A new app aims to help motorists identify the right time to switch to an electric car or hybrid. EQ Ready, an app developed by Mercedes-Benz, has now arrived in Australian smartphone stores, 12 months after it launched in Europe. It monitors driving habits by recording real journeys, and compares energy usage against similar data gathered from hybrid and electric cars.
The app records speed and acceleration, stops and longer breaks, and also ambient temperatures and altitude to calculate the range and energy consumption. This data is then transmitted back to Mercedes-Benz for comparison against similar hybrid and electric cars.
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Mercedes is quick to point out that privacy is a key consideration of the app. “To stop a journey being recorded, the user can disable the tracking feature at any time. The app also regularly reminds the user that data are being recorded.”
Mercedes-Benz involved customers and even its own board members in the app’s development phase. The general conclusion, says Mercedes-Benz’s Wilko Stark who heads up the department that developed the app, “is that electric cars and hybrids in e-mode are much more suitable for everyday use than most people believe”.
The EQ Ready app is part of Mercedes-Benz’s new EQ electric mobility brand launching this month in Europe with the EQC fully-electric SUV. The EQC will be one of up to 50 pure electric, plug-in and hybrid models the carmaker has promised to launch by 2022.
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So far, Mercedes-Benz has revealed two fully-electric models, the EQA electric and the EQC compact SUV.
The EQA, which will be a rival for the Tesla Model 3 when it goes into production in 2019, is being touted as an ‘electric athlete in the compact segment’. It has a three-door body and a hot-hatch-like 200kW of power from two electric motors (one on each axle). Mercedes claims it can sprint from rest to 100km/h in five seconds, and has a driving range of 400km on a single charge.
The EQC rival for the Tesla Model X and Jaguar I-Pace is due in the first half of 2019, and appears to be more practical and more powerful than the EQA. This five-door SUV-like wagon has 300kW of power from a bigger battery pack, though this does add weight to the car; early prototypes tipped the scales at more than 2300kg (for comparison a similarly sized Mercedes GLC five-door SUV weighs around 1,800kg.