Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Mercedes-Benz shows off its new electric lineup at IAA 2021.

Daimler AG - Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars/Courtesy of manufacturer

If you walk into a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Canada right now you won’t find any electric vehicles for sale, but that’s about to change as the German brand shifts to an EV-only strategy in an effort to catch up to and overtake its competitors. At an event ahead of the first major European car show since the pandemic, Mercedes took the wraps off four new electric SUVs and sedans that are slated to arrive in 2022 and beyond.

“The EV shift is picking up speed, especially in the luxury segment where Mercedes belongs,” said Ola Kallenius, chairman of the board of management of Mercedes-Benz AG. “That’s why we’re accelerating from EV-first to EV-only.” By 2025 there will be at least one all-electric alternaive for every model the brand makes, he said, speaking on the eve of the IAA Mobility show in Munich.

At a dealership in the city, Kallenius introduced the second wave of Benz’s electric offensive. It includes a new mid-size EQE sedan and a high-performance AMG version of the EQS sedan, both of which will arrive in Canada next year. An ultra-luxury Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV and an electric version of the G-Class SUV, dubbed EQG, were shown only as concepts, but are expected to go on sale in the coming years.

Story continues below advertisement

Canadian customers will start seeing the first wave of electric vehicles from Mercedes in showrooms later in 2021 – assuming there are no pandemic-related production delays – starting with the previously announced flagship EQS sedan and the seven-seat EQB compact SUV. The former will cost over six-figures while the latter will be the brand’s most affordable electric model in Canada.

In the next year and half, the buffet of cars on offer in Mercedes showrooms will cater to what the company hopes should be a strong appetite for EVs. But, if you walk into the Canadian dealerships of Mercedes-Benz’s rivals, you don’t have to wait to buy an electric car. Audi, BMW, Porsche and of course Tesla, all have at least one EV on sale now.

Mercedes’ sales and marketing teams in the U.S. wanted to begin the company’s electric shift with a high-end flagship model, Kallenius explained. “To create the momentum that we need not for now but for the whole decade, [we need] to lead from the top in the U.S. market,” he said to the Globe and Mail. In essence, Mercedes’ American operation didn’t want to launch the EQ electric sub-brand with the more affordable EQC SUV that’s been on sale in Europe since 2019; they wanted to wait for the flagship six-figure EQS sedan coming later this year. And, Canadians usually get offered whatever cars the Americans get.

This top-down approach to launching a range of electric cars was on full display in Munich where the brand focused almost exclusively on high-end EVs.

Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV

Daimler AG - Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars/Courtesy of manufacturer

The unabashedly extravagant Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV concept is aimed specifically at the U.S. and Chinese markets, a company executive said. Maybach’s current SUV costs $200,000, so it’s a safe bet this electric model will cost even more when it goes on sale in 2023.

Mercedes-Benz electric G-Class SUV

Daimler AG - Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars/Courtesy of manufacturer

Similarly, the gas-hungry G-Class SUV will run you $155,000 but it has nevertheless been more popular than ever in the U.S. and Canada in recent years. The all-electric EQG concept unveiled in Munich is powered by four independent electric motors and should offer all of the same old-school SUV charm with none of the climate-related guilt, which sounds like a recipe for success. A company executive said it would go on sale in, “a few years.”

The high-performance version of the EQS sedan

Daimler AG - Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars/Courtesy of manufacturer

The Mercedes-AMG EQS is merely the first of what the company confirmed will be many electric cars from the hot-rodders at AMG. It will carry two electric motors churning out a combined 750 horsepower, enough to propel this 2,655 kilogram behemoth from 0-100 km/h in 3.4 seconds, which Tesla fans will surely point out is not as quick as the new Model S Plaid.

Story continues below advertisement

Mercedes-Benz EQE sedan

Daimler AG - Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars/Courtesy of manufacturer

The EQE mid-size sedan was the brand’s most mainstream electric model unveiled in Munich. It looks nearly identical to the EQS, but is slightly smaller with a lower price and less range. Mercedes estimated the EQE is good for up to 660 kilometres, as rated on the generous WLTP test cycle.

If the company can flip its roughly 2.5 per cent share of the overall global vehicle market from predominantly gas-powered cars to electric-powered ones in this decade, Kallenius said, that could perhaps have a symbolic or “pull” effect on the larger market. “We think that luxury can lead,” he added.

By the end of this decade Mercedes will be ready to go all-electric, Kallenius said, with the caveat, “where market conditions allow.” Market conditions, however, can vary wildly. In Norway, for example, fully-electric vehicles accounted for over half of all new car sales in 2020, but in Canada, plug-in hybrids and EVs combined made up just 3.8 per cent of total sales. To meet our EV sales targets and climate goals, this country has a long way to go, and so does Mercedes-Benz.

Shopping for a new car? Check out the Globe Drive Build and Price Tool to see the latest discounts, rebates and rates on new cars, trucks and SUVs. Click here to get your price.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies