Which way? And where is the next charging station? The classic responsibilities of a co-driver. In the new EQA, this job is handled by a series of intelligent assistants. Navigation with Electric Intelligence calculates the fastest route currently possible, taking into account various factors. If a charging stop is required, the driver will be directed to a charging station. Mercedes me Charge allows Mercedes-EQ customers convenient use of the charging stations of various providers, while they also benefit from an integrated payment function with simple billing processes. Mercedes me Charge enables customers to charge at more than 175,000 public charging points throughout Europe; Mercedes-Benz ensures a subsequent offset with green power.
As far as Navigation with Electric Intelligence is concerned, the name says it all. It takes numerous factors into account in an intelligent way to plan the fastest route, including charging stops, and can even react dynamically to changes, for example to traffic hold-ups. While a conventional range calculator lives from past data, the Navigation with Electric Intelligence system in the EQA looks into the future.
The calculation of the route takes into account, for example, the electric range, the current electrical consumption, the topography of the proposed route (due to the energy requirement) and the temperatures along the way (due to the duration of the charge). Further factors include the traffic situation along the planned route, as well as the available charging stations to be found there and their capacity. The customer does not necessarily always have to take on board a full charge, but will be given a specific recommendation as to the required charging time at the charging station. The charging station stops will be planned in the way that is most favourable for the overall travelling time: in certain circumstances it may be that two brief charges at a higher charging capacity will be faster than one long charge.
If the range is becoming critical, the active range monitoring system will give advice such as "Air conditioning off" or "Select ECO mode". In addition, in ECO mode the system will calculate a more efficient driving speed with which the next charging station or the destination can be reached as planned, and display this in the speedometer. If DISTRONIC is activated, this speed will be set automatically. In this mode the system will also switch to an intelligent operating strategy for the ancillary consumers in order to reduce their power requirement and thus increase the range as the situation requires.
Route planning can be undertaken in advance in the Mercedes me App. Assuming this is then confirmed in the vehicle's navigation system before the journey starts, the route will be reloaded using this latest information. In principle, the data are updated before the start of each journey and then every two minutes.
The driver is also able to make individual adjustments to the Navigation with Electric Intelligence function. In the basic setting, for example, the battery capacity is exploited to a large extent. However, as far as residual range is concerned, it is possible to select a personal safety buffer, so that the EQA will, for instance, factor in to the journey an SoC of at least 10 percent at the charging station or an SoC of 50 percent on arrival at the destination.
Green Charging – more transparency for customers
Green power, that is to say electricity from renewable resources, is a significant factor in the life cycle of an electric car as a means of preventing CO2 emissions. The reason being that about 50 percent of the CO2 footprint of a battery-electric vehicle is produced during the use phase with the current EU energy mix, in other words due to charging processes that involve CO2. In order to make green charging possible in future for the customers of all purely battery-electric Mercedes-Benz EQ models and all plug-in hybrid model variants via the charging points integrated into the Mercedes me Charge service, Mercedes-Benz is starting the market rollout of Green Charging in Europe.
The driver often does not know whether a public charging station sources green power or electricity from non-renewable resources, because this is the responsibility of the different charging station operators. In order to counteract this lack of transparency and to promote the use of electricity from renewable resources, Mercedes-Benz is the first automotive manufacturer to use so-called certificates of origin to this extent for greening the charging process. This ensures that an equivalent amount of electricity from renewable resources is fed into the grid to compensate for the charging of an electric vehicle. This means that the amounts of energy used for charging are offset with green power after the actual charging process.
With Mercedes me Charge, customers have access to what is currently the world's biggest charging network: the network currently comprises more than 450,000 AC and DC charging points across 31 countries. With just a single registration, customers receive convenient access to charging stations from a multitude of suppliers, even across national borders. Navigation with Electric Intelligence ensures that Mercedes-EQ customers can easily find these points.
The Mercedes me App has been extensively revised. As well as a new look, it features improved and new functions. These include a filter option that allows the charging points to be sorted according to criteria such as availability or charging capacity. Photos and a new rating function can also help with the decision as to where to charge the EQA. Users can not only provide a star rating themselves, but can also leave a comment (anonymously) in the app. The likelihood over the course of the day of a particular charging point being busy is also determined on the basis of a probability calculation and displayed.
Authentication at the charging stations can be provided in three different ways with Mercedes me Charge: via the Mercedes me App, via the vehicle's media display, or via the Mercedes me Charge charging card.
A further advantage of Mercedes me Charge is the intelligent payment function with simple billing processes. The customer chooses the preferred payment method only once. Every charging process is then automatically debited – also in other countries. The individual charging processes are clearly listed in a monthly invoice.
Mercedes me Charge also allows access to the fast-charging stations of the pan-European network IONITY. Demonstrating a commitment to sustainability, customers using IONITY chargers charge using 100 percent renewable energy, ensuring zero-emission and carbon-neutral motoring. Two pricing models are possible in conjunction with Mercedes me Charge, including the option of a significantly discounted price at IONITY fast charging stations.
IONITY will construct and operate around 400 rapid-charging stations along the main traffic arteries in Europe by the end of 2020. As at 15 December 2020 there were already 316, with a further 44 under construction. IONITY was founded in November 2017 as a joint venture between the BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group.