[German]Little info tidbits from the world of electric cars. Mercedes is now offering a special feature for its electric models in the EQ series (EQE, EQS) in the US as an annual subscription. And it is an acceleration package that is supposed to improve the time to get from to 100 km/h by 0.8 to 1 second. In my eyes, the whole thing is part of the "experimental box" that carmakers use to figure out how to squeeze money out of drivers' pockets.
In today's cars, especially electric vehicles, the subscription featuritis seems to be spreading to new hights. The fact that navigation updates or any comfort features needs can to be booked by subscription is now standard with many manufacturers.
Tesla is also known for its many add-on features – so a Tesla feature Full Self-Driving package will likely be offered at the time of car purchase for an upfront payment of $15,000 or as part of a subscription for up to $199. A couple of days agoe came a message (see also this tweet from Elon Musk) Tesla the Full Self-Driving Beta is now available as an option to any customer in North America via screen of the vehicle that purchased the option. This then is the fine art of sales, people paying to be allowed to test a beta of self-driving software.
Mercedes USA tests subscriptions
It has come to the attention of The Drive that Mercedes USA has raised subscriptions for its vehicle features to a "whole new crazy level." For the new Mercedes EQ electric models, customers will have to pay a $1,200 annual subscription (plus taxes) to unlock the full performance potential of their cars.
Mercedes' online store now offers an "Acceleration Increase" package as a subscription for all EQ models (see screenshot above). Those who take out this subscription will get improved performance from their e-car. It unlocks the car's maximum torque, which is said to improve acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h by 0.8 to 1.0 seconds. In addition, an unlocked dynamic driving mode is said to change the performance characteristics of the electric powertrain.
This subscription is available for the U.S. models EQE 350 4 Matic, EQE SUV 350 4 Matic, EQS 450 4 Matic and EQS SUC 4 Matic (all all-wheel drive vehicles). The Drive specifies the performance increase provided by the "Acceleration Increase" package for each model in the artible. The Drive writes that this subscription offering from Mercedes USA comes a few months late, after BMW took harsh criticism for offering subscriptions for certain options, such as heated seats (see). BMW North America faced so much public criticism that the company even released a statement defending the subscription option, according to The Drive.
The medium says that with certain cloud-based options, subscription fees are somehow understandable, as these options require constant monthly operating costs. But is a car already part of the cloud? The Drive says through the grapevine that paying by subscription for something that the vehicle is actually capable of doing by physics isn't really communicable.
It's unclear, therefore, how popular these types of subscription options will be in the U.S., it says. The Drive raises the question of whether customers are really renewing that subscription every year just to be able to accelerate to 100 mph a second faster. It's possible that there are people who will fork over the dough for this gaga feature, and Mercedes is proving the doubters wrong, and EQ customers will gladly pay for the extra power. As the author of the article writes, "This kind of subscription service just strikes me as a crude and dishonest way for brands to squeeze even more money out of their customers."
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