Mercedes-Benz joins Audi on the sidelines of the EV range race

24 September 2019 - autoblog

Mercedes-Benz joins Audi on the sidelines of the EV range race

The firm is focusing on reliability and durability

Mercedes-Benz plans to release at least 10 electric cars by 2022. They'll each slot into different segments of the market, including some dominated by rivals like Tesla, but none will boast a jaw-dropping amount of driving range. The German firm is instead focusing on durability.

Like Audi, one of its arch rivals, Mercedes-Benz isn't interested in making headlines with big range numbers if it means reducing the battery pack's life. The Environmental Protection Agency hasn't tested how far the EQC can drive on a charge, but it will certainly not match the top Tesla Model X's 325-mile range. Jochen Hermann, Daimler's electric car boss, said that's just fine.

"We don't think it's necessary to go for, let's call it the last mile within the battery. I'd rather have something reliable, safe, and offer charging opportunities. Safety is number one within Mercedes, and safety also means reliability, quality, and long-term performance," he told Green Car Reports.

The EQC is already available in Europe, where the fabulously optimistic WLTP testing cycle gives it a 293-mile range. Green Car Reports speculated its EPA-issued number will be 10 to 20 percent lower.

When Audi's E-Tron came in at 204 miles, the company explained it could have unlocked more range by using more of the battery's capacity, but it decided not to after studying the driving habits of its target audience. Most shoppers in the market for an expensive electric car park in a garage, whether it's their own or their building's, and can therefore leave their home with a full charge daily because they have easy access to a charging station. They rarely drive more than 200 miles per day, and can rely on America's growing network of fast charging stations when they do.

Viewed in that light, accepting less range for a longer-lasting battery makes sense. Time will tell whether motorists shopping for an EV agree, or if they automatically equate more with better.

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