How Mercedes-EQ will pave the way for a new era of mobility in the Middle East and beyond
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How Mercedes-EQ will pave the way for a new era of mobility in the Middle East and beyond

How Mercedes-EQ will pave the way for a new era of mobility in the Middle East and beyond

Krishan Bodhani, VP and director of sales and marketing at Mercedes-Benz, explains how the Mercedes-EQ vision of electric mobility will shape the brand’s strategy for decades to come

Mercedes Benz EQS

What does Mercedes-Benz envision as the future of mobility?
Mobility has an exciting future fuelled by advances in safety, sustainability, in-car AI functions and the development of the EV sector. Mercedes-Benz has laid the foundations for its own vision of the future with Mercedes-EQ. Included in this are the EQS and EQA models, which have made e-mobility a fully connected, convenient and accessible option for today’s motorist. The growth of Mercedes-EQ is a key part of Mercedes-Benz’s ambition to have a full-electric fleet by the end of the decade. The development of Mercedes-EQ is led by technology and innovation. The EQA and EQS both feature MBUX, the market-leading in-car multi-media, navigation and infotainment system. MBUX is particularly impressive in the EQS with the introduction of the Hyperscreen; the wide, curved screen runs from the car’s left to right A-pillar and allows easy and intuitive access to a host of systems and driver assist functions.

What are the benchmarks that Mercedes-Benz is using as a reference point in its electrification programme?
Mercedes-EQ was quick to set the benchmark for e-mobility. Its flagship model, the EQS, is based on a new architecture and the exciting concept of progressive luxury, which is aimed at the top end of the EV market. The EQA, which is a close relative of the GLA, delivers the characteristics of a luxury SUV combined with an efficient and powerful electric powertrain. By fusing technology and design with state-of-the-art connectivity, the EQ range showcases major advances in the all-electric sector. Its success forms a key part of Mercedes-Benz’s goal of having an all-electric fleet of models available to customers.

Mercedes Benz EQS

Mercedes-EQ will strengthen people’s confidence in swapping their petrol car for an EV model, with the EQS and its huge range of up to 770km according to Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) offering substantial appeal. The car’s capacity to travel long distances provides the confidence owners need to embark on any journey, safe in the knowledge that the EQS can easily complete the trip, while the onboard navigation system will direct them to the nearest charging station when required.

Where is the EQ programme eventually headed?
Mercedes-EQ marks a new chapter for mobility at a time when the automotive industry is moving towards a more sustainable future. Helping to shape the biggest transport revolution of our time, the EQ programme successfully combines a new generation of electro-aesthetics and performance with the practical everyday needs of the consumer. Mercedes-Benz was quick to embrace electrification; as an innovator in EV, Mercedes-EQ continues to grow with more models becoming available. These will be served by a network of charging stations alongside EQ’s advanced home charging systems and new energy storage options that build on growing client confidence in the technology.

On the road, performance will also define the success of Mercedes-EQ. As such, the EQS defines the power and capabilities that are available to owners of EQ vehicles, with its all-wheel-drive system delivering 516hp, and an acceleration from zero to 100kph in just 5.5 seconds.

Mercedes Benz EQS

What are Mercedes-Benz’ plans with regards to autonomous driving?
Autonomous driving, powered by AI, has the potential to revolutionise not only how cars function but how consumers look at mobility as a whole. The technical conditions needed for autonomous driving are available right now, with the sensors, cameras and technologies required already being used in the production of road vehicles.

The S-Class, for example, has taken a major step towards autonomous driving. Its Active Distance Assist Distronic and Active Steering Assist functions support the driver in keeping a safe distance, with its speed adjusted for bends and junctions. Mercedes-EQ is also pioneering AI-assisted driving. The EQS and EQA feature active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Brake Assist systems.

Krishan Bodhani, VP and director of sales and marketing at Mercedes-Benz

In the future, and currently in development, the Mercedes-Benz’s Drive Pilot system, a Level 3 driving assistance system, will enable a car to drive without constant driver supervision. Many of the technological advances delivered in the EQS are also powered by AI, which actively monitors and learns from the driver’s habits and behaviour, thanks to upwards of 350 sensors located throughout the vehicle. Speed, distances travelled, types of acceleration, driver’s eye movements and speech help onboard algorithms to make decisions that improve safety and handling.

Do facilities like Factory 56 represent the future direction for Mercedes-Benz’ manufacturing capabilities?
Factory 56 in Sindelfingen is the fulfilment of Mercedes-Benz’s vision of smart production and a flexible, digital, efficient and sustainable future, with the factory currently moving to become a zero-carbon and low energy facility.

Its advanced production capabilities allow it to quickly meet changes in demand; the ‘Techlines’ system makes it possible for models to be swiftly integrated into the assembly line, to shift from SUV to EV. Called the ‘assembly system of the future’, it allows Mercedes-Benz to react rapidly and introduce new innovations to its fleet. The pandemic has highlighted the need for companies to be more responsive to their markets and environments, and to be able to adapt their output and plans accordingly.

Mercedes Benz EQS

How does Mercedes-Benz reflect and embody some of Expo 2020’s key themes?
Mercedes-Benz and Expo share the same goals. The ability to innovate, adapt and introduce new technology has opened new doors to greater opportunity, sustainability and mobility. The rapidly expanding EQ range embodies a spirit of sustainability and mobility; it’s reshaping how customers interact with their vehicles and the world around them.

Expo’s themes of opportunity, sustainability and mobility are also the driving force behind Mercedes-Benz. They can be seen in the growth of Mercedes-EQ and the delivery of all-electric models such as the EQS and EQA, which are leading the way to a Mercedes-Benz all-electric fleet which will be available by the decade’s end.

Mercedes-EQ has helped to reframe the way motorists view e-mobility, which in turn has helped the sector to grow and expand. As a result, EVs now enjoy a higher level of awareness amongst the public than ever before, which in turn powers greater opportunity for the sector, driving a sustained push for improved sustainability and allowing for advances in mobility.

Mercedes Benz EQS

Which are some of the F1 technologies being imparted to your road fleet – and vice versa?
As Mercedes-EQ powers ahead and leads the way to greater e-mobility, EV technologies and sustainability goals are being adopted by both of Mercedes-Benz’s motorsport teams.

Innovation, technology and efficiency are helping F1 and FE meet major pledges to slash carbon emissions and transition towards renewable energy. As the only brand to have an F1 and FE team, Mercedes-Benz recognises the role motorsports play in the development of ideas and technologies that can be transferred to its road vehicles, and vice versa.

The demands placed on motorsports teams means they are in the ideal position to quickly address some of the most pressing issues related to technology, sustainability and the need to innovate. Mercedes-Benz is ideally placed to take advantage of these developments and introduce them to the marketplace through its EQ brand and traditional fleet.

Mercedes Benz EQS

What are some of the biggest challenges that Mercedes-Benz is resolving at the moment?
Mercedes-Benz’s e-commerce platforms helped the brand overcome a challenging period during the pandemic. As customers were unable to visit physical showrooms or service centres, the growth in the use of websites made it possible for people to buy their next Mercedes-Benz from the comfort of their homes.

Engaging with customers online allowed Mercedes-Benz to grow its client-base and increase connectivity. The StarView video app connects customers with technical teams working on their vehicles and builds confidence and lasting trust.

Online and offline merged with great effect to ease customers’ transition between the website and showroom when buying or servicing a vehicle. With important Covid-restrictions still in place, the safety and well-being of our clients remains of utmost importance. Therefore, our online presence and services will continue to grow and develop to meet demand.

Mercedes Benz EQS

To learn more about Mercedes-ESQ and its vision for mobility, click here

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