Tesla Motors Inc is the king of high-end electric cars with no major rivals around, but very soon its leadership will be challenged by Mercedes-Benz. In an interview with Germany’s Auto Moto und Sport, Thomas Weber, the development chief at Mercedes revealed that the firm is working on a vehicle to compete with Tesla sedans.
Mercedes a formidable opponent
The car will come with an impressive 300 miles range, and is expected to outclass the tech-heavy but hardly sumptuous interiors of Tesla. The upcoming car from Mercedes is no knee-jerk reaction to Tesla cars. Over last several decades, electric cars have been made by Mercedes. In 1906, the firm built its first all-electric vehicle, says a report from Motor Authority.
Two wholly-owned subsidiaries of Mercedes are into making batteries. One of which made a home-powering battery system similar to Tesla Motors Powerwall. There was a time, when almost 10% stake was held by Mercedes in the California start-up.
Tesla Motors Inc might lose a major share of its market to Mercedes considering German firms established client base and robust dealer network. The yet unnamed model from Mercedes is not expected to be anywhere close to SLS AMG Electric Drive, revealed at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, in terms of coolness, but one can be sure of a quality product. It is yet to be seen how long the firm will take to actually introduce the car in the market, but Thomas did say it will be “soon.”
Expanding rival list for Tesla
Tesla Motors list of rival is growing every week. A recent report from Reuters, talks of a new Tesla rival, NextEV, a Shanghai-based startup backed by a group of Chinese Internet moguls. The firm plans to come up with an electric supercar in 2016. NextEV is the latest firm among several others aiming to compete with Tesla on some level.
Faraday Future, a startup based in Gardena, California, is touted as another Tesla rival. This firm, founded last year, has a workforce of 200 employees many of which used to belong to Tesla. The firm plans to launch its first electric car in 2017. The source of funding for the venture is not known at this point. Boston Power, a battery start-up, was also dubbed as a Tesla Motors Inc rival largely due to its plans of a sizable battery factory. The firm was also considering partnering Chinese automakers to build low-cost electric cars.
On Thursday, Tesla shares closed down 0.86% at $245.57.