Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz unveiled EQA, a new electric compact SUV, on Wednesday as part of plans to take over rival Tesla Inc and offer more zero-emission vehicles to consumers to meet targets in Europe and China.
EQA, the first of several electric models Mercedes-Benz plans to launch this year, will initially have a range of 426 kilometers (265 miles) and the 500-kilometer model will come later, said the manufacturer of premium cars in a video presentation.
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The SUV will go on sale in Europe on February 4 to Brita Seeger̵
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Electric vehicle (EV) sales started in Europe last year when carmakers tried to meet the EU’s CO2 emissions target. Sales were boosted by subsidies included in economic stimulus measures, in particular in France and Germany.
Sales of fully electric and plug-in hybrid models increased by 122% across the EU in the first three quarters of 2020.
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Mercedes-Benz described the EQA as a “model for entering cities”, and board member Seeger emphasized its “sustainability, flexibility and fresh appearance”.
Electric car maker Tesla has given an advantage to traditional carmakers with its huge investment in fossil fuel vehicles and dominates global sales. The mass market Tesla Model 3 is the best-selling EV in the world, followed by a far second from Renault’s Zoe.
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In addition to emission targets, carmakers are facing bans on fossil fuel vehicles, which will take effect as early as 2030 in some markets.