Mercedes Won’t Offer An Electric Crossover Anytime Soon
In the beginning months of 2016, Tesla plans to release its all-electric, battery-powered SUV known as the 2016 Tesla Model X. So it’s no surprise that other automakers are already up to the electric SUV challenge. Kia has already launched the 2015 Kia Soul EV in the U.S, and Audi has confirmed that it will release the all-electric Q6 SUV by 2018. With Audi coming to the market, one might expect Mercedes to join the pack sooner than later, but that isn’t the case.
Dieter Zetsche – the Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Division – says that Tesla is too small for Mercedes to consider it a competitor, so Mercedes doesn’t have any serious plans to join the market right now. The bottom line is that Audi is still a few years out from releasing the 2017 Audi Q6 e-tron, and any word of BMW coming to the all-electric SUV market is purely speculation. Both companies are major competitors of Mercedes though, so if they do come to the plate and perform well, Mercedes might step up too. According to Zetsche, MB does find the idea of an all-electric SUV interesting and will be watching its competition. When the time comes, the decision to join the market will depend on what is best for the brand.
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Why it matters
Mercedes has already stepped into the all-electric market with the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive, but it only pulls a range of 87 miles on a full charge. That is short when compared to the expected range of the Q6 from Audi or Tesla’s Model X. Even if it makes an all-electric version of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC, Mercedes will have to improve its technology before being competitive. The thing I find shocking is that Mercedes doesn’t consider Tesla to be a competitor. Zetsche might want to change that approach if he plans to increase the brand’s presence in the all-electric market. Tesla may pale in comparison to MB as far as size and sales go, but as far as the electric car market is concerned, I think it’s a major competitor.
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