Mercedes Pointer to EVs as Mainstream

The market for all-electric luxury vehicles is starting to heat up, with Daimler announcing a battery-powered Mercedes crossover SUV as BMW and Audi prepare their own new models.

Daimler unveiled the Mercedes EQC in Stockholm, kicking off a line of new electric vehicles called EQ and is claimed to be investing around $12Bn in the new EV strategy.

Meanwhile, BMW reportedly has begun taking orders in Norway for its iX3 small SUV, which is due to go into production in 2020. Later this month, Audi will unveil its e-tron all-electric SUV, which went into mass production in Brussels this week.

Tesla has had the luxury range of the all-electric market largely to itself since it released the Model S sedan in 2012. Since then, the Silicon Valley start-up’s unlikely success has proved the high-end can be a good place to start in marketing the next generation of vehicle power plants, with a distinctive brand and swoopy lines, at least.

With some of the company’s biggest traditional-car rivals now stepping up with their own luxury models, all-electric is on the verge of becoming a mainstream segment of the luxury car market. Along with Tesla’s Model X, there’s the Jaguar I-Pace and the Audi E-Quattro to contend with.

EQC production will begin next year in Bremen, Germany. Beijing Benz, a joint venture between Mercedes parent company Daimler and China’s BAIC, is also gearing up to produce the vehicle.

— Stephen Lawson is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. Follow him on Twitter @sdlawsonmedia.

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