Mercedes-Benz has introduced the GLB’s battery-powered alter-ego at the 2021 Shanghai auto show. Named EQB, it’s closely related to its gasoline-burning sibling, but it receives a redesigned front end and an electric drivetrain.
As its name implies, the EQB is to the GLB what the EQA is to the GLA; it also slots between the EQA and the EQC in the German firm’s growing range of electric crossovers. It’s easy to tell the EQB apart from the GLB, because Mercedes-Benz gave it an electric-specific look defined by sharp, swept-back headlights and a black panel instead of the gasoline-powered GLB’s grille. Out back, the lights are connected by a strip of LEDs.
Mercedes-Benz developed the GLB with an electric powertrain in mind, so the crossover keeps the attributes that make it one of the most versatile models in its segment. It seats up to seven passengers (though the third row is best left to those 5’4″ and under), and its boxy proportions allowed designers to maximize interior space. From the driver’s seat, only new-look gauges set the EQB and the GLB apart; they’re otherwise identical.
Specifications will vary from market to market. At launch, buyers in China will have a single, well-equipped (and correspondingly high-priced) model to choose from. It will offer motorists the sport-looking AMG Line package and a 288-horsepower electric powertrain. In Europe, where the market is more price-sensitive, Mercedes-Benz will make front- and all-wheel-drive models available, and the portfolio will include several trim levels.
European-spec EQBs will be built on a 66.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, and the EQB 350 4Matic offers a 260-mile driving range, according to the WLTP testing cycle, which leans towards the optimistic side of the scale. Mercedes-Benz wrote that it’s also planning on releasing a long-range version, but it stopped short of providing additional details like which battery pack it will use and what other changes it will make.
“China is not only the most important passenger car sales region for us, it is also the world’s leading market for electric cars,” said Hubertus Troska, Daimler’s board member in charge of the Greater China region.
Mercedes-Benz will begin building the EQB in Beijing, China, later in 2021. It will bring the model to the United States in 2022, and a spokesperson confirmed to Autoblog that our version of the crossover will be manufactured in Kecskemét, Hungary. Market-specific information (like pricing and range) will be released this fall.