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He said that he did not consider any of Tesla's three current models as a direct competitor to the EQC, which was Mercedes' first launch as SUVs have found favour with customers in recent years, with their growth outpacing other vehicle types. Despite this coaching, the EQC will still offer a range of drive modes, including Sport, like other Mercedes-Benz products. The company also claims 10 percent to 80 percent charging in 40 minutes using DC fast chargers.

Mercedes is promising a range of 279 miles in the European cycle, though the USA range won't be announced for a while. Aside from the usual crash tests and regular developments and so on, the EQC has received further safety attention surrounding the battery and components that carry electricity.

Future electric cars from Mercedes-Benz will feature far more distinctive styling than the recently revealed EQC SUV, according to EQ sales and marketing boss Jorg Heinermann.

By then the Model S flagship will be eight years old.

Mercedes-Benz revealed its first fully electric SUV in Stockholm Tuesday, another in a small rush of all-electric luxury vehicles expected to hit the market in the next couple of years.

"With the EQC ... we are flipping the switch", Mercedes-Benz Cars boss Dieter Zetsche said in a statement. The lines are that of your traditional SUV, but with a little more emphasis on EQ branding and electric power through fibre optics and a tech-inspired design.

Even as he targets Tesla, Zetsche praised CEO Elon Musk for making electric cars popular.

While there's nothing definite yet on pricing, there are media reports that it will be offered at a rate close to the Mercedes GLC class sedans with which it shares many design details, allowing it to remain in the price range of Tesla's Model 3. Mercedes-Benz has the first-mover advantage in this regard, but the EQC will soon be met with some heavy competition.

Interestingly, Mercedes says the two electric motors are configured differently: the arrangement up front is "optimised" for efficiency in the low- to medium-load range, while the rear motor "determines dynamism".

"It's huge news for Mercedes-Benz, and a real signal in this space that we are about to have a lot of options when it comes to the electric category, luxury, and the sweet space with crossover vehicles", Warren said Wednesday in an interview on Cheddar.


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