Mercedes EQE – Is It The “Compelling Electric Car” You’ve Been Waiting For?

The Mercedes EQE electric sedan is to the conventional E Class what the EQS is to the conventional S Class. The “E” could stand for “executive,” as it is to cars what business class is to airlines — a step up from entry level cars but still a notch below where the swells play. Business cars are a prime market space in Germany and other European countries where part of the compensation package for valued employees is a company car.

Mercedes rolled out the EQS a few months back. That car starts at $103,360 — $7,500 less than the gasoline-powered S Class. The EQE is a little bit smaller and starts at around €70,000 in Germany, according to ADAC. Both cars have a long list of options that can quickly boost that base price significantly. The EQE will be officially revealed this summer, with first deliveries scheduled to begin later this year.

Mercedes EQE, image courtesy of Mercedes

For now, every EQE will come with a 90 kWh battery good for around 395 miles of range with the standard 19″ wheels and tires. Optional 20″ and 21″ wheels will look swell in the parking lot at the country club, but knock the range back to around 360 miles. No EPA ratings have been announced to date.

Each EQE will have a single rear-mounted 215 kW (292 hp) motor with 530 Nm of torque. 0-60 times are said to be under 6.5 seconds. Dual motor performance versions of EQE are planned. The AMG EQE 43 4Matic will have 350 kW (426 hp), the AMG EQE 53 4Matic+ will have 460 kW (626 hp) and the “Dynamic Plus Package” will boost output to 505 kW (687 hp).

EQE & EQS — The Same But Different

Visually, the EQE and EQS are obviously products of the same design studio. CarWow says, “If you thought the EQE looked just like the EQS on the outside, wait until you get inside — it looks almost exactly the same as Mercedes’ new ultra-luxurious EV. The steering wheel is new and the seats have different stitching, but that’s about it.”

The EQE has a wheelbase that is 90 mm shorter than the EQS, but the passenger compartment is 80 mm longer than the one in an E Class sedan, so there is plenty of room for driver and passenger to stretch out. There is one area where the EQE suffers, however. Its trunk is 110 liters smaller than the one found in the EQS. It is even 25 liters smaller than the trunk in a C Class, so carrying two sets of golf clubs and luggage for a weekend is going to be a tight fit. There is also no frunk in the EQE.

Mercedes EQE

Image courtesy of Mercedes

Inside there is a 12.3″-screen in front of the driver and a 13″-touchscreen in the dash. However, the full width Hyperscreen is available as an extra cost option. The EQS can charge at 200 kW, but the EQE is limited to 170 kW — enough to add about 155 miles of range in just 15 minutes. Owners of many EVs today would be delighted to be able to charge that quickly.

To reduce interior noise, Mercedes has covered the battery and motors with a special foam to cancel out noise and vibration and it has fine tuned the shape of the body to reduce wind noise. The standard suspension uses conventional springs, but an adaptive air suspension that lowers the ride height by 20 mm at highway speeds is an extra cost option. Four-wheel steering is also available.

For now, Mercedes will have the electric business class segment of the European market all to itself. A battery-electric Audi A6 is two years away and BMW is not even talking publicly about an electric version of its 5 Series sedan.

The Takeaway

People buy on emotion and justify their purchases later with facts. Siting around the Jacuzzi at CleanTechnica global headquarters recently, contributing editor Benjamin Schultz, who lives in Germany, admitted the EQE sends a ripple of excitement down his spine. That is wonderful news for Mercedes, which is trying very hard to build compelling electric cars to match the offerings from Tesla.

We got talking about how Mercedes is about a decade behind Tesla, which first brought the Model S to market in 2012. We agreed it took the legacy automakers 5 years to realize the upstart American startup really had forced a sea change in the car business and another 5 years to actually do something about it.

The EQE is about 95% good news and about 5% bad news for business class drivers (that limited trunk space is an issue), which means the EV revolution is moving forward and beginning to pick up speed. And not a moment too soon.


 

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