Mercedes to Challenge Tesla with First Fully Electric Vehicle

On Tuesday, Mercedes showed how aggressive it is in trying to take over the top spot in the electric car market that Tesla currently dominates after unveiling its EQC, the first fully electric vehicle for the automaker, during an event held in Stockholm.

The unveiling marked the start of an onslaught by the German automaker against U.S. based Tesla and showcased a full-sized SUV that has a 450-kilometer range, that Mercedes is betting on will become popular with tech savvy millennials and luxury customers alike.

Daimler’s goal is to have as many as 10 electric car variants before the end of 2022, a target that was reiterated Tuesday by CEO Dieter Zetsche. The automaker wants the EQC and other electric vehicles to represent between 15% and 25% of its entire sales by 2025.

The German automaker has introduced its new EV as consumers begin adopting the electric vehicles on a larger scale, brought on by regulations that will make their diesel and gasoline powered variants far more expensive as electric alternatives become less expensive and easier buy.

The Daimler CEO while answering questions about whether the carmaker could launch additional variants as the EV market explodes said the plan of 10 electric models would allow Daimler to cater to more than 60% of the electric car market.

Tesla has had little or no competition until now. That has allowed it to become the leader in the industry and persuade the early EV adopters to pay a higher price for an electric vehicle from a company that is relatively unknown, with no track record for quality or a physical dealership for support and servicing.

However, the German automaker has over 100 years of car manufacturing to support it, with excellent brands and a customer base that reaches the millions and the new EV variants are close to hitting the market as Tesla grapples with doubts about the ability it has to generate enough cash and manage scaling of its overall production.

On Tuesday, Zetsche said that Tesla would be Mercedes’ competitor in the EV market as it has been hugely successful in the price range they addressed.

He added that he did not consider any of the three current Tesla models to be direct competition to the new EQC.

However, Zetsche did not say what initial production volumes would be for the EQC, but said that the production would remain flat.