EQ, as gear heads probably know, is an electric vehicles brand floated globally by the German luxury automaker Mercedes Benz. While the Audi E-tron rivaling Mercedes EQC 400 fully electric SUV will launch in India in April of 2020, the brand EQ has officially been unveiled in India.
The Mercedes-Benz EQ brand was launched in India by Martin Schwenk, MD & CEO and Santosh Iyer, VP Sales & Marketing Mercedes-Benz India at the company’s Chakan plant in Pune. No specific launch timelines have been confirmed, except for the EQC launch.
Talking about the launch timing and EQ’s future in India, Schwenk adds, “We felt the time was right to introduce EQ brand in India and our first product for India will be the EQC EV. We are confident that EQ will lay a strong foundation for our electric ambition in India, which will see further expansion of our green cars portfolio and also for our future.”
“The ‘EQC Edition 1886′ illustrates progressive design, exciting driving dynamics and a range more than suitable for daily use. Long-term, worry-free vehicle use is the sole focus for us in launching the EQ brand in India.”, added Schwenk.
The Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 is powered by dual electric motors paired with an 80kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This translates to some serious performance figures for an electric SUV i.e. 402bhp and 765Nm of peak torque along with a claimed 400 Kms range. While there were no price announcements, it is expected to be priced at around Rs 1.4 crore, ex-showroom (India).
The EQC will come in as a CBU (Completely Built Unit) to India for now. While this would mean a hefty tax on the car, it would also mean that the car will be identical to the international-spec version. India’s electric vehicles space has seen immense activity off late. While startups have come with multiple electric two wheeler launches, India’s traditional automobile industry too has introduced models at pace.
JLR parent company Tata Motors for example, recently launched a full-electric version of its existing compact SUV, the Nexon. The car impressed with its claimed specs, over 300 Kms of drive range, 0-100 in around 9.5 seconds and a price of around INR 15-17 Lacs. Moreover, Fisker has also announced the launch of their Ocean (electric SUV) for India by the end of 2023 along with the launch of Audi E-tron and the upcoming i-Pace launch by Jaguar.
India has been a hot spot for the automotive sector for a while now and this doesn’t seem to change with electric cars either. So, its right to say that the companies taking the first mover advantage will actually benefit and the ones waiting for a less competitive market may fail. The extreme climatic conditions and terrains of India prove to be a natural test bed for electric vehicles which can aid in the designing and testing of these vehicles. I think its about time for Tesla to start their India project.