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Mercedes-Benz unveils its first all-electric all-wheel drive SUV

Mercedes-Benz unveils its first all-electric all-wheel drive SUV

Mercedes-Benz has the first-mover advantage in this regard, but the EQC will soon be met with some heavy competition.

The EQC is equipped with an 80kWh lithium-ion battery serving as the power bank for both electric motors. In the more economical driving modes, the haptic accelerator pedal that prompts the driver to conserve power plays an important role. The plan was to invest 10 billion euros (US$12 billion) on the project, but the spending has become "more than that", he said Tuesday, without specifying figures.

The vehicle will mark the debut of the automaker's electric "EQ" marque and will be available in the U.S. in 2020.

The EQC's estimated range is lower than the stated ranges from upcoming competitors like the Jaguar I-Pace (up to 240 miles) and Audi e-tron (over 248 miles), which are expected to arrive at United States dealerships later this year and in 2019, respectively.

When it came to the EQC launch, Mercedes picked the city of Stockholm for its startup scene and green credentials, then began firing off teasers on Instagram as well as Twitter.

The California-based leader in EVs have gained strong sales for their accessible Model 3 sedan, which is expected to sell to around 50,000 this year and double that year.

Inside, the EQC is a mix of typical Mercedes-Benz interior bits and unique-to-EQ design traits.

"With the EQC - the first fully electric SUV from Mercedes-Benz - we are flipping the switch", said Dieter Zetsche, chief executive of Mercedes-Benz Cars, at the EQC's reveal in Stockholm last night.

The market for upscale electric cars is Tesla's to lose, with sales of its entry-level Model 3 sedan expected to reach about 50,000 cars this year and nearly double that in 2019. It is said to compete with Tesla's cars in the market.

But this athletic-looking four-door crossover seems much more relevant to the ever-growing luxury electric SUV market that Tesla tapped and has everyone else playing catch-up. The 75 kWh all-wheel-drive variant has a range of 237 miles and hits 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. Audi Group (AUDVF.PK) commenced mass production of E-tron, its first all-electric SUV on Monday.

Jaguar Land Rover has also introduced its first all-electric auto, the I-Pace.

The Audi claims super-fast charging with an 80 per cent top-up in just 30 minutes.

The little SUV is claimed to have range of 482km/h which trumps all electric cars but the Teslas.