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Mercedes’ Project i moment: meet the new Generation EQ electric car family

Published: 29 September 2016

► New Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ
► It’s Daimler’s Project i moment
► Heralds whole family of Merc EVs

The Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ concept crossover is more than just an electric crossover; it’s the warm-up act for a whole series of electric Mercs due by the end of the decade.

Its significance is on a par with Project i at BMW, the precursor to Munich’s electric revolution. It’ll sire a whole generation of EVs - and drops a few hints about how they could look.

What’s with the Generation EQ name?

The two initials are the new brand name for Daimler’s electric vehicles. It’s a play on IQ for human intelligence, but twisted into an electrical reference. Merc says it stands for Electric Intelligence.

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ concept

Forget the finer points of semantics - the Germans have form for being on a different wavelength to us (remember that Blue is the Germans’ equivalent of Green for eco; hence all the Bluemotion and Bluetec models).Instead, focus on the e-architecture underneath the EQ at the Paris motor show. 

An electric crossover is coming

This is a seriously modular platform, scalable in length, width and battery power so it can underpin anything from the smallest Mercs to the largest crossovers, convertibles and luxury cars.

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ concept

It’s similar in principle to Volkswagen’s MEB, also shown at the 2016 Paris motor show in the conceptual form of the VW I.D. show car. Don’t underestimate its significance.

A whole family of EVs from Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ is a crossover, positioned at the upper reaches of the electric car range. Like BMW’s i cars, it uses a multi-material construction matrix to pare back weight, the enemy of any battery-powered car.

A mix of steel, aluminium and carbonfibre make for a flyweight architecture, propelled by electric motors up to 300kW in power. Key outputs in the show car are:

Power 300kW (equivalent to 402bhp)
Torque 516lb ft
0-62mph ‘Under five seconds’
EV range Up to 310 miles

The batteries are the latest state-of-the-art lithium-ion cells from Daimler’s in-house battery specialist Accusative. They have a 70kWh energy density, according to Mercedes.

A very integrated kind of vision

This is about much more than a slickly styled electric crossover; chairman Dieter Zetsche spelled out a vision of connected, autonomous-ready and joined-up electromobility.

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ concept

For instance, Mercedes-Benz is ready to follow Tesla in a more integrated vision of electric cars. It aims to supply home charging pods, harvesting solar energy from your roof by day to top up batteries overnight.

Contactless inductive charging is coming, too - and this wireless tech is improving all the time. Daimler envisages that this system, in the future, will allow you to top up with 100 miles of range in five minutes.

Note the tech on board; Daimler has teamed up with other premium car makers to buy mapping platform HERE from Nokia - and is using the geo-service to apply much richer sat-nav applications. And the Generation EQ also communicates with other vehicles and the recharging infrastructure. The days of turning up at a defunct or full charging point are hopefully numbered…

Click here for more news from the 2016 Paris motor show

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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