German carmakers charged and ready to tackle Tesla

Next year, Mercedes, a division of Daimler, will introduce the EQS, a battery-powered counterpart, to the company’s leading S-Class. The EQS, which costs more than $ 100,000, will be the first vehicle to be built with Mercedes’ so-called electric vehicle architecture, the same idea as Volkswagen’s modular toolbox.

Daimler says the EQS will be able to travel 700 kilometers, or 435 miles, at a cost. It will be slightly more than the current Tesla S. In 2022, Daimler will introduce additional models based on the electric vehicle platform, including a battery-powered SUV, which will be manufactured at the factory in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

BMW is slower than its competitors to offer luxury electric vehicles. The company was a pioneer in 2014 with the battery-powered i3 compact, but it never caught up with buyers. BMW plans to launch its own pure electric platform only in 2025, but rather offer electrified versions of its conventional models.

Pieter Nota, BMW’s chief marketing officer, told reporters in November that the company would not expect sales of electric vehicles to increase until 2025. “That’s why we were starting our battery-centric platform by that time,” he said.

After Tesla stole a significant market share of vehicles such as the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C-Class, it showed some vulnerability. Sales of the Model 3 in Europe have been basically flat over the past few months after it definitely sold out to European carmakers last year. The Renault Zoe, a utility compact designed for urban use, surpassed the Model 3 to become the top-selling car in Europe for the first ten months of 2020.

Volkswagen is trying to undermine Tesla’s leadership in battery technology. The company has invested $ 300 million in QuantumScape, a Silicon Valley-based company that develops solid-state batteries. If the new type of battery can be perfected and manufactured, it will cost less, charge faster and go beyond current technology.