The EQC is Mercedes first attempt at a fully electric SUV, though its not actually their first fully electric car (that’s the 2015 electric B-Class). It could be argued Mercedes is a bit late to the party with the EQC with competition in the form of the Tesla Model X, Audi E-Tron and Jaguar I-Pace already on the market. As the EQC is still yet to get its official US release, its unclear if the towing capacity will match that of UK/European spec EQC at 1,800 kg (4,000 ish lbs). Update: US EQC has been cancelled.
Key Mercedes EQC 400 4MATIC Specs
- Official Towing Capacity – 4,000 lbs (predicted)
- Availability – Cancelled
- Price – Starting $68,895
- EPA Range – 200 ish miles (predicted)
- Estimate Towing Range (50%) – 100 miles
- Maximum Charge Rate – 112 kW (DC Fast Charger)
Mercedes EQC 400 4MATIC HP & Torque
- AWD (4MATIC) – 402 HP and 561 lb-ft of torque
Delayed US Release Of The Mercedes EQC
While the EQC has been available to purchase in the UK and Europe from early 2020, the US release date was originally mid-2020, then late 2020 and now the US release is supposed to be early 2021. Why is that the case? Well, with any delay in 2020 you could reasonably guess a certain virus may be the reason for the delay. Though Mercedes is quoted in Green Car Reports to state the US release delay was ‘a strategic decision to first support the growing customer demand for the EQC in Europe’.
It wouldn’t be completely unreasonable to suggest Mercedes were waiting to see how the results of the US election turned out, as the differences between red and blue policies towards EV’s are very different. Whatever the reason it does look like the EQC will be making its way to US shores sooner or later.
So what about the towing capacity of the EQC? Well, in the UK and Europe as you can see below the large electric SUV gets a competitive towing capacity just under 4,000 lbs (1,800 kg). However, until I see that figure officially stated for the US release of the EQC I’m stating that as the ‘predicted’ official towing capacity. The Polestar 2, Mustang Mach-E, Nissan Ariya and Tesla Model 3 are all examples of the differences between US/UK towing capacities.
Therefore, for now, you can read the content I produced below for electrictowcars.co.uk on the towing capacity of the EQC out of interest. Just don’t presume US specification EQC models will match. Though I’ll obviously be updating this page when it becomes clear what the towing capacity of the EQC is either way.
UK/European Mercedes EQC Towing Capabilities
The 1,800 kg towing capacity for the Mercedes EQC makes it a competitive electric tow car against similar priced large electric SUVs. While the EQC towing capacity is not as large as the Tesla Model X (2,250 kg) the Tesla has a starting price significantly above that of the Mercedes EQC.
Therefore, the real competition for the Mercedes EQC in general, but specifically as an electric tow car is the Audi E-Tron. However, as you will see below, the EQC holds the edge over the E-Tron as an efficient electric tow car. While both cars have the same 1,800 kg towing capacity as the EQC is more efficient it can go further on a full charge. However, the E-Tron can charge faster (150kW) compared to the EQC (112kW) which is worth noting.
But what about the I-Pace? Well as a standard use electric car the I-Pace is closely matched to the EQC in terms of efficiency, range and price point. However, as an electric tow car, the I-Pace is significantly outgunned with a tinny 750 kg towing capacity.
Mercedes EQC Caravan Towing Test In Norway
Currently, the only towing test for the Mercedes EQC which I can reference was a test conducted in Norway. Three fully electric SUVs were compared against each other towing the same caravan, the Tesla Model X, Audi E-Tron and the Mercedes EQC. While the Tesla came out on top, the Mercedes EQC actually did a respectable job coming in second considering its lower price point and a smaller battery (80 kW), roughly 20kW down on the Tesla Model X.
I’ve included a quick video clip of the towing test below. However, you can read the full results in English by clicking here. Below the video, I’ll quickly summarise the results of the test about how efficient/how far the Mercedes EQC could tow the caravan, and how it compared to the Tesla and Audi.
So when discussing how far an electric car can tow a trailer/caravan its the amount of energy consumed per mile/per kilometre which is important. Generally, you assume the electric car will consume double the amount of energy when towing than it would under normal real-world conditions when not towing. But really, that 50% range reduction is just a general guestimate, the actual results vary depending on the weight/aerodynamics of the trailer/caravan and weather conditions etc.
How Did The Mercedes EQC Perform While Towing?
First off, as the test showed going up some really steep hill climbs, no electric car which is set up to tow is underpowered. They all produce huge amounts of torque from 1 RPM to tow trailers/caravans as well as any combustion engine counterpart. Really, it primarily comes down to how thirsty for electrons is the electric car while towing?
Well in the above test travelling at 70 km/h (44 mph) the Mercedes EQC consumed 18.9 kW/h per 100 kilometres, compared to 21.2 kW/h for the Audi E-Tron and 17.6 kW/h for the Tesla Model X. Therefore, while the EQC did consume roughly 7.3% more energy than the Tesla Model X, it also consumed roughly 12% less energy than its main competition, the Audi E-Tron.
Impressive Real World Efficiency
To provide further validation to the towing test results for the Mercedes EQC referenced above I wanted to reference another video by Bjørn Nyland who is also based in Norway and conducts some very in-depth EV tests. Before Bjørn tested the range/efficiency per mile for the Mercedes EQC he had previously tested both the Audi E-Tron and Jaguar I-Pace over the same journey.
As Bjørn discusses in the video below, the real-world range of the EQC is impressive considering it has a much smaller battery (80kW) than the Audi E-Tron (95kW). Though I should note, the usable battery capacity on the E-Tron 55 is actually only 86.5kW. Though that’s still larger than the battery in the EQC. Therefore, its not unreasonable to expect the E-Tron to be able to match/exceed the EQC when it comes to range.
The other reason I wanted to include Bjørn’s video above is he shows the fully motorised tow hitch on the EQC which is very nice. After reading all the marketing material I’m still not sure if the tow hitch comes as standard or is a cost optional extra.
In terms of the range/efficiency test, Bjørn found that the EQC had a real-world range over his test route of 261 miles, beating the E-Tron (230 miles) and the I-Pace (236 miles). Therefore, it appears Mercedes have been working on hard on their power electronics/software to produce such impressive efficiency results when compared against its closest rivals. Obviously, when it comes to towing, with the towing capacity between the EQC and E-Tron being equal, that extra range/efficiency will help to make the EQC a more viable electric tow car.
Mercedes EQC Features and Reviews
While the above towing/efficiency tests appear to put the EQC in a good position as a viable electric tow car, what about the rest of the features of the car and its price point? Well, below I’ve included two reviews on the EQC from Fully Charged and DrivingElectric. As you can see in the Fully Charged review below, the Mercedes voice assistant maybe something a potential owner may want to turn off. However, Vicky in the DrivingElectric review actually rates the Mercedes voice assistant as one of the best in its class.
Making charging a simpler process in terms of payment etc (hence similar to Tesla) is where Mercedes has been putting a lot of effort as can be seen in the Fully Charged video above. The EQC will also pre-condition the battery before the car reaches the charger so it can receive the fastest charge possible. However, it should be noted, the EQC (112 kW) cannot charge as fast as the E-Tron (155 kW), which is an area where the Audi shines.
As Vicky notes in her video review above, the trim/spec levels of the EQC will likely result in the average price owners pay increase over the base price of £65,640 up to AMG line specification versions to get features such as Apple Car Play/Android Auto. Then there are the looks of the EQC, which many journalists have stated to be quite divisive. Personally, I like the looks of the EQC. Then again, I like the looks of the Tesla Cybertruck, therefore my opinion on the looks of the EQC will instantly be null and void for some.
My Thoughts On The Mercedes EQC…
I do think the Mercedes EQC has positioned its self well as a premium electric tow car. The 1,800 kg towing capacity is sufficient for many family caravans and the EQC could also pull a wide range of cargo trailers with a decent amount of weight on board. The EQC is measurably more efficient than its nearest electric tow car rival the Audi E-Tron. The EQC proved to be 12% more efficient than the E-Tron in the caravan towing test referenced above, which is pretty significant.
As stated above, the Tesla Model X is not really direct competition for the Mercedes EQC, as the Model X is roughly £20,000 more. However, when the Tesla Model Y becomes available in the UK that will be tough competition for the EQC as an electric tow car. While the Tesla Model Y will have a lower towing capacity (1,500 kg), it will beat the EQC on range/efficiency/charge rate. Then again, not everybody wants to buy a Tesla, and if that’s the case, then the Mercedes EQC does appear to be a premium electric tow car worth considering.