Mercedes showed on Tuesday how it is “aggressively” gunning for top spot in upscale battery cars market currently dominated by Tesla, as it unveiled the EQC, its first fully electric car, at an event in Stockholm.
The event marks the start of the German onslaught against the American upstart and showcased a SUV with a 450 kilometer range, distinctively full-width rear light and clean-cut interiors that Mercedes hopes will find favor with luxury customers and tech-savvy millennials alike.
The Germans are now introducing their Tesla fighters as 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.
The Mercedes EQC crossover starts production in the first half of next year, part of a plan to develop its EQ electric line, Daimler AG Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche told reporters in Stockholm at the car’s world premiere.
The company intended to invest 10 billion euros ($12 billion) on the electric-car push, but the spending has become “more than that,” he said Tuesday, without specifying figures.
The car joins the Porsche Taycan, Audi E-tron and Jaguar I-Pace in putting pressure on Tesla as the California-based carmaker struggles to ramp up the Model 3 and make a profit.