The compact electric SUV era is about to kick off.
It all started with the EQC and it certainly won't end there. In fact, Mercedes-Benz, like most other automakers, is going all-in with electric vehicles, specifically SUV crossovers. The EQC debuted last September as a direct competitor to the Tesla Model S and Jaguar I-Pace. Thing is, not everyone can afford those staggering sticker prices. Tesla's answer is the Model Y. We're still waiting what Jaguar has to say. But Mercedes has one, and it'll be called the EQB.
Reuters reports that soon to retire Daimler-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche officially announced the EQB nameplate at a press conference at the currently happening Shanghai Motor Show.
Our spy photographers recently caught what appeared to be an all-electric small SUV crossover doing some cold weather testing and we assumed then that EQB would be its chosen name. We assumed right. Zetsche also confirmed the EQB compact SUV will launch in 2021. It's really not surprising Mercedes ultimately chose to pursue production of an electric compact SUV ahead of, say, a small EV sedan or hatchback. Sales of all compact SUVs, both electrified and not, are through the roof these days. While hatchbacks typically have greater appeal to European buyers over Americans, small SUVs are popular amongst both. It's a win-win for the German automaker.
What's more, the Tesla Model Y will hit the market in late 2020 as a 2021 model. Both vehicles will compete for the same buyers. It's still too early to know pricing, but considering the Model Y will start from around $39,000, you can bet the EQB will cost around the same.
Few design and technical details are known about the EQB at this time, but a recent report claimed it will have a range of up to 310 miles. Compared to the just revealed GLB concept, itself nearly production ready, the GQB will have more aerodynamic body in order to help maximize range. Now that Mercedes has made the EQB name official, expect to hear more details in the near future. After all, it'll have a big job luring away Model Y buyers.