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Tesla Model Y competition on the charge as Mercedes-Benz launches rival SUV

Tesla models are the number two or three best selling cars in many markets

Daimler -

The launch of the first all-electric Mercedes-Benz SUV today will offer some strong competition against Tesla Inc’s new Model Y compact crossover.

Mercedes parent Daimler (OTCMKTS:DMLRY) on Wednesday said the Mercedes-Benz EQA was an “urban entry model” with a range of 265 miles on a full charge, with a 310-mile model in the pipeline.

This launch follows the first all-electric Mercedes-Benz model, the EQC, and there are plans to launch another five Mercedes-Benz EQ models by 2022.

The EQA will be on sale in Europe from early next month, with prices starting under £40,000 in the UK including grants.

Daimler, as it is a shareholder in StoreDot, the company that earlier this week produced a lithium-ion battery from its factory that is capable of being fully charged in five minutes, will be looking at this as another way to gain an edge on its EV electric vehicle (EV) rivals. 

In the first nine months of 2020, sales of electric and hybrid cars in the EU surged 122%, while across the globe are estimated to have risen 43% over the year to more than 3mln, with December at double the number year-on-year.  

In the UK, sales of pure EVs rocketed up 186% to 108,000 over the whole year, while hybrids registrations were up over 90% to almost 67,000, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) early this month.

The UK has laid out plans to phase out the sale of new cars and vans run on traditional fuels by 2030.

READ: Apple and Hyundai in talks over electric vehicle venture whilst Musk’s Tesla charges on

Outside Europe growth of EVs was slower, but still significant, said consultancy EV-volumes this week.

China EV sales were up by 12% for the year, while in the USA increased by just 4%, despite the start of Tesla Model-Y.

Tesla is the top selling manufacturer of EV, according to EV-volumes, with 62% of all plug-in vehicle sales and 79% of all US battery EV sales.

READ: What's coming over the hill for Tesla and Elon Musk in 2021?

But Elon Musk’s company is not the number one seller in many European markets. For example, in Norway, a leading EV market with 54.3% of all new cars being plug-in models in 2020, the VW’s Audi e-tron was the top seller, with the Tesla Model 3 pushed into second place a year after being number one.

And overall in Europe in November, the Renault Zoe was the best seller and the Volkswagen ID.3 in second, with the Model 3 in third.

Tesla is due to launch and make first deliveries of its Model Plaid, a souped-up version of the Model S that will go head-to-head with the Porsche Taycan, by the end of 2021.

Investors in Tesla have enjoyed a 20% rise in the company's shares already in 2021, with the next big event on the horizon being quarterly results from the California-based company on January 27. 

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