Mercedes-Benz has decided to delay the launch of its EQC in the United States until 2021 in order to meet higher than expected demand in Europe. The small electric SUV was originally due here in early 2020.
“In a recent direction from Daimler AG, it is a strategic decision to first support the growing customer demand for the EQC in Europe,” the statement said. “As a result of this decision, the U.S. market launch date of the Mercedes-Benz EQC will be rescheduled to 2021 (originally Q1 2020)."
According to Automotive News, Mercedes originally planned to build just 25,000 EQCs per year but will now double this to meet demand mostly comely from Europe where the SUV has been on sale since late summer.
In contrast, EVs have struggled in the U.S., apart from those built by Tesla. For example, Jaguar sold close to 10,000 examples of its I-Pace electric SUV in Europe over the first ten months of 2019 versus just 2,100 in the U.S. over the same period. A similar story can be told for the Audi E-Tron, while the opposite is true for Tesla. For Tesla's Model X, buyers in Europe snapped up about 12,100 units in 2018 versus 26,100 in the U.S.
The regulatory environment in Europe has also changed in the past 12 months to make EVs more attractive, with some countries such as Germany increasing incentives for zero-emission vehicles in recent months.
The EQC has been launched in just one grade, EQC 400, which is powered by a dual-motor electric powertrain with 402 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque. The battery is an 80-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion unit expected to deliver an EPA-rated range of around 210-220 miles. Mercedes as recently as November announced a starting price of $68,895 for the U.S., and right now it isn't clear if this base sticker will remain when the EQC finally arrives in 2021.