The race to make it big in electric among the luxury carmakers in India is hotting up. Mercedes India on Wednesday upped the ante by launching its second electric car model AMG EQS 53 4MATIC+, and announcing the launch of two more over the next four months.
While the AMG version will be imported, Mercedes will start local assembly with the EQS 580 from next month, and will follow it up with the 7-seater EQB in the fourth quarter of the year.
This is in line with the strategy of the German luxury carmaker, which expects a fourth of its total sales in India coming from the electric vehicle segment by 2025.
Priced upwards of Rs 2.45 crore (all-India ex-showroom) the deliveries of the EQS AMG 56 that will be imported into the country will commence next month.
Mercedes’ global EV portfolio has expanded to seven from one model and will go up to 15 by the middle of the decade, Martin Schwenk, managing director and chief executive officer, Mercedes India, told Business Standard.
Back home in India, the awareness among the buyers has gone up. “The EQC being a coupe was more of a niche product, the AMG EQS 53 offers a greater usability,” he said.
The AMG EQS is a top-end all-electric luxury saloon built on a dedicated modular architecture. It can accelerate from 0-100 km/hr in 3.4 seconds, with a battery charge level of at least 75 per cent. The car can achieve a top speed of 250 km/hour. It has a range of 529–586 km on a single charge under standard conditions, the company claimed.
In order to support the electrification journey, Mercedes-Benz India will set up 140 fast charging stations by the end of this calendar year — the largest infrastructure network by any carmaker in the country, investing over Rs 15 crore towards this end, along with its franchise partner.
To be sure, Mercedes is the second luxury car firm to announce a target for EV penetration in India. In July last year, Audi India with the launch of its maiden EV offering e-tron model, had said it expects 15 percent of its total sales in India to be contributed by EVs by 2025.
This is Mercedes’ second electric model launch in India. It launched the EQC, its first model in the EV segment in 2020 becoming the first carmaker in the luxury segment to do so. Mercedes arch rival BMW too entered the e-luxury segment with the launch of three electric models in a span of six months -- “IX” SUV, Mini Electric and i4 electric sedan.
Why are global luxury carmakers aggressively tapping into a segment which is so niche? The pace of electrification in the luxury segment is expected to be much faster than the mass car segment owing to a favourable GST of 5 per cent on locally assembled on EVs as compared to 48 per cent for internal combustion engine (ICE) models, points out Puneet Gupta, director, automotive sales forecast- India & Asean at S&P Global Mobility. In addition to lowering the GST, lucrative benefits being offered by some of the state governments on registration etc. is another attraction.
“Expect a rush of EV models from the global luxury carmakers as companies start introducing some of the models from their global line-up,” he said, adding that the segment will surprise everyone with an expected EV penetration touching 25 per cent by 2026.
Subscribe to Business Standard Premium
Exclusive Stories, Curated Newsletters, 26 years of Archives, E-paper, and more!