FRANKFURT: Daimler AG on Thursday (Apr 15) unveiled a battery-powered counterpart to its top Mercedes-Benz luxury sedan as German carmakers ramp up their challenge to electric upstart Tesla.
The EQS is the first Mercedes-Benz vehicle to be built on a framework designed from the start as an electric car, rather than using components from an internal-combustion vehicle.
Mercedes underscored the car's technological features by equipping it with a sweeping touchscreen panel that stretches across the entire front of the car's interior in place of a conventional dashboard. Tesla and other carmakers are also adding large screens to their interiors.
The EQS is the sibling to the company's S-Class large internal-combustion sedan, the luxury brands flagship model that sells for US$110,000 and up. The two cars aim at the same upper end of the market, though the EQS is set apart by being build on the company's electric-vehicle architecture, or EVA. Mercedes isn't saying yet how much the EQS will cost when it reaches customers later this year.
Daimler said the vehicle will get 770 kilometres on a full charge under testing standard used in the European Union. The company is offering a year's free charging through Ionity, a network of highway charging stations built by a group of major automakers.
German carmakers were slower to develop all-electric models until tougher environmental regulations and sales lost to California-based Tesla pushed them to ramp up their efforts. Volkswagen sold 422,000 electric vehicles last year and developed the ID.3, a compact it hopes will win over mass-market buyers, while its Porsche division has come out with the Taycan sports car. BMW launched the iX3 electric SUV.