Next-gen Mercedes EQC (GLC Electric) U.S. launch confirmed: Report

  • EQC reportedly to be called Mercedes GLC Electric in the next generation
  • A bigger and efficient battery pack should delivers an EPA-est. range of ~325 miles
  • Expected in RWD and AWD variants, including hot AMG configurations
  • Could could cost around $60,000 onwards in the U.S. when it comes out in 2026

Update: ‘Frunk’ added to ‘Expected features’ and ‘Release date’ and ‘Mercedes to drop the EQ branding for the next-gen EQC’ sections updated.

In 2021, Mercedes-Benz canceled the EQC U.S. launch after repeated postponements. All hope is not lost for fans of the three-pointed star who are in the market for an electric small SUV. In this story, we’ll discuss how the company reportedly plans to launch the next-gen Mercedes EQC in America.

MB.EA-M platform

You read it right. The MB.EA-M platform may have been unheard of to most outside of Mercedes-Benz, but that’s the underpinning of the next-gen EQC. The company has confirmed that it will utilize a newly developed, dedicated EV platform called MB.EA for next-gen mid-size and large-size electric cars. understands that there will be two variants of the MB.EA platform: the MB.EA-M, designed for mid-size electric cars, and the MB.EA-L, intended for larger electric vehicles.


As per a report by Automotive News on May 23, 2023, select North American dealers and individuals with a vested interest in Mercedes-Benz’s future have already seen the Mercedes EQC successor. It is expected to feature a refined and softened design compared to its predecessor, signaling a stylistic evolution.

Dealers who have received a product briefing say the GLC EV will have a rounded front and rear, in line with the EQE SUV and EQS SUV, feature power domes on the hood, and a wide light stripe, as per a report Automotive News published on November 28, 2023. Thus the GLC Electric will have an even more crossover-like exterior than the EQC.

That’d make sense from a product planner’s perspective, given that a traditional SUV, referred to as the Mini G-Class Electric/GLG, is reportedly scheduled in 2026 and may belong to the same price segment. That said, the two generations of the GLC have struck a balance between the modern attributes of a crossover and the traditional elements of an SUV, which contributed largely to their popularity.

Video Source: YouTube/walkoARTvideos

Mercedes-Benz has deployed the first prototypes of the GLC Electric on public roads in Germany (watch the video above), revealing the shape and some early design details of the EQC successor. The upcoming electric SUV has a lower front-end, with the steeply sloping hood, which could lead to improved aerodynamic efficiency. The beltline initiates lower than on the EQC, lending the greenhouse the resemblance of a bird’s beak! The rear overhang appears shorter than that of the EQC.

Expected features

The second-generation Mercedes EQC SUV should have the specifications, features, and design that Americans are most interested in, unlike the current model, which is a conversion of the GLC.


Rivian R1S frunk live image
A frunk could help increase the everyday practicality of the next-gen GLC electric.

The “frunk,” a front storage area that Tesla popularized, has been notably absent in current Mercedes EVs, even those built on the dedicated EV platform known as ‘EVA.’ In EVs equipped with a frunk, customers use the extra space for storing items like charging cables, golf sets, gym bags, carry-on luggage, grocery bags, or even an ice box or portable refrigerator. According to a report by JESMB published on December 26, 2023, future Mercedes EVs will incorporate a frunk, with the GLC EV likely being among the first models to offer this feature.

Solar roof option

Mercedes solar roof panel
The solar roof option can be expected on the next-gen Mercedes EQC and perhaps the C-Class electric version. Image: Mercedes-Benz

Citing Mercedes-Benz R&D chief Markus Schäfer, Autoblog suggests that the next-gen EQC may come with a solar roof option. Schäfer told media after the Mercedes Vision EQXX world premiere in January 2022 that Mercedes-Benz customers will “probably” get to specify their vehicles with uninterrupted glass roofs or solar roofs. Schäfer mentioned that the company wants to use solar panel roofs in its vehicles, “probably starting (in) 2024.”

The Vision EQXX concept car features a solar roof consisting of 117 solar cells. An LFP battery stores the solar energy and supplies it to a climate blower, the lights, the infotainment system, and other ancillaries. The solar roof reduces the energy consumption of the traction battery pack, leading to an increase in the driving range of 25 km (15.5 mi). Mercedes-Benz and its partners are trying to use solar power to charge the traction battery pack, which would allow customers to drive their EVs longer without plugging in.

MBUX Hyperscreen

Mercedes Hyperscreen
The pillar-to-pillar MBUX Hyperscreen that is an option in the EQS and EQE range and should trickle down to the GLC Electric.

Starting in 2024, the full-width display should filter further down the Mercedes range, with the new GLC Electric and the CLA Electric in line to receive the optional feature. In the MBUX Hyperscreen, three separate displays sit beneath a 56-inch, gently curved piece of glass and look like a single display floating on the dashboard. One of the three displays is an LCD unit located in front of the driver and serves as the instrument cluster. Then there’s an OLED central display that supports touch input. The third display is for the front passenger, and that is also an OLED touchscreen.

Made in USA

Production of the next-gen Mercedes EQC SUV is likely to take place at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen, Germany, and the Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (BBAC) in Beijing, China. We don’t say this just based on the fact that these factories made the first-gen EQC. We’ve learned that Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Greater China are hiring to prepare for the production of MB.EA-M platform-based models in these factories.

According to the November 2023 report from Automotive News, Mercedes-Benz plans to manufacture the GLC EV at the Tuscaloosa plant (Alabama) in the U.S. The company may begin making the GLC EV at the American plant in Q1 2026 and manufacture 50,000 units of the same in the first year of production. It will relocate EQS SUV production to the Bremen in the second generation to make room for the GLC Electric.

We think Mercedes-Benz plans to make the GLC Electric in the U.S. so that it can become eligible for the USD 7,500 federal tax credit under the Clean Vehicle Program, or at least a part of it. So, the company will likely heavily localize its components and meet the other requirements of the scheme apart from North American assembly.

Expected Specifications

Battery, Charging & Range

The next-gen Mercedes EQC could come to the U.S. with a lithium-ion battery pack having an energy storage capacity of 90-100 kWh, enough to deliver an EPA-est. range of up to around 325 miles.

The all-new EQC SUV could get Mercedes-Benz Group’s next-gen batteries that are more efficient. The company plans to introduce batteries with an energy density of up to 900 Wh/l in the coming years. That’d be a huge upgrade over its current technology, which peaks at around 550 Wh/l.

The on-board charger could accept alternating current between 11-22 kW. It’s safe to assume competition will pressure Mercedes-Benz to use batteries with a high voltage of around 800 volts, allowing the peak DC charging input to be much higher than the current model (110 kW), easily 270 kW or higher. A 10-80% charging session could be a matter of just around 20 minutes.

800 volts of system voltage gives many advantages, including reduced charging time, higher performance, and reduced cabling weight and installation space. The most important benefit to EQC customers would be ultra-fast charging.


Expect at least two powertrain options: a single-motor unit for efficiency-minded customers and a twin-motor unit for off-roading or added grip on snow-covered roads. With its two motors, the top-end variant should generate a total of 400 horsepower, while the base variant, with a rear motor, may produce 275 to 300 horsepower.

Mercedes AMG-EQC SUV

In addition, we would expect the 43 AMG variant of the EQC SUV to follow shortly thereafter. The line-up could eventually include a 63 AMG variant with up to 700 horsepower. If such a variant is released, it would break the 3.5-second 0-60 mph acceleration time of the Tesla Model Y Performance. For comparison, the previous generation GLC AMG 63 S variant took only 3.6 seconds. The upcoming GLC SUV’s AMG 63 S E Performance variant will achieve that in 3.4 seconds.

AspectNext-gen Mercedes EQC Specification (Expected)
Drivetrain LayoutRWD/AWD
No. of MotorsOne/Two
Total Power275-300 hp/Up to 700 hp
0-60 mph Acceleration Time<3.5 seconds
Top Speed130 mph/Up to 155 mph
Battery Pack~90 kWh lithium-ion
Range (EPA-est.)~325 miles/Up to ~275 miles
Max. AC Charging Power11-22 kW
Max. DC Charging Power270+ kW
Expected next-gen Mercedes EQC SUV specifications

Sustainable materials

Mercedes-Benz is conducting extensive research to make the body, body shell, and interior of its vehicles more sustainable. By the time the next-gen EQC meets production, the company may have new sourcing contracts in place for eco-friendly materials. Unlike the current EQC, which uses a mixture of man-made leather and real leather, the next-gen EQC could come with a completely leather-free interior option. The company is exploring new raw materials such as the cactus-based biomaterial Deserttex.

For customers who prefer genuine leather in their cars, Mercedes-Benz plans to offer sustainably produced and processed genuine leather starting this year. From livestock breeding to tanning, leather production and processing will be under extra scrutiny. Suppliers will need to strictly adhere to environmental conservation laws and abstain from illegal deforestation.

In addition, Mercedes-Benz is looking into commercializing the innovative materials of its concept cars. For example, it is considering using the Vision EQXX’s animal-free silk-like biotechnological textile and its carpets made of bamboo fibers in series-production models. The company will switch to almost entirely CO2-free steel from 2025.

Release date

The Mercedes EQC successor launch in the first markets, which should include the U.S., will take place in 2026. During Mercedes-Benz Group’s Q4 2023 earnings conference call, CEO Ola Källenius said it will arrive after the CLA Electric, which is scheduled to go on sale in 2025.

This (CLA Electric) would be our play in the entry side of the medium (segment), if you will, then followed by MB.EA, which is just you know, a year behind with then the electric GLC and the C class.

Ola Källenius, CEO, Mercedes-Benz Group (Mercedes-Benz Group Q4 2023 earnings conference call on February 22, 2024)

Källenius reaffirmed the launch timeline with more clarity later during the conference call:

If we look at the timing of our (EV) launches, we start launching next year the CLA and it’s one of four (MMA models), as I mentioned before. So, over the coming then about 24-30 months, there will be a family of cars there that then becomes the entry point for Mercedes and followed up by which is probably in premium luxury, the biggest segment – C class and GLC, and we will launch those products in 2026.

Ola Källenius, CEO, Mercedes-Benz Group (Mercedes-Benz Group Q4 2023 earnings conference call on February 22, 2024)

Mercedes EQC discontinued

Business Insider (Germany) reported on July 10, 2022, that Mercedes-Benz will stop manufacturing the EQC in Bremen on May 3, 2023, based on internal documents. When asked about the speculation, the company declined to comment.

In line with the Business Insider report, Mercedes-Benz appears to have stopped manufacturing the EQC at the domestic plant. The company has discontinued the electric SUV in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Norway, Sweden, Australia, and many other markets. In China, however, the EQC is still on sale, but probably not for long. Mercedes EQC production in China was going to end in 2023, according to a report JESMB blog published on July 13, 2022.

On May 5, 2023, citing Marklines data, Handelsblatt reported that the EQC registered just 64,000 units in sales since its introduction in 2019. Mercedes-Benz was estimating such a figure for the EQC’s annual sales, not cumulative, which means the electric SUV wasn’t a successful project for the Germans.

Mercedes to drop the “EQ” branding

The pure-electric equivalent of the Mercedes GLC is unlikely to be named Mercedes EQC in the next generation. Mercedes-Benz is said to drop the EQ branding altogether, simplifying its model nomenclature for customers. In January 2024, speaking to at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Christoph Starzynski suggested that Mercedes-Benz will eventually stop using the EQ suffix in the name of its models. Starzynski is the VP of Development (overall vehicle integration, chassis, NVH, and efficiency) at Mercedes-Benz.

Starzynski suggested that the electric G-Class, set for a 2024 debut, will not bear the “EQG” name or include “EQ” in its badge. Given that the successor to the EQC is expected to be the next electric SUV from the brand, it’s probable that this model will also move away from the soon-to-be phased out “EQ” nomenclature.

TopElectricSUV says

Mercedes is going all out to make the next-gen Mercedes EQC/GLC Electric among the best luxury SUVs within the lower end of the market. In terms of quality, design, and luxury, we expect Stuttgart to make its offering stand out. However, only time can reveal whether the German automaker has done enough to earn the interest of prospective buyers of the Tesla Model Y.

Mercedes EQC (GLC Electric) USA FAQs

What is the Mercedes EQC release date in the USA?

U.S. is reportedly getting the next-gen EQC in 2026. It should boast far superior specs compared to the first-gen.

Which SUVs would the new Mercedes EQC rival?

The GLC Electric will chiefly rival the Polestar 4, Audi Q4 e-tron, Jaguar I-Pace, and the Tesla Model Y.

What is the expected Mercedes GLC EV price?

We expect Mercedes to release the GLC Electric at around USD 60,000.

Featured image: TopElectricSUV’s rendering of the next-gen Mercedes EQC SUV (Mercedes GLC Electric).