11 Feb Mercedes-Benz SA to launch five EVs this year, eight-year battery warranty added
Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) will introduce five new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) from the global Mercedes-EQ range during 2022.
This will form part of a “clear strategic push to position the brand as a global and local leader in the electric vehicle (EV) market”.
The ‘EQ’ refers to “electric intelligence and sustainable modern luxury”, adds the local arm of the German premium brand.
The EQ range for 2022 includes the EQA sports-utility vehicle (SUV); the EQB family-sized SUV; the mid-sized EQC, based on the GLC platform; the EQE business sedan; and the EQS luxury sedan.
Newly appointed president of Mercedes-Benz Cars South Africa and co-CEO of MBSA Mark Raine acknowledges that EV sales are relatively small in South Africa but notes that MBSA is following the global push towards zero-emission mobility.
“The chairman of the board of management of Daimler, Ola Kallenius, has already stated that, over the next 20 years, Mercedes-Benz Cars aims to have a carbon-neutral new-passenger-car fleet, and it also aims for plug-in hybrids or all-electric vehicles to make up more than 50% of its car sales by 2030.
“South Africa is not without its challenges in terms of the EV landscape; however, with our customer-centric growth strategy curated towards the local market, a significant interest has already been shown by potential customers for our EQ range.”
Raine says this interest is aided by the expansion of the public charging grid, including national coverage on main routes, and the number of potential customers with existing renewable-energy solutions at home or the office, or those considering adding such solutions in the near future.
“Based on these developments, we are confident that the cars we bring into the country will find many happy owners.”
Raine believes that South Africa will see “a strong uptake and growth” in the luxury EV market in the next 12 to 24 months.
As part of combating the concerns of new EV customers, such as range anxiety and battery life, MBSA will offer an eight-year warranty on the battery, says Raine.
“And to further align our confidence in the product itself and its characteristics, all electric cars from Mercedes-Benz EQ will carry the same residual value as a car with an internal combustion engine (ICE).”
Raine adds that Mercedes-Benz Cars will collaborate with GridCars to further develop the country’s public charge network, noting that every EQ customer will receive a complimentary Mercedes-EQ wall charger installed at the location of their choice.
He also notes that 36 agent partners (formerly called dealerships) across South Africa have been appointed as retail and service partners for the Mercedes-EQ brand, while they will also add to the charging grid.
The Mercedes-EQ Range
The EQA is a dynamic, all-electric SUV, says MBSA sales and marketing VP Selvin Govender.
A close relation of the GLA, the EQA 250 derivative should be available in South Africa as from the second quarter. It offers a power output of 140 kW, a range of up to 412 km and a combined electrical consumption of 17.7 kWh/100 km.