• Watch Mercedes Crash the 2020 EQC Electric SUV

Mercedes wants to convince you that it’s as safe as it is silent!

The Mercedes-Benz EQC is the first all-electric model part of the EQ family, Mercedes’ range of vehicles designed from the get-go with electrification in mind. The EQC hasn’t yet reached third-party crash testers such as the EURO NCAP or the NHTSA, but the car apparently passed with flying colors the German automaker’s own internal crash tests.

Unveiled publically at this year’s Paris Motor Show, the EQC is Mercedes’ first bet for the new-generation EV market. It’s a compact luxury SUV, similar to the gas-powered GLC-Class, that will be on the market next year. Mercedes-Benz revealed that it already put the EQC up against a few rigid structures for some in-house evaluatory crash tests at the Mercedes-Benz Technology Center for Vehicle Safety (TFS).

How many will order the EQC in that particular shade of orange?

Mercedes-Benz opened the reservation book for the EQC over 12 months ago. More recently, the first all-electric compact luxury SUV built by Mercedes-Benz was presented in Paris and, now, those customers that have already pre-ordered one can see how it copes with hitting a wall at a moderate speed.

We'll have to wait a few more months until the Euro NCAP or the NHTSA get a hold of a few EQC chassis to bang'em against walls and guardrails so don't take Mercedes' word for granted.

With that being said, the German manufacturer claims that it “applied stringent safety standards to the battery and all component parts carrying electrical current.” Mercedes also states that their own TFS crash-testing facility is the most advanced in the world and this helped them perfect some of the SUV’s safety features.

Watch Mercedes Crash the 2020 EQC Electric SUV
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As an example, a new subframe was developed to surround the drive components up front, supported by the standard mounting points. The battery pack itself is also nestled within a frame that’s part of the car’s crash structure, and that keeps the battery in place in case of a serious side impact. There’s also protection in the frontal area of the battery as well as a general shutdown system that activates automatically in case of a crash.

Depending on the nature and severity of the crash, the shutdown of the electric system can be reversible or not.

Also, the charging procedure is stopped if the car gets hit at a quick-charging station DC station. The high-voltage system can also be de-activated manually through a number of kill switches that can be reached by emergency personnel, a safety feature that’s been on racing cars for decades now. Mercedes also crash-tested the battery at the Deutsche ACCUMOTIVE center where a number of extreme scenarios were simulated such as extreme overheating, the heavy contact with foreign objects and others alike.

Watch Mercedes Crash the 2020 EQC Electric SUV
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Beyond the tests that were issued for the electric system, Mercedes’ team also tested other safety features of the car such as the seatbelts, the plethora of airbags that surrounds the cabin, and other safety solutions like the automatic activation of an emergency call that readily notifies rescue services.

The EQC also comes with an electrically-adjustable steering column that lifts in case of a crash.

After all these systems were put to the test, Mercedes vaguely boasted that "high levels of crash safety” were achieved by the EQC. What does that really mean? We don’t know because Mercedes didn’t release any data or numbers so that we can compare with other Mercedes models or models from rivaling manufacturers. I guess we have to wait and see what other crash-testing organizations have to say about the EQC, but it’s safe to say - pun intended - that it’s no Fiat Panda!

Watch Mercedes Crash the 2020 EQC Electric SUV
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That’s not only because the first member of the EQ family - one of up to 10 new models by 2022 - doesn’t crumble like the tiny Fiat, but also because no Panda could ever dream of having 402 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque on tap. Those are the numbers of the EQC 400 that comes with all-wheel drive, a modest top speed of 112 mph, and a range of just under 300 miles from its 80 kWh battery pack. The latter of which, by the way, can be fast-charged from 10 to 80% in just 40 minutes while energy recuperation under braking is a standard feature.

Further Reading

2019 Mercedes-Benz EQC Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC.

2016 Mercedes‑Benz "Generation EQ" Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Mercedes‑Benz "Generation EQ" Concept.

Mercedes EQC vs Mercedes Generation EQ Concept
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Mercedes EQC vs Mercedes Generation EQ Concept

Mercedes EQC vs Tesla Model X
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Mercedes EQC vs Tesla Model X

Michael Fira
Michael Fira
Associate Editor and Motorsport Expert - fira@topspeed.com
Mihai Fira started out writing about long-distance racing like the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the years went by, his area of interest grew wider and wider and he ever branched beyond the usual confines of an automotive writer. However, his heart is still close to anything car-related and he's most at home retelling the story of some long-since-forgotten moment from the history of auto racing. He'll also take time to explain why the cars of the '60s and '70s are more fascinating than anything on the road today.  Read full bio
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