In a move which is probably 10 years later than initially expected, Mercedes-Benz has announced plans to introduce an array of electric vehicles by 2020. This is a company which has been at the cutting edge of technology and luxury car travel but for some reason seems to have rejected electric vehicles until now. As the industry moves towards the mass market all of the major car manufacturers have been forced to reconsider their electric vehicle investment strategies with consumers becoming less concerned about range capacity and more concerned about long-term savings.
What can we expect from Mercedes-Benz?
While other automobile companies have launched electric vehicles under existing brand names it is believed that Mercedes will be introducing a sub brand focused wholly on electric vehicles. We should hear more about their plans at the Paris Motor Show in October but it does seem that finally Mercedes-Benz is getting serious.
So far we know there will be four electric vehicles in this range, two electric SUVs and two electric sedans, which will be aimed at the luxury end of the mass market. There are strong rumours that the first electric car will be an SUV with a journey capacity of 500 km/310 miles per charge. If the rumours about this particular prototype vehicle are correct then it would be a serious challenger to the likes of Tesla who have, in the minds of many, had the industry far too much their own way so far.
What has changed?
It is difficult to pinpoint any particular issue which has prompted this dramatic refocusing of Mercedes-Benz towards the electric car industry. It may have something to do with the ongoing emission scandal hitting the industry, it may have something to do with new technology we are not yet aware of or it could simply be moving with the trend. However, what we do know from history is that when Mercedes-Benz decides to move lock stock and barrel towards a new technology then significant money will be made available.
Even though Tesla has grabbed the headlines of late it is interesting to see some experts are questioning the strength of the company’s balance sheet. This is not issue with the likes of Mercedes-Benz and it may well be that a better funded company could be a serious challenger to Tesla. As we have mentioned on numerous occasions, Elon Musk seems to announce new ideas and strategies on a regular basis while not always dotting the eyes and crossing the T’s of his previous ideas.
The future of EVs
The future of the electric car market has changed dramatically even over the last few weeks as leading contenders jostle for position. The US government recently announced a major investment in electric car charging stations and other governments around the world are following suit. It may well be something as simple as confidence in a new charging network which has prompted leading lights of the automobile industry to take a serious look at the electric car sector. However, Tesla is still by far and away the leading light in the industry but the likes of Mercedes-Benz will not settle for second best!