As the German luxury-car maker intensifies its challenge to Tesla Inc., Mercedes-Benz Group AG unveiled an electric car with a longer range than any Tesla Inc. model.
The company presented a near-production concept of its CLA sedan rated to go more than 750 kilometers (466 miles) on a single charge, beating Tesla’s updated Model 3. With a battery system that can add 400 kilometers of range in just 15 minutes, Mercedes’s first EV /mercedes electric car based on its upcoming EV underpinnings can be powered by.
Ahead of the IAA car show in Munich, Mercedes Chief Technology Officer Markus Schäfer said, “We’re taking it to the next level. “This car is extremely important for innovation reasons and to push the limits of what we can do with a series car.”
After reducing prices on some of its electric models due to disappointing sales in China, Mercedes is under pressure to bolster its lineup.
BMW AG on Saturday unveiled its own next-generation electric vehicle, a sleek coupe with a full-screen digital display. Both cars are due to go into production around the middle of this decade.
With customers increasingly choosing homegrown brands such as BYD Co. and Nio Inc. that have built EVs with software geared to local tastes, Mercedes is trying to fight Tesla and boost sales in China. As part of its plan to establish eight battery factories with partners, the company plans to sell only EVs by the end of this decade.
There is no bowed roof line on the CLA concept like it does on the EQS and EQE sedans. While the low-slung roof makes them more aerodynamic, it reduces rear seat headroom. That’s a drawback in the Chinese market, where wealthy customers often prefer chauffeured rides.
According to Chief Executive Officer Ola Källenius, the company intends to boost margins by focusing on top-end vehicles such as Maybach limousines, AMG performance cars, and G-Wagon offroaders, while avoiding entry-level models such as the compact A-Class, which are less profitable.
In the entry-level luxury segment, Mercedes tries to compete with volume manufacturers like Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor Corp. with its new CLA concept.