Technology just took a giant leap with Mercedes-Benz rolling out a brand new fully electric car to challenge Tesla.
European auto industry observers believe that the US made Tesla will be seriously challenged by the likes of Mercedes Benz, BMW and Audi in the luxury car market and Ford and GMH in the mass market.
At this stage the specs appear to be “pretty ordinary”.
While the Mercedes EQC looks like it’s aimed at Tesla’s Model X SUV the specs say that Mercedes still has some catching up to do.
The EQC’s range on a single charge is just 200 miles, versus as much as 295 miles for the Model X. It goes from zero to 60 in 5 seconds, versus 4.7 seconds for the Model X. And the EQC’s top speed is capped at 111 mph, versus 130 mph for the Model X.
At IFA in Berlin several analysts said that Tesla is about to face a brutally competitive landscape. Later this month, BMW, Audi and Volvo are all slated to unveil their own electric models.
Tesla has had virtually no competition up to now, enabling it to persuade early adopters to pay a premium for its pioneering cars. That’s despite Tesla’s short manufacturing history, which has been dogged by delays and hiccups.
German carmakers, meanwhile, have a century of manufacturing behind them, with sterling brands and an existing customer base in the millions. Their new models are coming to the market as Tesla faces questions about its ability to generate cash and expand production.
Mercedes CEO Dieter Zetsche said on Tuesday he hopes electric cars will make up 15 to 25 percent of its sales by 2025. He noted that he sees Tesla as a competitor to the Germans as it has been “very successful in the price bracket they were addressing”.
Consumers are beginning to adopt electric cars on a larger scale, driven by regulations that are making their diesel-guzzling variants more expensive and electric cars becoming cheaper and easier to own.
Fielding questions about whether the company could launch more variants as the electric market explodes, Zetsche said that the planned 10 electric variants would already allow Daimler to cater to 60 percent of its relevant electric cars market.
“My understanding is, when we’re listening to the public and our competitors, that (our targets) are aggressive side rather than the defensive side,” he told reporters.