As part of its effort to take on Tesla Inc., Mercedes-Benz Group AG has introduced an electric vehicle with a more excellent range than any Tesla Inc. model now available.
An almost-production CLA car prototype had a range of over 750 kilometers (466 miles) per charge, surpassing Tesla’s upgraded Model 3. In just 15 minutes, the car’s battery system can add 400 kilometers to its range, making it the first Mercedes built on the company’s forthcoming EV architecture.
“We’re taking it to the next level,” Mercedes CTO Markus Schäfer said in an interview on Sunday, days before the IAA car show in Munich. According to the designers, “This car is essential for innovation reasons and to push the limits of what we can do with a series car.”
Mercedes is under the need to improve its product line after weak sales in China resulted in price reductions for several of its electric vehicles.
BMW Unveils Stylish Electric Coupe Concept
This past Saturday, BMW AG debuted its own next-generation electric vehicle, a stylish coupe with a digital display that spans the entire width of the windscreen. The production versions of both the BMW concept and the Mercedes EV of the future will hit the roads around the middle of this decade.
Mercedes hopes to increase sales and counteract the growing popularity of domestic rivals in China, where companies like BYD Co. and Nio Inc. have proven to be more adept at producing electric vehicles (EVs) with software tailored to local tastes. The corporation wants to establish eight battery plants with partners by the end of this decade and has a goal of selling entirely EVs where practicable.
Unlike the EQS and EQE sedans, the CLA concept has no curved roof. While their increased range is a direct result of their aerodynamic design, the low roofline significantly limits passenger comfort in the back seat. That’s a problem in the high-end Chinese market, where many consumers like to be driven around.
To increase profits, CEO Ola Källenius plans to move production away from less lucrative entry-level models like the tiny A-Class and instead concentrate on high-end vehicles like the Maybach limousines, AMG performance cars, and G-Wagon offroader.
To compete with volume manufacturers like Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor Corp., Mercedes-Benz is aiming for the entry-level luxury category with the introduction of the new CLA concept.