Mercedes-Benz presented an electric vehicle with a range greater than any Tesla model on the market, as the German luxury carmaker steps up its bid to challenge Elon Musk.
The company presented a near-production concept of its CLA sedan capable of traveling more than 750 kilometers (466 miles) on a charge, surpassing the revamped Tesla Model 3.
The car is the first from Mercedes based on its upcoming electric vehicle bases, with a battery system that can add 400 kilometers of range in just 15 minutes of charging.
“We are taking it to the next level,” Mercedes chief technology officer Markus Schäfer said Sunday in an interview before the show. IAA car in Munich.
“This car is extremely important for reasons of innovation and to push the limits of what we can do with a production car.”
Mercedes is under pressure to bolster its lineup after disappointing sales in China They forced the company to reduce the prices of some of its electric models.
However, fhigh some time for the new CLA and won’t hit showrooms until the first half of 2025, CEO Ola Källenius said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.
BMW AG on Saturday unveiled its own next-generation electric vehicle, a sleek coupe that features a digital screen projected across the full width of the windshield. He BMW prototype will also take until mid-decade to go on sale.
Mercedes is trying to fend off Tesla and boost sales in China, where customers are increasingly opting for local brands like BYD and Nio that they have been better at building electric vehicles with software tailored to local tastes.
The company aims to sell only electric vehicles where possible by the end of this decade and plans to establish eight battery factories with partners.
While the luxury car maker is not affected by a electric vehicle price war in Chinathe period of rapid growth in the largest automotive market may be over, Källenius said.
“After 30 or 40 years of economic wonder, they are reaching a level of maturity where structural issues are being faced,” he said. “We have to take a bit of a cautious stance on this and see how things develop, and not expect rapid growth as far as the economy is concerned in the short term.”
The CLA concept lacks the arched roofline of the brand’s EQS and EQE sedans. While their low roof makes them more aerodynamic, increasing their range, the design also reduces headroom in the rear seat compartment. This is a drawback in the Chinese market, where wealthy clients often prefer to have a driver.
Mercedes is pursuing a strategy to shore up margins by focusing its resources on high-end vehicles, including Maybach limousines, AMG performance cars and the G-Wagon off-roader, while moving away from less profitable entry-level models like the compact Class. TO.
The new CLA concept sets out how the manufacturer will try defend its position in the luxury segment basic, where Mercedes tries to attract younger customers, competing with high-volume manufacturers such as Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor.