Benz’ Full Fleet of Luxury Electric Vehicles For South Africa During 2022
Mercedes-Benz says the time has come to officially introduce it’s EQ — for Electric Intelligence — range to the South African market. As you’d expect from the final letter of each car’s nomenclature, the all-new EQ range will comprise of the EQA small SUV, the family sized EQB SUV, and the EQC, which is a mid-sized SUV. Add the EQE as an electric business sedan, and the flagship EQS luxury sedan. That’s the S Class of electric vehicles.
The Future is Electric
The company believes that the South African luxury vehicle market has finally begun a real transformation toward electric vehicles. Local buyers have taken their time, but now they have begun to follow the global trend towards electric vehicles. And Mercedes-Benz is among the first SA carmakers to pull that EV trigger. It’s a big decision, but the local arm is adamant that the future is electric.
Mercedes-Benz however remains well aware that the South African electric vehicle infrastructure remains under-developed. It has as such collaborated with local start-up Grid Cars, to grow, enhance and improve the local public charging network. All new Mercedes electric vehicle customers in South Africa will also be provided with a complementary Mercedes-EQ wall charger. To be installed at a location of their choice.
“South Africa is not without its challenges in the EV landscape,” dynamic new Mercedes-Benz Cars South Africa President and Co-CEO Mark Raine explained to Auto over lunch at the Cape EQ launch. “Our customer centric growth strategy is curated towards the local market and potential EQ customers are already showing a significant interest in our new electric range.” Raine and his team are fully behind the electric revolution, which now sees Mercedes-Benz following a key strategy to lead the way in electric drive and digitalisation.
SA is Ready for an EQ Transformation
“The local market is ready for an electric transformation,” Raine added “We expect that we will see a strong uptake and growth in the South African luxury electric vehicle market in the next 12-24 months. “We have an incredible Mercedes-EQ line-up that you will now see roll out over the coming months. So if you drive a Benz, you will very soon find an electric Mercedes to suit your every driving need”.
Taking a closer look at the Mercedes-EQ range headed for South Africa, each will immediately be recognisable as a Mercedes. They will carry over the levels of status, quality and comfort, as well as performance associated with the brand. The range starts off with the EQA, which is of course a close relation to its combustion fired GLA counterpart. A compact, dynamic SUV, the South African market will have access to the 140 kW EQA 250 derivative. It has a combined 17.7 kWh/100 km electrical consumption and offers a 412 km range.
Next up, the family-sized EQB is a compact SUV, that is once again a close relation to its combustion counterpart, the GLB. The South African market will get the powerful 215 kW EQB 350 4Matic derivative boasting a 419 km range off a combined electrical consumption of 17.4 kWh/100 km. Next, EQC was Mercedes’ first production EV. Boasting a familiar silhouette, this mid-sized 300 kW AWD SUV is based on the GLC. The EQC will take you 437 km on a single charge and has a combined electrical consumption on 21.3 kWh/100 km.
Zany Feel, Silent, Immediate EQ Drive
We had the opportunity to take a short ride in and around Cape Town city aboard the feisty new EQC. First impression was that expected feel of Mercedes quality with a subtle, yet still zany EQ twist. Touch, feel and even that scent are typically Mercedes. But rather than a turbodiesel rumble or the zing of petrol power, EQC is silent and immediate in its driving demeanour.Iit was all over far too quickly, but we look forward to reporting far more on all of these EQs soon.
Moving on up, the EQE is Mercedes’ take on an all-electric business sedan. The E-Class sized sedan however promises all the juicy bits from its flagship EQS sibling. But in a slightly smaller format. Significantly however, EQE will pack more interior space than that of its ICE counterpart. Performance specifications are still to be confirmed. But this newest release from Mercedes’ all-new EQ range will be in South Africa by the end of the year.
Last, but very much not least, the S-Class of electric vehicles. The Mercedes-Benz EQS is the EQ range flagship model. In typical Mercedes style, this 385 kW luxury sedan offers industry leading electric performance and a driving range of — wait for it — up to 780 km. So driven at the speed limit, it should get from Jozi to Durbs on a single charge. And to Cape Town with a mid-journey recharge. Initially however, South Africa must make do with the 245 kW EQS 450+, with its 18.9 to 16.2 kWh/100 km combined consumption.
Even Wilder EQs, pricing to follow
Mercedes-Benz is unable to quote exact South African pricing just yet. But the company promises that it will take measures to ensure that its EQ models will rival their similarly powerful ICE model counterparts on price. Even with antiquated and draconian South African government EV taxes imposed. “We’re working together with the other car other brands to get rid of this tax in an effort to drive local EV prices down even further,” CEO Mark Raine concluded.
Mercedes is also more than confident that the few remaining downsides of electric mobility will soon be eradicated. As its recent Vision EQXX super EV concept already suggests, modern EVs already reaching crucial range and performance milestones. And like many others, Mercedes SA boss Raine is more than just confident that the future of EV technology will see a push towards ever lighter battery packages and eternally shorter charging periods. — Giordano Lupini