Mercedes-Benz is reportedly working on a battery-powered electric rival to the Tesla Model S.
In an interview with Germany’s Auto Motor Und Sport, Mercedes development boss Thomas Weber revealed that the German automaker is developing an EV to challenge the Tesla Model S. Weber said the planned electric model will have an all electric range in the 400-500 kilometer (249-311 miles) range.
More specifically, Weber said the vehicle’s chassis will be scalable to underpin several different models, so don’t expect this to be the first and last Tesla competitor. It’s worth noting that Mercedes-Benz was actually a stakeholder in Tesla, owning 9.1 percent of the EV automaker in 2009 and using its batteries in its B-Class Electric Drive before ending its relationship in 2014.
A Mercedes-Benz-badged Tesla Model S is no surprise of course as BMW, Audi, and Porsche are all planning new electric models to scoop up customers in the inflating electric vehicle market.
Audi will serve up an electric SUV to challenge the $100,000 Tesla Model X, BMW is working on an i5 sedan with carbon fiber construction in both full-electric and hybridized flavors, and Porsche is developing an electric Pajun with the R8 e-tron’s drivetrain.
With more resources and established brand credibility, Germany’s new crop of electric vehicles could put a damper on Tesla’s sales success, though perhaps more of a challenge will be commandeering Tesla’s “cool” factor as of the last few years.