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Mercedes-Benz gave car buyers a glimpse of the top-end of its electric model plans on the opening day of the Frankfurt Motor Show, showing off a sleek silver battery-powered concept version of its flagship S-Class sedan.
So far, luxury cruisers have remained a mainstay for traditional combustion-era heroes, with only plug-in hybrids available for the likes of BMW 7-Series or the recently revamped Audi A8.
Mercedes-maker Daimler AG’s plans for at least 10 purely battery-powered cars through 2022 will give the manufacturer the right line-up to meet stricter European emissions rules, Chief Executive Officer Ola Kallenius told reporters in Frankfurt. However, meeting the targets was a “substantial challenge” because consumer demand “can’t be mandated.”
The world’s best-selling luxury-car maker introduced the EQC electric sport utility vehicle last year, its first model to challenge electric-car market leader Tesla. It followed up with a battery-powered version of the V-Class mini-van this year and has shown a prototype EQA compact.
The S-Class, favoured by wealthy managers and politicians the world over, has for decades delivered premium profits to Mercedes. The future for stellar returns on powerful and heavy sedans is darkening with the need to cut fleet emissions, with heavy fines looming in Europe.
Mercedes didn’t say when the car will be on sale, but outlined a real-world driving range of 700 kilometres and a battery that can charge to 80 per cent in less than 20 minutes. The car also offers the opportunity for highly-automated driving on highways.
The interior features traditional and new materials, like white microfibre made from plastic bottles combined with maple. The roof material is a textile created with recycled ocean waste.