Mercedes Concerned About Warranty Costs for Ultra-Advanced EQC SUV

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【Summary】The EQC is the first all-electric SUV Mercedes-Benz has produced. Its novelty presents uncertainty, which is why the German automaker will slow down its production.

Mia Bevacqua    Sep 17, 2018 11:57 AM PT
Mercedes Concerned About Warranty Costs for Ultra-Advanced EQC SUV

The Mercedes-Benz EQC is a fully-electric crossover SUV slated for release in 2020. Earlier this month, it made its world premiere in Stockholm, Sweden. Even though the vehicle won't hit showrooms for a couple of years, there are already concerns about warranty costs, mostly due to its novel design.

One of the reasons the EQC is intimidating for Mercedes is the fact it's the brand's first all-electric SUV. Power for the advanced vehicle comes from two electric motors – one at each axle – that get juice from an 80 kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

To build the EQC, brand-new technology came from many different suppliers, increasing the likelihood of error. The battery alone is comprised of hundreds of components from distinct sources. And that's what worries Mercedes head of production and supply chain management, Markus Schaefer, the most.

"It's the supply chain behind the doors of Kamenz (the location of the plant where the battery is made). There are hundreds of components that have to come together from various new suppliers, Tier 2 and Tier 3, which are in the background, and we have to see their performance."

So far, there haven't been any problems with the EQC's battery pack, but Mercedes isn't taking any chances. Production of the SUV will be increased gradually to ensure reliability.

"Slowing down the ramp-up is a tool to make sure we do it right, to address all the unknowns that an electric car brings," Schaefer said.

Even if the EQC has some initial bugs to work out, it's guaranteed to be an impressive machine. The lithium-ion battery and dual electric motors propel the SUV from 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds. Top speed is 112 mph (electronically limited) and total output it 402 horsepower and 564 lb-ft. The preliminary range estimate is 279 miles.

Mercedes first debuted its EQ line at the 2016 Paris Motor show. EQ stands for Electric Intelligence, which is the name Mercedes has given to its forthcoming electric vehicle family. The EQC will be the first offering from the brand. Production of the SUV will begin next year in Bremen, Germany, and Beijing, China.  

Sources: Automotive News, Mercedes-Benz

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