Mercedes-Benz EQC Electric Crossover Makes US Debut at CES 2019

Mercedes-Benz's first mass-produced electric vehicle steals the limelight in Las Vegas.

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC
Daimler AG - Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars—MBUSA

Mercedes-Benz displayed its electric EQC crossover at the United States for the first time, and it appropriately chose the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019 to do so.

The Stuttgart-based automaker first revealed the model at a press event in Stockholm, Sweden in September of 2018. It impressed those present with an 80 kWh lithium-ion battery, feeding asynchronous twin-motor all-wheel-drive enough current to generate 402 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque, which made journalists in the room salivate for the EQC 400's planned 2020 release.

But immediately after reveal came a snafu over the EQC 400 debut model's estimated range, which Mercedes stated to be 200 miles at its press event, which it then corrected to 279 miles the day after the event. Said range estimate has since been specified to be according to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) testing protocols, which should be different than in the States.

NEDC was last updated in 1997 and has been abandoned by much of the world in favor of World Harmonized Light Vehicle Testing (WLTP) protocols. WLTP testing is thought to give more conservative range estimates than the generous NEDC, both of which are more liberal than the United States's standard as determined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Given that Mercedes-Benz wants to generate excitement for its EQC in the States, it should give the EPA range estimate instead of the arguably self-aggrandizing NEDC number, which doesn't represent the EQC 400's capabilities in standard American driving conditions.

Clean Technica alleges that NEDC and EPA ratings can vary by anywhere from 15 to 60 percent, meaning there is no reliable way to convert the EQC 400's NEDC range estimate into Americas-appropriate EPA numbers. Given such a wide margin of error, Mercedes's original 200-mile range figure may be reasonably accurate, even if underwhelming. The Daimler-owned automaker will need to bring more to the table if its other upcoming electric vehicles—which trademarks suggest could be called the EQA, EBQ, EQE, and EQS—are to be competitive.

The Drive contacted Mercedes-Benz for an EPA range estimate, and we will update when we receive comment.