Communication Hiccup Taints Mercedes’ Electric Car Debut

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Mercedes-Benz made a hash up during the unveiling of their flagship electric car model, the ECQ, at the Geneva auto show. With an apparent mix-up in communication threatening to steer the conversation towards an odd direction. The blunder that had talking heads waging their tongues was an apparent discrepancy in the range capability of the new model.

The range is simply the distance that an electric vehicle’s battery lasts and has been identified as among the biggest concerns for potential buyers, with many wondering whether the new technology will get them around efficiently.

Official press release content and emails by the automotive giant had the range at 200 miles, quite below the estimated 250 miles for Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla’s Model X 75D, two models the ECQ is expected to face off against in the budding luxury electric vehicle market that has seen over 3.5 million units sold. On the other hand, Mercedes’ parent company Daimler later had the range at around 279 miles on full charge, an impressive figure that comfortably puts the competition on the back burner.

This was construed by some as a face-saving tactic, with the company noticing the low figure (a bit late) and using the New European Driving Cycle standard to tout the new range, a standard that has been dubbed outdated by no less an entity than the European Union.

Electric vehicles are widely viewed as the future of an increasingly environmentally conscious industry, and the entrant of a behemoth such as Mercedes-Benz was expected to create all the right ripples.  The error has highlighted range as a niggling issue, regardless of the fact that even 200 miles is quite respectable with research showing drivers averaging 29 miles on daily commutes.

Expectations are high as the ECQ is rolled out, with its performance against established brands a good indicator of whether this was just a blip in communication or a real flaw that will hurt the company’s reputation in this niche market.

Still, the Mercedes-Benz ECQ is not expected to hit the market until 2020, giving the company plenty of time to refocus the public’s attention on other aspects of a promising design.

Sales are expected to begin in late 2019 with the ECQ retailing at around $ 60,000.