Mercedes-Benz South Africa confirms its 2022 EV strategy
Including five EQ models and a welcome contribution towards charging infrastructure.
Another premium German brand with a well-documented (imminent) deadline by which it will no longer produce cars powered by an internal combustion engine, Mercedes-Benz’s ever-growing family of all-electric “EQ” models will be introduced into the South African market over the course of 2022.
Like many brands with globally available EV offerings ready to launch into our market, Mercedes-Benz is hoping for swift action on the part of the South African government in terms of the outdated and prohibitive taxation laws currently being levied against these types of vehicles.
Here's a closer look at what to expect from Mercedes-Benz EQ in South Africa in 2022:
The first EQ model to launch within a staggered strategy will be the GLA-based EQA. As the name suggests, this relatively compact model shares its underpinnings with the broader A-Class family and, as such, is currently built alongside its siblings on the same production line; its all-electric internals installed where a combustion engine might otherwise be placed.
Mercedes-Benz South Africa will introduce the EQA 250 in May 2022. Boasting a maximum useable range of 412 km, this front-wheel drive model offers 140 kW and packaging like that of the current GLA.
Another model based on an existing platform, the EQB’s styling and packaging mimics that found in the current GLB SUV. That said, with its raised ride height and standard 4Matic all-wheel drive system (an electric motor on each axle), this model is aimed at a more adventure-focussed audience – or one that at least likes to appear so.
With a launch date of around August 2022, the 215 kW EQB 350 offers claimed usable range of up to 419 km.
A founding member of the brand’s EQ family, the EQC is based on the popular GLC SUV and, as such, will be seen as an important model with which to garner interest in an all-electric lifestyle. Boasting a similarly raised ride height as its internal-combustion-powered siblings, the EQC will be introduced offering 300 kW and 4Matic all-wheel drive via a dual electric motor setup (one on each axle, front and rear). Anticipate an operating range in the region of 430 km for this model.
The halo model in the brand’s modern EQ-branded family of passenger cars, the EQS introduces an all-new platform, EV architecture and design language for Mercedes-Benz. Following the brand’s familiar current naming strategy, this all-electric S-Class boasts the latest in cabin convenience and comfort, with a special focus on (VIP) rear passenger amenities.
While the EQS 450+ will feature 245 kW of all-wheel-drive performance, expect the range-topping EQS53 AMG to deliver 385 kW and 780 kilometres worth of usable range when it lands in September.
Sharing its modern platform and architecture with the EQS, as the name suggests, the EQE will slot in below its S-badged sibling and fulfil an executive sedan mandate. More details on which of derivative will be introduced is set to be made public closer to this model’s introduction.
Acknowledging that in these early days of EV ownership, a win for one is a win for all, together with the standard installation of a personal wall charger at a location of an EQ owner’s choice (home or office), Mercedes-Benz South Africa is in the process of installing charging points compatible with EVs from any brand at 36 of its EQ-focused dealerships countrywide.
A further commitment from the brand is the potential of introducing “fast-charging”, 100 kW stations a strategic-locations around South Africa. Working closely with GridCars these types of stations would potentially be able to charge a modern EQ model from 0-90 % in one hour.