Benz is taking the fight to Tesla with an ambitious new-car model onslaught. Past experience suggests they won’t find many buyers, though.
Benz is taking the fight to Tesla with an ambitious new-car model onslaught. Past experience suggests they won’t find many buyers, though.

Mercedes’ huge gamble on electric vehicles

The electric car revolution is about to get a big jolt of energy.

Mercedes-Benz has just announced plans to dramatically increase its electric car range - growing its suite of luxury zero-emissions vehicles by six.

The ambitious plan includes a wide range of electric vehicles in different sizes and body shapes.

Mercedes-Benz will start building three new electric cars by the end of next year.
Mercedes-Benz will start building three new electric cars by the end of next year.

One of the first vehicles to launch is the EQS based on the flagship S-Class sedan, which will launch internationally in 2021.

The EQS will be built on a new electric platform that will spawn a zero-emissions version of the E-Class sedan and the GLE and GLS SUVs.

Mercedes claims the EQS will have a range up to 700km, which is about 180km more than the Tesla Model X Long Range - but Tesla uses the tougher NEDC testing method.

Benz is currently putting the EQS through extensive testing with special attention paid to the battery according to the brand.

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS concept car in Melbourne.
Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS concept car in Melbourne.

Styling was previewed by the futuristic looking 2019 Vision EQS concept car.

Christoph Starzynski, head of Benz's electric car program said: "The EQS has already piled up far more than two million test kilometres from the heat of South Africa to the cold of Northern Sweden."

"The EQS will be the S-Class of electric vehicles. That is why it is undergoing the same demanding development program as any other vehicle that has the privilege of proudly bearing the three-pointed star.

"In addition, there were quite a few tests specifically for electric cars that cover important development priorities such as range, charging and efficiency".

Mercedes-Benz is currently in late stages of testing for its EQS electric car.
Mercedes-Benz is currently in late stages of testing for its EQS electric car.

In addition to this the German giant will build two compact SUVs - the EQA and EQB based on the GLA small SUV and the GLB compact seven-seat SUV.

Mercedes-Benz expects the EQA to enter production later this year and the EQB will follow in 2021.

If Mercedes-Benz manages to get these vehicles to market in the next few years they would have one of the most comprehensive electric car line-ups in the world.

The Mercedes -Benz EQC is currently on sale in Australia.
The Mercedes -Benz EQC is currently on sale in Australia.

The brand launched its first EV, the EQC mid-size SUV, at the end of last year.

The EQC has experienced slow sales, moving about 90 examples through the first nine months of the year, which can partly be attributed to the high price of about $150,000 drive-away.

Mercedes sells the EQC in Australia through a controversial structure parallel to the dealer network. There's no haggling - you pay a fixed price to the Australian HQ, bypassing conventional sales models.

Originally published as Mercedes' huge gamble on electric vehicles