With a range of up to 770 km (478 miles) under Europe's WLTP testing regime, the Mercedes-Benz EQS has taken the lead in the electric vehicle battery wars, outpacing the Tesla Model S, which can reach 660 km on the same scale, depending on options.
The EQS's range remains provisional, but if confirmed, it would give Mercedes a key selling point against the Model S, as well as two premium -- although more performance oriented cars -- the Porsche Taycan and its sister model, the Audi e-tron GT (up to 480 km).
It would also eliminate a potential sticking point – range anxiety -- for buyers who will be asked to spend 100,000 euros ($120,000) or more on a luxury electric vehicle, Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius said.
"For electric mobility, convenience is one of those things that has been a buying hurdle," Kallenius told journalists at a round table on Thursday ahead of the EQS launch. "If you have a longer range, and if you can recharge 300 km in 15 minutes, those hurdles start to disappear."
In fact, Kallenius said, a range such as the EQS's could hasten the disappearance of internal combustion engine vehicles such as Mercedes' own S Class. He has set a date of 2039 for Mercedes to have a fully carbon-neutral vehicle fleet.
"The question is," he continued, "is what will be the ramp-up curve this decade and beyond?"