As if accidents involving its cars on Autopilot aren’t bad enough, Tesla now has more to worry about in the form of some formidable rivals. Even as the upcoming electric car poses a serious threat to its Model S, the high profile electric carmaker’s Model X SUV will now have to take on none other than mighty Mercedes-Benz. The German behemoth has unveiled a new, all-electric SUV concept named Generation EQ at the Paris Motor Show.
Shaped as a coupé SUV, it’s powered by two electric motors with a total system output that can be increased to up to 300kW thanks to scalable battery components. Boasting permanent all-wheel drive, it also promises a range of up to 500 kilometres. The Generation EQ is also the precursor of a new electric vehicle range that will be marketed under the brand name EQ. Incidentally, the name EQ stands for ‘Electric Intelligence’ and is also a nod to Mercedes-Benz brand values of ‘Emotion and Intelligence’. Much like Volkswagen, Mercedes also aims to have a line-up of at least 10 electric vehicles, from SUVS to saloons to convertibles, on the road by 2025. “The mobility of the future at Mercedes-Benz will stand on four pillars: Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric. ‘Generation EQ’ is the logical fusion of all four pillars,” says Dr Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “The emission-free automobile is the future. And our new EQ brand goes far beyond electric vehicles. EQ stands for a comprehensive electric ecosystem of services, technologies and innovations,” he adds.
Zetsche also said the decision to launch the EV family with an SUV was because this is the most popular class of vehicles in the brand’s customer base. “Since we want customers to love electric cars we will start with the cars they love most.”
The high-efficiency lithium-ion battery made by Daimler subsidiary Deutsche Accumotive, is ready both for charging at home by induction or wallbox and for fast charging. It will also benefit from significantly reduced charging times that will follow the introduction of fast charging by the new European charging standard called Combined Charging System. With increased charging capacity of up to 300kW, the EQ will have sufficient power for 100 emission-free kilometres from a recharge of five minutes.
The best bit though is that Mercedes says the SUV will be priced in the same range as its GLC Crossover, which means it will be less than half the price of the Model X.