Mercedes EQA, a provisional electric car, ahead of the start of a serious push in 2025

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The Mercedes EQA compact SUV is likely a big seller for the German premium automaker, as the company is no longer lagging behind in the rush to adopt electric mobility to become more of a competitor.

And Mercedes is now ranked by some analysts as second in German automakers’ race to go green, behind Volkswagen, but ahead of BMW.

EEQ, at the lower end of the Mercedes EV price bracket, is seen more as a stopgap than an electric pioneer because it is based on existing technology, rather than being designed from the ground up to be battery electric.

The EQA may be considered small for the US market, but it is expected to go on sale there in 2022. Mercedes now offers a wide range of electric cars, from the recently launched EQS luxury sedan to SUVs like the EQB and the EQC. , the EQV minivan and the EQE sedan.

Mercedes continues to catch up with its competitors like Volkswagen and its subsidiaries Audi, Porsche and Skoda, most of its electric vehicles being developments of traditional internal combustion engines (ICE vehicles).

The EQE and EQS are the first examples of vehicles designed from the ground up to be electric.

“Mercedes’ starting gun has only just started with the EQE / EQS which are based on a custom-developed architecture. Forget the EQA, EQB, ECQ, EQV etc because these are the equivalent of what VW put on the market with the e-Golf a few years ago, and are in short only models developed by ICE adapted to accommodate a battery and an electric motor, rather than purely developed models of BEV (battery electric vehicles). Similar to what BMW offers with the Mini, for example, ”said Matt Schmidt, automotive analyst based in Germany.

Jose Pontes, analyst with the industry tracker based in Sweden EV-Volumes, agrees that there are old and modern categories of electric vehicles offered by Mercedes.

“I would divide them into two categories. EV placeholders, such as EQA, EQB, EQC, and EQV, are transition models based on ICE platforms, which function as placeholders until real competing BEV models land. They are good cars, but only OK BEVs. In the other category I would place the EQS and EQE which are BEV models from scratch and are in a different league from their siblings as these two can work with the best in class like the You’re here

TSLA
Model S or Lucid Air, ”said Pontes.

“The direct competitors (of the global market) (for the EQA) are the Volvo XC40, Audi Q4 and VW ID.4, while an SR version of the Tesla Model Y, which is expected to land in Europe in 2022, would also be a fierce competitor. . As more indirect competition, we will also cite the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, for their technology, and the Skoda Enyaq, a model whose class and practicality far exceed its weight, ”said Pontes.

I spent time with the 250 Sport, the base version of the Mercedes EQA, and it was beautiful to look at, with a sleek interior, very efficient regenerative braking, but like most current electric cars it suffered from severe damage. ‘a depreciation of autonomy when the highway was fast. cruising on track.

The 66.5 kWh battery was found to have an average capacity of 231 miles after 6 charges, compared to the claimed official WLTP claim of 263 miles. The highway cruising penalty was estimated at 29.75%, resulting in a highway cruising range of just over 170 miles. This is enough for most buyers, but not for the trip to the Spanish villa. The data was much better than I expected, given the EQA’s weight and volume, which didn’t suggest it would go through the air like a Tesla Model 3.

The EQA doesn’t have the jaw-dropping performance of a Tesla, but normal drivers will find it more than enough. The driving experience was first class, with precision steering and a very pleasant suspension. I have read contrary reports on this, but my experience, which does not include any near-border absurdity, has been very positive. Regenerative braking was impressive. You engage it by pulling a paddle behind the wheel once and then twice if you want the full effect of driving without brakes. I’ve always used the maximum, and on this car I felt like I was doing a job even at close cruising speeds. On my hilly route in the hills, a 38 mile section only used 25 miles of available range. Another 21 mile section only used 15. A separate 93 mile run, which included about 30 miles of highway cruising, used the same number of available miles. Considering the reduced range of the motorway section of just under 30%, this is very impressive.

French Council Inovev said Mercedes’ electric car plans are ambitious, dropping from almost zero in 2019, to 1.25 million in 2025 and 2.5 million in 2030, while he says all of its vehicles will be electric, like Volvo, Jaguar and now BMW’s Rolls Royce. Inovev said this shot seems difficult to achieve without sacrificing a lot of volume.

“We strongly doubt that Mercedes can read achieving its 2030 target of sales of 100% electric vehicles, especially if they want to maintain the same level of volume as today. Otherwise, it would mean that they will experience a sharp decrease in their sales volume, ”Inovev said in response to questions.

And Mercedes is lagging behind the VW leader, according to Schmidt Automotive Research.

“Daimler (which owns Mercedes) is far behind VW in terms of EV platforms and is catching up. Mercedes is more concerned with selling their profitable ICE vehicles for now and offsetting them with profitable PHEVs (plug-in hybrids) while meeting various emissions (CO2) targets and reinvesting those profits until 2025 to start their true BEV push, ”Matt tells Schmidt.

Schmidt Automotive Research estimates that Mercedes’ PHEVs exceeded BEVs by 4 to 1 in the first 8 months of 2021 in Western Europe.

Bridges of EV-volumes also ranks Mercedes behind the leader VW but ahead of BMW in the electric race.

“So in a nutshell Mercedes is not a BEV enthusiast, like the VW group, but neither is it an ICE lover, like BMW. I would put them in the ‘realistic’ category, with Stellantis. and others, ”said Pontes.

Mercedes EQA 250 Sport

Electric motor – asynchronous, Power – 190 hp, Torque – 375 Nm

Battery capacity – lithium-ion 66.5 kWh

Claimed range – 263 miles (WLTP)

Transmission – single speed automatic

Drive – front wheels

Acceleration – 0-60 mph 8.7 seconds

Maximum speed – 99 mph

Competition – Ford Mustang Mach-e, VW ID.4, Volvo XC40 Recharge, Tesla Yes, Kia-eNiro

UK price – £ 43,495 ($ 58,700) after tax and before any grant


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