Like most of the legacy auto brands, Mercedes has given conflicting signals about its interest in electrification. Its only EV to date, the B-Class Electric, was a compliance car that it sold in limited volume, and recently discontinued. However, the company says it plans to introduce a line of purpose-built EVs under the new EQ sub-brand, beginning with an electric SUV in 2019.
Recently, the company decided to gauge consumer interest in EVs with an informal survey on Twitter. Mercedes-Benz Retail (@MB_Retail) tweeted (via Electrek), “With electric cars increasing in popularity, we’d love to know if you would consider switching to an electric car?”
The good news: The post has generated over 700 responses to date, almost all of them answering in the affirmative.
With electric cars increasing in popularity, we’d love to know if you would consider switching to an electric car? pic.twitter.com/ujH2eRNP5b
— Mercedes-Benz Retail (@MB_Retail) August 3, 2017
The bad news (for Mercedes): Most of the responses were from drivers who had already gone electric. Many of them are now driving Teslas, and dozens of these say they are former Mercedes customers.
A sample of the replies:
“Too late, sold our MB last year, driving our #TeslaModelS exclusively, having a #TeslaModel3 reservation as well. Never an ICE car again!”
“We have already made the switch from a Mercedes GL500 to a Tesla Model X 100D”
“I gave up my merc E300 for a Tesla Model S. So very much a yes from me. I do not see me ever buying an ICE vehicle again.”
More than a few respondents ridiculed Mercedes for being behind the times.
“It’s 2017, and you’re still busy with basic market research about EVs? Take leadership & responsibility, or be eaten by history.”
“Already switched, thanks!” [accompanied by a photo of a Model S]
“Driving a @TeslaMotors since two years.
No plans to change to a Mercedes :-)”
Some said they had expressed interest in buying a B-Class Electric, but had been discouraged from doing so by local dealers.
“Yes, Mercedes B250 (gas) owner, deposit down on Tesla 3. I asked MB dealer about electric and he said ‘not our market’.”
“I called at your Belfast dealership to ask a question about the B-class electric & was told the staff member who knew about it wasn’t there.”
There may be a ray of hope at the bottom of this Pandora’s box: A (very) few respondents said they would be interested in a future Mercedes EV, if it were competitive.
“Yes if its as good as the tesla in whole experience and service”
“Switch? My next car will be an EV. And would be a Mercedes if Mercedes wasn’t so slow to the game ;)”