Mercedes-Benz isn’t just planning one or two all-electric vehicle options to woo customers away from competitors including BMW and Tesla who are further along with their EV lineups – they have four models in the works, according to sources speaking to Bloomberg. These cars will be offered under a new sub-brand with a new name, per the report.
The first of these will likely come at the Paris Motor Show, which happens in October, and at which Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche has also promised an electric vehicle from the company will be revealed. But Bloomberg says the lineup will include two electric SUVs, and two electric sedans, all of which are currently set to go to market by 2020. The first, which is the one that we’ll apparently see at the Paris show, will be an SUV, with an impressive max range of about 500 km (310 miles) on one charge.
This prototype vehicle, if it indeed boasts that kind of range in addition to the cargo capacity advantages of a sport utility, would have a lot of potential among EV competitors. Tesla’s Model X, which is the closest production vehicle comparable to what it sounds like Mercedes is going to reveal, notably hits the exact same max range when the 250-257 mile on the P90 and P90D variants is translated into the European testing method.
Of course, there are a lot of caveats there, not least of which is that the Mercedes truck doesn’t actually exist yet, while Tesla is shipping Model X units to customers. We also don’t know much about the German automaker’s consumer plans beyond what Bloomberg is reporting – though the results of its efforts in transport trucks is a promising sign it has its legs underneath it when it comes to electric drivetrains and battery tech.
Mercedes has the hybrid E-Class and the electric drive option B-Class in terms of existing electric vehicles, but the B-Class boasts a max range of just 87 miles, so it’s not exactly a Model S killer. In general, more EV competition in the consumer space is good for the entire market, so here’s hoping Mercedes does indeed have some strong offerings that actually hit the roads over the next few years.