to a conventionally powered vehicle. The proportion of steel and iron is reduced by the omission of a combustion engine and transmission plus their peripheral units. On the other hand, the proportion of polymers, light alloys and other metals is increased.
The curb weight of the EQC 400 4MATIC is 2420 kilograms (5,335 lbs). The largest proportion omitted is 39% for steel and iron, followed by light-alloys (23%) and polymers, i.e. plastics (18 percent).
For this reason, one developmental focus is on further reducing the use of resources and the environmental impacts of the materials used. Compared to current electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, Mercedes-Benz intends to reduce the use of primary resources in the powertrain and battery technology by 40% by 2030.
To this end, the use of resource-saving materials such as recycled plastics and renewable raw materials in the vehicles is constantly being extended. As just one example, the high-quality “Response” upholstery fabric that has been newly developed for the EQC is made completely from recycled PET plastic bottles.
Recycled plastic materials are likewise used in typical applications such as for the lining of the spare wheel recess or the covers for the underside of the engine compartment. Renewable raw materials such as hemp, kenaf, wool and paper are also used. Kenaf fibres are for example used for the lining of the load compartment, while a paper honeycomb is used within the load compartment floor.
In the new EQC a total of 100 components plus small parts such as push studs, plastic nuts and cable fasteners with a total weight of 55.7 kilograms can be produced partially from resource-friendly materials.
The EQC has a compact electric drivetrain at each axle, giving the vehicle the driving characteristics of an all-wheel drive. The asynchronous motors have a combined maximum output of 300 kW. The centerpiece 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).