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Mobil­i­ty with Atti­tude (MWA) — The 2020 Elec­tric Mer­cedes EQC Does­n’t Have a “Frunk” Because Effi­cien­cy

Pho­to: Mer­cedes-Benz

At last, Mer­cedes has giv­en the world a sneak peak at its bat­tery-pow­ered elec­tric EQC crossover before it goes into pro­duc­tion next year. It’s a high­ly antic­i­pat­ed arrival in the elec­tric car mar­ket, as it’s expect­ed to kick off some live­ly com­pe­ti­tion between itself and the Audi e‑tron. But Mer­cedes have decid­ed to forego some of the cur­rent stan­dards of EV design in favor of a more tra­di­tion­al com­bus­tion-engined style.

Name­ly, Mer­cedes isn’t cav­ing to the front truck—”frunk”, as the kids are call­ing it (do we real­ly have to call it that?)—trend. Because effi­cien­cy.

A front truck is exact­ly what it sounds like. An elec­tric pow­er unit requires a lot less space than a tra­di­tion­al com­bus­tion engine. They’re nowhere near as big, and they have a lot less extra com­po­nents. EV man­u­fac­tur­ers like Tes­la have cap­i­tal­ized on that by adding “trunk space” to the grow­ing list of incen­tives to go elec­tric. In addi­tion to the rear trunk, elec­tric cars have a trunk in the front, too.

Going elec­tric has enabled a lot of man­u­fac­tur­ers to get cre­ative incor­po­rat­ing extra space into their designs. If you’re already redefin­ing the way we think about pow­er, why not play with design, too?

Well, Mer­cedes is keep­ing things a lit­tle more tra­di­tion­al. Pop the hood of the EQC and you’ll find the front dri­ve mod­ule, which hous­es the motor and sin­gle-speed trans­mis­sion. Or, the EV equiv­a­lent of peep­ing into the engine bay.

Accord­ing bbat­tery-pow­ere­dat all comes down to effi­cien­cy.

Merc, unlike Tes­la, already pro­duce com­bus­tion-engined cars. Dras­ti­cal­ly chang­ing form and func­tion for their EV pro­gram would mean they’d basi­cal­ly need even more equip­ment to man­u­fac­ture them. Putting the pow­er­train where an IC would be means they can man­u­fac­ture the EQC on the same pro­duc­tion lines as the rest of their cars until it comes time to fit the thing that makes it go vroom.

Being able to make the EQC on the same line as the C‑Class, GLC, and GLC Coupe means they’ll be able to keep the costs of pro­duc­tion down, there­fore keep­ing mar­ket costs of the EQC down.

Pho­to: Mer­cedes-Benz

It’s also a pret­ty smart maneu­ver in gen­er­al. Mer­cedes just sub­tly flexed their prowess in the auto indus­try by show­ing that they’re able to adapt all their plants to adapt to EV pro­duc­tion, should there be demand for it.

It’s a very smart move by the Ger­man car mak­er. They might not be able to claim the extra stor­age space, but Mer­cedes is prov­ing they’re going to be a man­u­fac­tur­er that can get you an EV faster and more effec­tive­ly than the com­pe­ti­tion.

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