Mercedes-Benz explains EQC cautious design, limited production

The company's production boss has cautioned that EQC output will ramp up slowly as engineers monitor warranty costs.

Mercedes-Benz executives have shed more light on the EQC's cautious production strategy and seemingly conservative design.

Speaking to Autocar, EQ-brand sales and marketing head Jorg Heinermann explained that designers intentionally stayed close to the existing GLC's aesthetics when drafting the EQC.

"We have deliberately decided to take a step-by-step approach here," he said.

Interior designer Hartmut Sinkwitz added that the EQC is simply the "starting point" for the EV family, while exterior designer Robert Lesnik noted that "we need time for a few cars" before there will be a familiar distinction through the family.

In a separate interview with Automotive News, Mercedes-Benz's production chief, Markus Schaefer, suggested EQC production volume will slowly ramp up so the company can monitor warranty claims related to its 80-kWh battery pack.

"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," he said.

The comments hint at an explanation for the discrepancy in the automaker's press releases. The US announcement initially noted an estimate of "up to" 200 miles. The release was later edited and simply repeated the Euro-spec quote of 279 miles according to the more generous NEDC test cycle used in Europe.

EV makers face many tradeoffs in maximizing range without consequences. No EVs truly allow their battery to be completely drained, as deep discharging will accelerate capacity degradation over time. Mercedes-Benz may still be feeling out the balance between allowable range and battery longevity before announcing a more specific range estimate for the US market.

The EQC will enter limited volume production next year. The company has not outlined a specific schedule for increased output to full capacity.

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