A doctor couple from Gujarat – Pooja and Ridham Seth – have taken delivery of India’s first Mercedes Benz EQS80 4MATIC priced at Rs. 1.55 crore, ex-showroom. The Mercedes Benz EQS580 4MATIC is also India’s longest range electric car with a stunning claimed range per charge of 857 kilometers. Range anxiety? What’s that!
This super-long claimed range should translate into a real world range of about 600 kilometers – quite impressive as this is how far regular petrol and diesel powered luxury sedans can go on a full tank of fuel. This is not all. In just 15 minutes of charge time, the car’s battery can be recharged to cover 300 kilometers. This makes the Mercedes Benz EQS580 4MATIC the most practical electric car money can buy in India.
The Mercedes Benz EQS580 4MATIC packs a massive 107.8kWh battery pack – the biggest seen on an electric car sold in India, and this is the prime factor behind the car’s ample range/charge, and associated practical-ness. Another factor helping the car achieve this stunning range/charge is its ultra low grad coefficient (Cd) of 0.2 – the lowest of any production car in the world.
The car gets two electric motors – one on each axle – giving it all wheel drive functionality. As for power and torque, the EQS580 4MATIC makes 523 Bhp of peak power and 856 Nm of peak torque. These numbers propel the car to 100 Kph from standstill in just 4.2 seconds while top speed is an impressive – for an electric car – 210 Kph (electronically limited). The EQS580’s battery can be recharged to 80 % from 0 % in about 31 minutes using a fast charger.
The Mercedes Benz EQS580 4MATIC electric luxury sedan is assembled at the German automaker’s Chakan factory, near Pune, making it the first electric car to be locally produced by the brand. A month ago, Nitin Gadkari – India’s transport minister and a long-time proponent of electric mobility flagged off production of the first Mercedes Benz EQS580 from the Chakan factory.
Are electric cars becoming mainstream?
Not really. While there has been a flurry of electric car launches in the last year or so, the total volume of electric cars sold in India remains less than 1 % of total car sales. So, it’ll be a while before electric cars begin replacing petrol/diesel/CNG/LPG powered cars in India. While usable range on electric cars is picking up across segments, making electric cars quite practical as city cars, highway use still requires some careful planning.
Charging infrastructure on Indian highways is far from optimal and this greatly limits electric cars. The Indian union and state governments are embarking on ambitious plans to boost charging infrastructure across the country, and in the next couple of years, these efforts should bear fruit and make highway use of an electric car quite seamless. Once this happens, electric car sales could take off in a big way in India.
Affordable electric cars key to increased sales
Earlier this month, Tata Motors launched India’s most affordable electric car in the form of the Tiago Electric. Priced at Rs. 8.49 lakh, the Tata Tiago Electric saw a bumper first day of bookings, with over 10,000 orders logged. In the years to come, more affordable electric cars are likely to revolutionize city transport in India. Highway transport too, could go electric.