Mercedes EQA to challenge Tesla, VW in compact EV segment

FRANKFURT — Mercedes-Benz hopes to rekindle interest in its slow-selling full-electric vehicles with the EQA, which will compete with battery-powered compact cars such as the Tesla Model 3 and VW ID3.

Mercedes describes the EQA as an “urban entry model” targeted toward young, urban customers.

Marketing and sales chief Britta Seeger touted its “sustainability, versatility and fresh look.”

The EQA can accelerate from 0 to 100 kph (62 mph) in 8.9 seconds and has a top speed of 160 kph (99 mph).

The small utility vehicle is being launched as the EQA 250 with a range of 426 km (265 miles) under the WLTP test standard. Output is rated at 140 kilowatts or 188 hp.

Additional variants including all-wheel-drive models with higher output and longer ranges will follow, including a version with a range of more than 500 km, Mercedes said.

The EQA 250 will go on sale in Europe on Feb. 4, with prices starting at 47,541 euros ($56,300) in Germany, excluding government EV incentives.

Mercedes did not disclose when the EV will go on sale in other markets such as the U.S. “We are concentrating our focus initially on Europe,” a spokesman said.

The EQA is based on the GLA gasoline-powered crossover.

“The EQA proves that, by using a tried and tested architecture, it is possible to achieve an excellent compromise between performance, costs and time to market,” Mercedes-Benz Cars operations chief Markus Schaefer said in a statement on Wednesday.

The EQA joins Mercedes’s other full electric vehicles — the EQC midsize crossover and the EQV minivan, which had 2020 global sales of 20,000 and 1,700, respectively.

Mercedes modified the underpinnings of the GLA to reduce upfront investments and save time compared to building an electric hatchback from scratch. It’s a trade-off that often comes at the expense of battery range and cost efficiency in production.

EV sales took off in Europe last year as carmakers scrambled to meet European Union CO2 emissions targets. Sales received a boost from subsidies included in economic stimulus measures rolled out in France and Germany, in particular.

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