Mercedes adds boxy EQB to EV lineup

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Mercedes-Benz is adopting the boxy styling of its rugged G-Class off-roader with its latest battery-powered vehicle, the EQB.

The compact utility will offer seating for up to seven people and is targeted at families who want a greener alternative to the GLB combustion engine model on which it’s based.

The EQB’s driving range is 478 km (260 miles) under Europe’s WLTP testing regime, Daimler said in a statement Sunday, ahead of the crossover’s unveiling at the Shanghai auto show.

“With the all new EQB we have created an iconic electric SUV that takes the heritage of our boxy off-road vehicles and transforms this into the future,” Daimler’s design chief, Gorden Wagener, said in the statement.

The EQB is positioned between the EQA and EQC in Mercedes’ expanding range of full-electric vehicles. It will be a rival to models such as the Audi Q4 e-tron and VW ID4. Neither of those competitors offers seating for seven.

The crossover will have front-wheel and all-wheel drive options and power output of up to 215 kilowatts (288 hp). It has the same 2829-mm (111-inch) wheelbase as the GLB.

The EQB will go on sale in China and Europe this year and in the U.S. next year, Daimler said. It will be built in Beijing for China and Kecskemet, Hungary, for other markets.

Mercedes-Benz will introduce up to three battery-electric utility vehicles and a midsize sedan in the U.S. next year, sources told Automotive News.

The product offensive will start in the first quarter with the EQB, following by the EQE, an electric version of Mercedes’ E-Class midsize sedan. The second half of 2022 could see the arrival of the EQA subcompact crossover, which will go on sale in Europe this spring but has not been approved for the U.S.

Toward the end of 2022, Mercedes will release the full-size EQS SUV, which will also be the brand’s first U.S.-made EV.

Mercedes has not said how much the EQB will cost. German press reports say it will start at just under 50,000 ($59,920) euros when it goes on sale in Europe in the autumn.

The EQB’s batteries feature power output of up to 215 kilowatts (288 hp).

Daimler said last month that it isaccelerating a shift to electric vehicles and aims to reach a target for plug-in hybrids or all-electric vehicles to make up more than 50 percent of vehicle sales sooner than the 2030 goal it announced last year.

A flagship electric sedan, the EQS, will go on sale in Europe and the U.S. in August, and in January 2022 in China.

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