Mercedes-Benz EQC prototypes complete the winter test in northern Sweden

Mercedes-Benz EQC prototypes complete the winter test in northern Sweden-complete

As with other car manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz vehicles have to withstand a series of tough and extensive tests before they go into series production. Winter testing for the Mercedes-Benz EQC prototypes recently took place in northern Sweden, which the vehicles successfully completed. Of course, so-called summer tests also take place in southern Europe and the USA, as well as endurance road tests worldwide. However, in this article, let’s take a closer look at the winter testing of the EQC.

For decades, the company has been testing every new model not far from the Arctic Circle under extreme conditions – at icy temperatures of up to minus 35 degrees Celsius, snow-covered roads and on the bare ice of frozen lakes. The vehicles are tested in the small northern Swedish town of Arjeplog in Lapland. The company has set up a test center there. In addition to road testing in the far north, tests are carried out here on specially set up test tracks. The test track is tough: in addition to demanding hill climbs with gradients of up to 20 percent, test tracks with different coefficients of friction, handling courses and circuits on the almost bare ice of the frozen lake, the models have to reckon with further challenges. However, it can be stated that this test track places maximum demands on the drive and control systems.

To validate the entire vehicle, the test program for a new Mercedes-Benz model includes more than 500 individual tests. In the case of electric vehicles, there are a number of drive-specific tests that have been specially developed for the new drive technologies in addition to the standard procedure. New challenges for an electric vehicle are, for example, the power output of the electric motor during a cold start and with a thoroughly cooled battery, the cold start behavior of a fuel cell (stack), the range when driving with customers, the handling of charging cables, the pre-air conditioning and the operating strategy including recuperation. Added to this is the special tuning of the driving dynamics and the ESP® system.

The area of charging an e-car, in this case the EQC, is being tested on the entire range of charging options. In other words, the EQC has to be able to be charged from a simple household socket to wall boxes and fast charging stations. The hydrogen supply is of course also taken care of; which, however, is not used in the EQC.

“In terms of power, sportiness and utility, the EQC will be an absolute highlight. Our customers will also be delighted with the driving experience – not least because of its all-wheel drive, which we can tune particularly well here in Sweden on the frozen lakes. There are also innovative solutions in areas such as telematics, connectivity and charging. With the EQC, a whole new era of electromobility really begins at Mercedes-Benz.“ – Michael Kelz, Chief Engineer EQC.

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