With the EQS, Mercedes has done a good job of luxury electric cars and has made it clear that sooner or later there will only be one direction: e-mobility. Now the Stuttgart-based company is continuing the EQE and presenting a very dynamic and long-range electric E-Class.
It’s hard to believe that electromobility will one day prevail, from near or far. The main reason for this doubt is not so much the charging network, but rather the lack of powerful charging stations, which significantly reduce downtime. But little by little, almost imperceptibly, the gaps are narrowing. And so Mercedes can also stand up and, looking at the second vehicle, which is based on an architecture exclusively for electric vehicles, say that it is the step from “Electric first” to “Electric only”.
We are talking about the EQE, the little brother of the EQS and, if you will, the purely electric E-Class. This puts the bar straight and it is clear that the EQE, which is not really small with its 4.95 meters long, has also received a good share of EQS. In terms of space, the EQE is then also comparable to the CLS, and its interior dimensions are significantly larger than those of the E-Class.
Hyperscreen also for the EQE
Probably the most impressive feature of the big brother that has found its way into the EQE is the hyperscreen that covers the entire dashboard. Three hi-res displays go here apparently seamlessly and offer the passenger a dedicated 12.3-inch OLED screen on which they can surf the Internet, watch videos or watch TV. However, this highlight should also come with a corresponding additional financial burden.
But honestly, if you do without it, you don’t have to worry that the standard screen that’s built above the center console will result in a screen that’s too small. And of course the central display with relevant driving data is also a high-resolution color display. So if you have to reckon here with the somewhat sharper pen, you can confidently choose the standard equipment, because in the first test no difference could be found between the two lines of equipment in terms of manufacture and materials used.
Up to 654 kilometers of range
But there are differences in the engine. Mercedes will initially start with two discs for the EQE. There is the 350+ with a battery whose usable energy content is around 90 kWh. The Stuttgart-based company specifies the range according to WLTP as a generous 654 kilometres. It cannot be said whether this route can really be driven in one go and what speeds are allowed after the first trip.
But what we can certainly assess is that the engineers have invested an incredible amount of brain power in handling and ride comfort. And that’s a good thing, because the EQE 350+ with 215 kW and a maximum torque of 565 Newton meters, which passes directly from the electric motor to the rear axle, is no child of sadness. In 6.4 seconds, the electric sedan catapults up to country road speeds and reaches speeds of up to 210 km/h. Needless to say, anyone who strives so strenuously forward will not be able to achieve the scope mentioned above. But for your own ego, you can also see an Audi A6 driver’s jaw drop on a free stretch of highway.
Decoupled from the world
Well, let’s get rid of our vanities, because yes, the Audi is still faster in the end. It doesn’t matter, but the occupants of the EQE glide on the asphalt, decoupled from any noise. In fact, even with electric transmissions (eATS), Mercedes has arranged the magnets inside the rotors to optimize vibration. In addition, the transmissions are encapsulated all around by a special foam mat and doubly decoupled from the body via so-called elastomer bearings. In short, if desired, it can also be as quiet as a mouse when driving in the EQE. When it comes to rough road, an optional air-sprung chassis with continuously adjustable damping ensures the right level of comfort.
The rear axle steering, already known from the S-Class and of course from the EQS, is also an addition to the option list. A very worthwhile investment, especially in the city, because the turning radius of the almost five-metre-long EQE has been reduced from 12.5 to 10.7 metres. But the rear axle steering also ensures that the car stays on course when cornering at high speeds. Speaking of sporty driving: Yes, the 350+ can certainly be moved sportily. The chassis ensures that the battery mass between the axles does not become a risk and the load unexpectedly goes out of the curve. The steering is, as you know from Stuttgart combustion engines, tight and direct, but not mischievously sharp. And if you want, you can of course use the drive programs in Sport mode to ensure a crisp response.
The EQE 500 gives an idea of the AMG
Of course, the driver of an EQE 500 experiences this even more exponentially, because here, in addition to the rear engine, there is also a propellant load on the front axle. A total of 300 kW and a maximum torque of 858 Newton meters are available here to push the more than two tons in just under five seconds without any problems. However, like its brother, the top speed is limited to 210 km/h, which is due to battery protection and of course also because with the AMG EQE 43 and 53 there must still be room for two powerful electric athletes. of Affalterbach. Of course, the all-wheel-drive 500 navigates corners differently and pushes you with its torque—whether you need it is a very personal decision.
Surprisingly, the higher power output of the 500 compared to the 350+ didn’t really translate to fuel mileage. Both vehicles finished the test lap with 22.0 and almost 23.0 kWh respectively. They are specified according to WLTP with a maximum of 22.5 or 18.7 kWh. Sophisticated battery thermal management and no less intelligent energy recovery through recuperation and one-pedal drive help with fuel consumption and range extension. Anyone who has activated ECO as a driving assistant can actually let the car drive here. This is done in such a way that the vehicle decelerates as regeneratively as possible and the vehicle in front is braked to a stop at the traffic light.
Smart charging function
However, the best recovery is not enough to make the battery a long-distance runner. At some point, the EQE will also have to go to the charging station. A fast charger is preferable, because the Stromer can be ready to drive again with up to 170 kW. It only takes 32 minutes before full power is available again. With 11 kW, that’s almost eight and a half hours. Charging with 22 kW takes half the time and narrowly misses the not inconsiderable blocking costs at a public charging station. In order to make billing more transparent, Mercedes has developed a new tariff system from June 2022. In future, there will be three new charging tariffs via “Mercedes me Charge”, which are adapted to individual mileage and also make an electric car more attractive for people in a rented apartment without their own charging connection.
A distinction is made between an S tariff for normal chargers. There are no additional monthly fees. At tariff M, the charging fee is EUR 4.95 and frequent drivers at tariff L pay an additional EUR 17.95. According to the monthly tariffs, however, the costs per kilowatt hour are reduced accordingly. After a month of trial, the individual can decide for himself if the bill will finally be paid and switch from one rate to another accordingly or rent to another supplier. In addition, in tariff L, there are no blocking costs between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m., which avoids disconnecting the car from the public electricity network at night.
The Mercedes portfolio in Europe contains a total of 300,000 charging stations that could be used for this type of charging. And another thing: using the corresponding app, the driver of an EQE can also have his charging stations assembled according to his own specifications. Loading capacity and whether the station is currently free are taken into account. In a way, in the end, electromobility is getting closer and closer. It’s probably something like the Internet, which was never meant to take hold.