Mercedes axes EQC electric SUV launch plans in America

Mercedes has axed plans to launch its first all-electric SUV in the US, citing "market developments" for the decision, with the delayed EQC now not expected to make an appearance in North America. It's a surprise decision from the German automaker, which had confirmed US pricing and specs for the EV all the way back in late 2019.

At the time, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC was expected to arrive in North America in early 2020. That was already later than the EV's European debut, with pricing expected to start at under $70k before US federal tax incentives.

Even then, however, the EQC proved to be controversial. Mercedes' 80 kWh battery hadn't been run through the EPA's range tests, but the expectation was that it would leave the SUV capable of around 200 miles on a full charge. That would compare reasonably well with the Audi e-tron SUV and Jaguar I-PACE, but fall far behind what Tesla's Model X could deliver.

Now, though, it looks like we won't get a chance to find out for certain. "Following a comprehensive review of market developments, the EQC will not be offered in the United States for now," a Mercedes spokesperson confirmed to Autoblog.

It's a surprising decision, though it does come after several delays. With the "early 2020" launch window passing without sign of the EQC, Mercedes confirmed that it had pushed the model's US release back into 2021. Production targets had been trimmed, insiders claimed at the time, blaming battery supply bottlenecks.

Mercedes, though, denied any issues, and said that it aimed to build around 50,000 EQC units in 2020. In the end, according to the company's final tally for the year, it delivered approximately 20,000 EQC worldwide.

The decision means that the next all-electric car we see from Mercedes-Benz in the US will be the EQS. That's a luxury EV version of the S-Class, complete with an expansive multi-screen dashboard and lavish cabin. Mercedes is expected to release the 2022 EQS in the US come fall 2021.

Beyond that, there are three other EVs in the pipeline. The 2022 EQA electric crossover – a BEV sibling to the GLA – has already been unveiled earlier this year, while the reveals of the new EQB and EQE will follow later this year. Mercedes also plans to add new hybrid versions of the C-Class and S-Class sedans, targeting around 13-percent of overall sales in 2021 to be of electrified vehicles.