Mercedes Looks to Battle Tesla with an Electric S-Class

Posted by at 1:50 pm on April 12, 2018

Mercedes-Benz is developing a battery-powered sedan about the size of its $90,000 flagship S class, challenging Tesla’s Model S for high-end electric-car buyers.

The new full-size sedan, dubbed EQ S, will be part of Daimler’s push to introduce 10 all-electric vehicles by 2022, CEO Dieter Zetsche said Wednesday during the presentation of the revamped Mercedes A-class hatchback in Split, Croatia.
The EQ line will be flanked by plug-in hybrid models offering a “totally different” battery range than today, while conventional vehicles will feature so-called mild hybrids with 48-volt technology in a shift away from pure combustion power. “All vehicles will be electrified,” Zetsche said.

Mercedes had record deliveries and profit last year as it defended the global top luxury spot against BMW’s namesake brand and Volkswagen AG’s Audi marque. But surging costs for the development of battery-powered cars and new digital offerings, plus possible trade barriers in the U.S. and China — Mercedes’s two largest markets — threaten to weigh on profit margins.

“We have to increase flexibility in local production as the world in general has become more volatile,” Zetsche said. He reiterated it was too early to comment on potential risks from trade barriers, adding that recent developments in Russia related to stricter planned U.S. sanctions coincided with more encouraging signals in China about potentially easing rules for outside investors.

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