Mercedes-Benz has fired the opening shots in what will surely be a bloody battle to dominate the next generation of powertrain technology.
The German luxury brand on Tuesday unveiled its first all-electric vehicle, the EQC, in Stockholm. The compact crossover is expected to go on sale in the U.S. in 2020 and will be the first of a fleet of 10 full-electric EQ-branded vehicles.
Powered by an 80-kilowatt-hour battery, the EQC delivers about 280 miles of driving range on a full charge, based on New European Driving Cycle estimates. Two electric motors generate a combined 402 hp, enabling a 0-to-60 mph sprint in a zippy 4.9 seconds. To reduce power consumption, the front electric motor is optimized for efficiency in the low to medium load range, while the rear e-motor adds sportiness.
"With the EQC … we are flipping the switch," Mercedes-Benz Cars boss Dieter Zetsche said in a statement. "Electric drive is a major component in the mobility of the future. We are therefore investing more than 10 billion euros in the expansion of our EQ model portfolio and more than 1 billion euros in global battery production."