Mercedes unveils affordable electric car
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the second chapter in its electric car story.
Pitched as a smaller, more affordable cousin to the full-sized Mercedes-Benz EQC, the new Mercedes-Benz EQA electric car is a compact hatchback designed for urban drivers.
There are two kinds of electric cars.
Some are built on dedicated platforms designed purely for battery-powered machines, an exclusive club including the upcoming Mercedes-Benz EQS, plus Porsche's Taycan, the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla's EV range.
Other models have close ties to conventionally-powered machines.
The new Mercedes-Benz EQA falls into the latter camp, taking the form of a Mercedes GLA compact crossover adapted for use as an electric car.
It has the same fundamental tech as the GLA, including a comprehensive safety suite and the marque's lauded MBUX dual-screen infotainment system.
Similar in size to the GLA, the compact EQA 250 drops its petrol engine in favour of a 140kW/375Nm electric motor driving the front wheels.
The combination delivers a claimed 0-100km/h time of 8.9 seconds, which is surprisingly tardy until you factor in the EQA's hefty 2040 kilogram weight.
Mercedes says a 66.5kWh battery mounted in the floor gives the compact model around 486 kilometres of range according to the generous NEDC standard.
That makes it less powerful, with a good deal less range than Hyundai's similar-sized Kona Electric.
More powerful all-wheel-drive models are on the horizon.
Local prices and specifications for the new Mercedes-Benz EQA 250 have not been confirmed.
European prices equating to around $75,000 drive-away suggest it could cost about half as much as the luxurious EQC in Australia.
The new model goes on sale locally mid-year.
Originally published as Mercedes unveils affordable electric car