If you’re going to sell cars in 2030, you’re going to need to sell a lot of electric cars. If you’re going to sell cars in the UK in a few years, you’re going to need to sell a lot of electric cars. Those of us who realize that are eyeing the current, new, and soon-arriving electric offerings and considering how well they compete.
A first glance at the brand new Mercedes-Benz EQA, arriving in the spring, has me feeling a little tingly. It’s a good offering. It should help to leave many fossil-powered luxury crossovers on the dealer lot, or not produced at all.
It’s natural to compare an electric Mercedes to the market leader, Tesla, and I’ll do that briefly, but I don’t think there’s a ton of cross-shopping between the brands. I think they have largely different customer profiles due to quite different brand appeal. But, briefly: The Mercedes-Benz EQA’s base price is very similar to the Tesla Model 3’s base price in the UK, which is very similar to expected Model Y base pricing. Tesla offers more advanced tech (esp. infotainment), but Mercedes offers a more luxurious auto build (esp. better sound proofing). Tesla’s the newest, hottest face of tech, whereas Mercedes-Benz offers deep luxury legacy. So, again, it comes down to which of these brands and which features pull a consumer in the most.
However, much more than pulling from Tesla, I think the Mercedes-Benz EQA will pull from fossil-fueled Mercedes-Benz models. It offers fans of Mercedes who are not as “cutting edge” as typical software engineers a nice opportunity to enter the electric era and be at the front of their consumer/cultural cohort.
Here are a few more details about the fully electric Mercedes-Benz EQA models going on sale now in the UK:
- EQA 250 Sport — priced from £40,495 on-the-road including the plug-in car grant (£43,495 excluding PiCG).
- EQA 250 AMG Line — priced from £41,995 (£44,995 excluding PiCG).
Both versions have:
- 263 miles of range on a full charge (WLTP)
- 66.5 kWh battery
- 100 kW DC onboard charger (possible to charge from 10% to 80% in ~40 minutes)
- 11 kW home charging possible (10% to 100% in 5 hours & 45 minutes)
The Mercedes also has a smart navigation feature that takes most of the thought out of charging on a road trip: “Navigation with Electric Intelligence – included as standard on both trim levels –calculates the route that will get the driver to their destination fastest, taking into account charging times, and taking the stress out of route planning.”
And the EQA comes with a bonus charging subscription for the first 3 years in the “Mercedes me Charge” program.
You do have to pay £3000 more for a Premium package to get the following, and this options is only available on the AMG Line:
- electrically-operated panoramic glass sunroof
- Keyless-Go Comfort package
- augmented reality navigation system
- advanced sound system
- wireless charging for compatible smartphones
- 19-inch AMG five-twin-spoke alloy wheels.
One step up from that if you want the full works is the Premium Plus package, which costs £6000 instead of £3000. With the Premium Plus package, you get everything in the list above except that you get 20-inch AMG multi-spoke alloy wheels instead of the 19-inch wheels, and you also get:
- parking package with 360° camera
- electrically adjustable damping suspension with speed-sensitive steering
- Burmester Surround Sound System
- electrically adjustable front seats with memory function
- head-up display
- MBUX Interior Assistant with gesture control.
That’s one freakin’ appealing electric crossover. It should make many a Mercedes fan happy to join the electric revolution, assuming that Mercedes builds enough of these to meet demand. In January 2021, 13.7% of new automobile sales were sales of plugin vehicles, nearly 7% were due to Brits buying fully electric vehicles. The market is growing fast, and premium-class buyers will increasingly desire the new hottest tech and will demand fully electric powertrains. Mercedes has brought an attractive option to market for those on the lookout for a small/medium-sized, luxurious crossover.
I don’t expect Mercedes-Benz buyers are hyper focused on cost, but it’s also worth noting that the Mercedes-Benz EQA will have a lower cost of ownership for many buyers than a competing fossil-powered Mercedes-Benz in that class (which Mercedes is, unfortunately, still pushing). The lower operational costs (lower price of “fuel” as well as less maintenance) and plug-in car grant help to make that the expected reality for many consumers, and a higher resale value is probably also likely. Plus, you can drive the EQA into London at no charge!
All Mercedes-Benz EQA images courtesy of Mercedes-Benz.
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