Mercedes Benz was supposed to release their all-new electric EQC SUV early next year, but in an unexpected turn, have announced the release will be delayed until 2021 as part of a strategic decision to first grow demand in Europe.
The delay is good indication of just how difficult it is for legacy automakers to copy Tesla’s success over the past 7 years. Part of the concern for Mercedes-Benz has been the slow drip of sales of the Jaguar i-Pace and Audi e-tron electric vehicles in the US. According to InsideEVs, Jaguar has sold just 2,418 I-Pace SUVs this year through November, while Audi has delivered 4,623 e-tron SUV’s.
The struggle by Jaguar and Audi to get their vehicles into the hands of consumers mostly comes from the low range and slow charging times when compared to the cheaper alternatives offered by Tesla. This was borne out by Porsche as well, who just this week received an EPA estimated range of just 323km from a 100kWh battery.
In the end, more electric vehicle options for consumers is the ideal end goal, and the delay of the EQC is a step backwards in achieving it. Hopefully legacy auto manufacturers can finally start getting serious about providing a real competitor to Tesla, something that can at least provide the same range and other tech features at around the same price. Until then, Tesla will continue to keep selling as many vehicles as they can make to eager consumers wanting to switch to a more sustainable future.