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Mercedes-Benz is taking a broad approach to reducing emissions. It has beaten rivals to the punch in bringing RDE2-compliant diesels to market, and has no intention of killing off the internal combustion engine. A range of plug-in hybrids is available, with more on the way, and the EQ family of electric vehicles is set to expand.



Parent company Daimler describes its approach as a ‘three-lane drive system strategy’.


Mercedes-Benz EQC

A big SUV, and the first of the electric ‘EQ’ family.

As the EQC is a pure battery-electric vehicle, there are no emissions.

Twin electric motors with an output of 408hp. The EQC can go from 0-62mph in just 5.1 seconds.

HOW FAR WILL IT GO ON A TANK?Tested to the WLTP standard, the Mercedes-Benz EQC achieves 232-259 miles. That falls short of the 258 to 292-mile range of the Jaguar I-Pace. Topping up the batteries from 10% to 80% using a 110kW rapid charger takes 40 minutes – if you can find one. Using a three-phase 400V home charger, the battery can go from 10% to 100% charged in 11 hours.

IS IT TAX EFFICIENT?                                 Oh, yes, especially when April’s tax changes kick in. Right now, anyone running a Mercedes-Benz EQC as a company car pays BIK on 16% of the list price. For the 2020-21 tax year that drops to 0%. In 2021-22 the banding is 1%. So the case for an EV as a company car is about to become compelling.

Mercedes-Benz EQC logo

“We are placing our emphasis on highly efficient high-tech combustion engines, systematic hybridisation and battery-electric or fuel-cell drive systems,” says Ola Källenius, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG, and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Our approach is broad in view of our extensive portfolio and our customers’ mobility requirements.”

Mercedes-Benz was among the first to pass the RDE2 test with its diesel engines, and so avoid the 4% diesel surcharge for Benefit-in-Kind taxation. The company plans to continue to develop cleaner and more efficient petrol and diesel engines.

Mercedes-Benz GLE 350de 4Matic Plug-in diesel hybrid launched late 2019

“I’m sure that the combustion engines will still be around for a long time to come,” says Källenius. “In the year 2025 we are looking at a sales share of up to 25% for the purely battery-electric cars. This automatically means that at least 75% will still have a combustion engine on board – also combined with electric, naturally.”

Källenius and his colleagues still see a place for diesel, and believe oil-burning engines can be made more efficient. “We still need the diesel powerplant and in future we shall continue to advance its further development.”



That faith in diesel power is reflected in the way Mercedes-Benz approaches plug-in hybrids. Whereas other makes combine petrol and electric power, Mercedes-Benz produces diesel-electric hybrids as well.

The Mercedes-Benz GLE 350de 4Matic plug-in hybrid was launched towards the end of last year. As the ‘D’ in the model name suggests, the GLE combines a four-cylinder diesel with an electric power output of 100kW. Its CO2 emissions figure is just 29g/km, and it has an electric range of 56-61 miles (WLTP).  That puts the car in the 8% BIK bracket for 2020/21, while every other GLE is in the 37% band.



Mercedes-Benz EQV large MPV goes on sale in April 2020

Mercedes-Benz EQV large MPV has a range of up to 252 miles

Expect more plug-in hybrids from Mercedes-Benz under the ‘EQ Power’ label. The range of battery electric ‘EQ’ models will also expand. The EQV large MPV (pictured below right) goes on sale in late April, with a range of up to 252 miles.

The Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS concept (main picture, top of page), revealed at last year’s Frankfurt motor show, portrays what Mercedes-Benz describes as “sustainable luxury”.  A production version should be on sale as soon as next year, with a game-changing range of up to 435 miles.

By 2022, Daimler has pledged to bring 10 all-electric vehicles to market, and around 50 ‘electrified’ models as well.


david motton