Reports from a local German news agency have noted that Mercedes-Benz is set to ramp the production of its first all-electric SUV, the EQC, at a rate of about 100 units per day. The German carmaker will reportedly increase its production capacity over the following months, with the company doubling its target output to 200 units per day in the coming year.
The update about the EQC’s production was provided by a manager working for Mercedes-Benz, according to news agency Automobilwoche. The carmaker opened the order books for the EQC a few days ago, but just like its competitor, the Audi e-tron, the initial production of the all-electric SUV is reportedly limited as well. While the German carmaker is reportedly not having issues with the supply of cells themselves, the complex design of the EQC’s battery, which is comprised of six packages with 384 cell modules, is becoming a factor in the vehicle’s limited rollout.
Mercedes-Benz opted to use pouch cells from LG Chem for the EQC, just like fellow veteran carmakers Audi and Jaguar, who also utilize the South Korean company’s cells for their respective electric cars. In contrast, electric car pioneer Tesla utilizes cells from Japanese firm Panasonic for its Model X SUV. Initial production of the EQC reportedly started last week, though only in very limited quantities.
While Mercedes-Benz is yet to issue an official statement about the EQC’s reported production difficulties, it should be noted that the company is not the only veteran carmaker that is finding it challenging to ramp the manufacturing of an all-electric vehicle. The Audi e-tron, for one, is reportedly seeing delays in production due to the limited supply of cells from LG Chem. A report from The Brussels Times even noted that Audi’s e-tron facility is only operating 6 hours a day due to the limited supply of the SUV’s components.
Overall, the struggles reportedly being faced by Audi, and now Mercedes-Benz all but show that performing a production ramp of an electric vehicle is no joke. Electric car maker Tesla has received various criticisms over the years due to the company’s delays in producing its vehicles like the Model X and Model 3. These reports concerning the Mercedes-Benz EQC and the Audi e-tron’s production ramps prove that Tesla is not the only carmaker that feels challenges when manufacturing an all-electric vehicle.
The Mercedes-Benz EQC is equipped with an 80 kWh battery pack, which is estimated to give a range of over 200 miles per charge. Performance-wise, the all-electric SUV boasts some decent specs, with two electric motors that produce 402 hp and 564 lb-ft of torque giving the vehicle a 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 112 mph. Once released, the EQC will be competing in the same segment as the veteran Tesla Model X, as well as other premium EVs like the Jaguar I-PACE and Audi e-tron.