If you’re going to go to the the effort of plugging in, you might as well go fully electric, according to Mercedes-Benz customers.
Mercedes-Benz Australia is seeing less space for plug-in hybrid variants of its range of sedans and SUVs, thanks mostly to a growing portfolio of electric offerings.
Speaking to Drive at the recent media launch of the EQE electric sedan, company executives reiterated an intention to offer fewer plug-in hybrid models in Australia as buyers increasingly embrace solely electric power.
“I’ll give you an example: For C-Class sedan and GLC mid-sized SUV, we’ve elected not to bring in plug-in hybrids to Australia. I guess that’s the answer to your question,” brand spokesperson Jerry Stamoulis said.
“They are both fantastic plug-in hybrids with 100 kilometres of electric-only range, but the questions that we are being asked (by customers) is … it’s either petrol or electric.
In effect, Mercedes’ growing range of electric sedans and SUVs are pushing plug-in hybrid vehicles (that offer both petrol power and a modest electric-only driving range) out into the cold.
“We feel that Australian consumers, if they are going to plug in something, it might as well be fully electric.”
The relative price impost of a plug-in hybrid over a conventional petrol or diesel engine is another challenge, especially when the list of available solely electric vehicles grow.
Currently, Mercedes-Benz only offers one plug-in hybrid version of the E-Class sedan – the E300e.
Priced from $130,900 plus on-road costs, the E300e hybrid can travel a claimed 51 kilometres on electric power.
The petrol-powered 2023 Mercedes-Benz E-Class starts at $106,600 plus on-road costs.
Meanwhile the similarly-sized electric EQE sedan range starts at $134,900, delivers a claimed electric-only driving range of 508km (according to WLTP lab testing).