Wednesday, October 05, 2016
Mercedes enters electric market
Electric cars are a thing of “now” not the future, at least that’s the story several American and international automakers want consumers to believe. While the market for electric cars is still small and specialized, fully electric automakers like Tesla are making strides, and traditionally combustion-driven companies are investing heavily in R&D for the future of auto manufacturing.
The latest to enter the market: Mercedes-Benz, who unveiled a concept for an electric SUV at the recent Paris Auto Show. M-B spokesmen say it will be the first in a full line of fully electric vehicles. And it made a big splash? Why? Because, instead of a smaller car, like many other companies have put out or proposed, Mercedes-Benz is swinging for the fences with a smaller SUV called the Generation EQ.
The model comes with other design changes and bells and whistles as well. An all but seamless body design, hidden wipers, and cameras that replace the exterior mirrors. Instead of a grill, the Generation EQ has a light panel, which can “display” various shapes and images.
The internal instrumentation panel is also a step forward in design. No knobs and switches anywhere. It’s all controlled by a touchscreen, making the entire vehicle function like a massive smartphone. Another innovation? The SUV will offer optional autonomous drive mode.
One of the biggest questions fully-electric vehicles get is “how far” … well, Mercedes is claiming the EQ will be able to travel up to 300 miles on a single charge. But perhaps the biggest news of the release is the price. According to Mercedes, the EQ could run about $50,000, moderate for a Mercedes of any kind and much less than other comparably equipped fully-electric vehicles.
While Mercedes has yet to offer a release date for the EQ, company spokesmen told CNN the entire lineup is expected to be on the road by 2025. From “none” to a full line in less than a decade? A bold claim, but one Mercedes is embracing as it hopes to become an industry leader in the electric car marketplace.