From The Wuling Hongguang Mini EV To The Mercedes-Maybach EQS 680 SUV, There Will Soon Be EVs In Every Segment
The transition to electric mobility is well underway now, as can be seen from the progress made over the last 15 years. Battery-electric vehicle sales are regularly registering record market shares in several countries around the world. A lot has changed from the early days of the Tesla Roadster, and thereafter the Nissan Leaf and other models that followed from the pioneers of the modern era of EVs.
After the Roadster, Tesla unveiled the Model S. The Model S entered the scene in one of the larger sedan segments. It was the first battery-electric vehicle (BEV) in a segment that has some of the larger variants and sporty models of traditional ICE giants, such the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the Audi A6, and BMW 5 Series, as well as some models from Lexus, among others. Some of the models from the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 Series are also in a similar segment with the Model S. Beginning in 2012, this segment finally got a BEV when the Model S was introduced. Tesla’s success led to the traditional giants coming up with their own BEVs in this segment eventually. Now we have the Mercedes-Benz EQE and others. BMW is set to introduce an all-electric i5 version in this segment. VW has just unveiled the ID.7, which would also fit into this category.
The segment below the BMW 5 Series has ICE models, such the BMW 3 Series, some models from Lexus, the Audi A4, Toyota Camry, and the Mercedes C-Class, which also didn’t have an electric option. This was later addressed as the Tesla Model 3 came to the party. The sedan version of the new BMW i3 is now available in China. Hopefully, BMW will introduce it to other markets. We now also have the BYD Seal as well as some models from NIO and XPENG. We are still waiting for a Sedan EQ equivalent of the Mercedes C Class.
The other premium and very large sedan segment also this didn’t have any BEV options for a very long time. Here we are looking at the very large luxury sedan segment that has the Mercedes-Benz S600, the larger Audi A8, the BMW 760Li, and similar vehicles. This segment has now started to get some BEVs as the transition accelerates and OEMs face pressure to electrify. We now have the Mercedes-Benz EQS Sedan, the BMW i7, the Lucid Air, and several other brands.
Tesla again changed the game in the SUV space with the pioneering Model X. The success of the Model X has also inspired other OEMs to join in the action and now we have some interesting electric SUVs such as the Jaguar i-Pace, Audi eTron, BMW iX, the Mercedes EQE and EQS SUVs, XPeng G9, Polestar 4, and several others.
In the smaller SUV segment, the Tesla Model Y is again leading the way. The Model Y has been so successful that last year it was in the top 10 selling vehicles in the world, and not just in the electric segment, but across all fuel types. The Model Y will do even better this year and is already challenging for a podium finish this year. Here again we are now seeing more and more EVs in this segment from Volvo, VW, BMW, Audi, Mercedes, BYD, and several others.
Pickups are a really big deal globally and we have a good selection of electric pickups people can buy now, and also some interesting pickups to look forward to in the near future. Several models that are already on the market include the Rivian R1T, the Ford F150 Lightning, pickups from SAIC Maxus, and several other OEMs. The Tesla Cybertruck leads the pack of the most anticipated pickups coming later this year.
Then there is the ultra-luxury segment that has Bentley, Rolls-Royce, and others. Here we are also now seeing electric vehicles coming very soon. The upcoming Rolls-Royce Spectre will be one of the early leaders in this space.
In some more exciting news from this week, the Mercedes-Benz Group has just launched the Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV, the legendary brand’s first all-electric model. The company says it is “Redefining automotive excellence in the age of electromobility and offering maximum luxury and comfort with a cocooning effect in the rear for an extraordinary driving experience with MAYBACH driving programme and maximum noise comfort.”
The Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV is based on the technology of the EQS SUV from Mercedes-EQ and combines it with the exclusivity of Maybach, in line with Karl Maybach’s maxim: “What is good must also be beautiful.” Mercedes adds that the special exterior with an upright Mercedes star on the hood and a striking black panel front, which carries the specific Maybach radiator grille into the age of electromobility, ensures an unmistakable appearance. The optional two-tone paintwork is also typical of the brand. Thanks to exquisite materials, perfect craftsmanship, and exclusive details, the spacious interior offers a holistic comfort experience with a cocooning effect. With its consistent interpretation of Sophisticated Luxury, the Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV sets the new benchmark in the all-electric top-end luxury SUV segment.
“Mercedes-Maybach customers expect the extraordinary, and we aim to exceed their high expectations. The Mercedes‑Maybach EQS SUV unites our ambition to lead in digital and electric with our focus on the luxury segment. The very first all-electric vehicle from Mercedes-Maybach complements the best technologies from Mercedes‑Benz with the extra comfort and individual details that are only available from Mercedes‑Maybach.” — Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management Mercedes-Benz Group AG
“The Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV is our first all-electric, full-size luxury SUV. At Mercedes-Maybach we strive to add the shine of the extraordinary to the beautiful. The interior is an emotional and stylish statement. The lounge character promises luxurious travel at the highest level. Together with the innovative, progressive SUV proportions, we are completely redefining the SUV luxury of the future.” — Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Mercedes-Benz Group AG
Here are the Provisional Specs of the Mercedes-Maybach EQS 680 SUV. It has an output of 484 kW and a range of up to 600 kilometers (provisional figure). It has 4MATIC all-wheel drive as standard.
So, consumers in this class will now have an all-electric option. On the other side of the spectrum, consumers also get the blockbuster mini EVs such as the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV. The Wuling Mini EV starts from under $5,000, and let’s just say it doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as the Maybach, but it serves a very important segment and is enabling more families who may not have been in a position to buy a car before to get one now.
We are also getting more EVs in traditionally high-volume segments such as the small sedan segment, which has been dominated for decades by the likes of the Toyota Corolla, and also electric hatchbacks in segments that have been very popular with iconic ICE models such as the VW Golf. The MG 4, the Ora Funky Cat/Good Cat, and the BYD Dolphin are some of the interesting models in this segment.
It is important to note that here, I bundled up a selection of EVs that are now available in the various vehicle segments. The list of vehicles given as examples in the segments is not exhaustive, given the growing number of EV models globally. There are close to 50 EV models in the US now, 200 in the UK, and probably over 400 in China. The models I used as examples here are also not necessarily available in the same markets around the world. However, having some electric vehicles across all segments was always going to be an important step along the transition, and then growing their availability, and having a presence in all markets around the world after the OEMs have built capacity to ramp up production to satisfy both the local and export market was always going to be the next step. As OEMs ramp up production now and as supply chain constraints are now starting to loosen up, these EVs will become more widely available in more countries in the near future.
This was just an illustration to show how far the EV sector has come. We will soon have EVs in every segment, and those EVs will go worldwide in the near future.
Images courtesy of Mercedes-Benz
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