Mercedes-Benz’s EQ Sub-Brand Aims to Launch a completely new Electric design Every Year
Mercedes-Benz, with the introduction of an entire completely new sub-brand called EQ—teased by This specific Generation EQ concept via the Paris auto show earlier This specific fall—is actually committing to electric vehicles for the long haul. The launch of Mercedes-Benz’s first EQ design won’t happen until calendar year 2019—almost three years out. from the meantime, there’s much work to be done to put the completely new sub-brand on the map, not just with the electric vehicles themselves although with the apps, connectivity, in addition to the interface.
that will’s where the whole EQ ecosystem comes into play. Just in case you’ve been living in a Westfalia in addition to still use a flip phone, no, “ecosystem” doesn’t mean we’re talking about annual rainfall, soil erosion, in addition to a delicate balance of species, although rather a holistic, Apple-like integration of This specific all. This specific’s no longer the exception although the expectation that will everything will work in harmony: hardware in addition to software, car in addition to smartphone, driving in addition to being driven, owning in addition to sharing. Every company is actually talking ecosystem nowadays—so much to ensure there are even wannabe automakers who are boasting about their vehicle ecosystem long before they offer a car.
There will be plenty of EQ ecosystem to tease in addition to the cars, we learned in a recent interview with Mercedes Cars’ vice president of sales in addition to product management, Matthias Lührs. in addition to while EQ will offer a different user experience, the vehicles themselves are seen as a natural extension of Mercedes-Benz’s electrification strategy, according to Lührs, so the first step toward EQ will be the introduction of plug-in-hybrid versions of every single vehicle from the Mercedes-Benz design range by 2020. “via next year onward, we’ll have 10 vehicles as such—the broadest design range of plug-in hybrids from the luxury market,” he said. “in addition to we see huge customer demand in that will respect.”
Lührs said the success of EQ—in addition to the effort ramping up to This specific—depends on three things: customer demand, infrastructure, in addition to regulations. “We see that will more customers are asking for electric vehicles, although the total number is actually still very modest—between 2 in addition to 5 percent of the market.”
Although the automaker is actually calling EQ a sub-brand, This specific won’t be limited to just a core design or two like BMW’s i sub-brand. Following the GLC-sized electric crossover—the EQC, we’ll call This specific—the EQ range will be expanded using a completely new design about every year after that will, according to Lührs, effectively becoming a full-line brand. Some of them will ride on conventional platforms, while others will have shared underpinnings with Mercedes-Benz types; all of them will have distinct sheetmetal in addition to EQ-exclusive Internal layouts. “In all, we’re planning to have 10 all-electric vehicles from the next eight or nine years,” he said.
Among the major German automakers, Volkswagen Group in addition to BMW have made major investments to help bolster in addition to support existing U.S. vehicle-charging networks. Mercedes-Benz hasn’t made any such commitments yet in addition to will need a charging solution to bring into its EQ brand, although This specific’s something Lührs can’t discuss at This specific point.
“Obviously, in This specific industry, everyone—including Tesla—is actually still learning, in addition to so everybody is actually still talking to everybody,” conceded Lührs. “This specific’s too early to say that will This specific has already been decided in addition to we’re only talking to This specific supplier or that will.”
in addition to, of course, the ecosystem does have to fit in here somewhere. “Connected vehicles, autonomous vehicles, shared services, we call This specific an ecosystem . . . we see interdependencies,” summed up Lührs, who pointed to those as core ideas for the EQ brand. in addition to we might see some signs of that will ecosystem—from the form of EQ-branded home-charging hardware, or perhaps an app, prior to the GLC-sized all-electric crossover that will will arrive in 2019.
Although the sharing aspect of the EQ brand won’t fully take form for a few years, This specific will most definitely gather via Daimler’s experience with its car-sharing subsidiary Car2Go—which right now competes with BMW’s ReachNow in addition to GM’s Maven, among others, in addition to will soon face Volvo’s Lynk & Co, itself a sub-brand of stand-alone sharing-oriented vehicles. “With Car2Go, we are one of the pioneers—if not the pioneer—also with pure electric vehicles [with the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive in some markets],” said Lührs. “We will further expand on that will, in addition to with the Car2Go brand we have a very not bad field where we can test in addition to see what customers are preferring, in addition to then hopefully build on that will, in addition to that will is actually part of the whole ecosystem of EQ.
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“Imagine one day—let’s say, at the latest, in 2025—there might be a completely new EQ S-class coming around the corner, in addition to you’re calling This specific through your EQ app. the vehicle will be picking you up, driving autonomously from the garage, in addition to then picking up the next person. We’re talking about car sharing here—fewer cars on the road, a very friendly ecosystem, in addition to very convenient. You don’t have to call Uber. You call your EQ.”
What Lührs described sounds remarkably close to the vision of, well, almost every various other automaker nowadays. although with Mercedes-Benz’s luxury pedigree in addition to its well-earned reputation for engineering, innovation, in addition to fully baked active-safety technology, EQ might translate to a full ecosystem like no various other.