Mercedes CEO Speaks Out Against Updated US EV Incentives
Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Källenius has voiced his concerns about America’s updated EV tax credit rules. The new legislation came into effect at the start of the year as part of the American Inflation Reduction Act.
Agreed upon last August, the updated rules heavily favor US-made EVs. Although Mercedes builds both the EQS SUV and EQE SUV in Alabama, both are too expensive to qualify for the $7,500 tax credit. Some of its electric models that could qualify, like the EQB, are made in Europe. When quizzed on the new rules, Källenius stated the following on an earnings call last week (via Automotive News):
“If political leaders make that a priority and are also willing to spend government money on that, that can be very helpful. If there are protectionistic side effects, that is unwelcome.
To peel back and go into perhaps a more protectionistic direction would stifle that economic growth and would not be good for export-oriented economies and companies like ourselves.”
Mercedes has invested $1 billion into its Vance, Alabama plant in order to have it ready for the EV age. As mentioned above, two EV models are currently being produced at the 177,000-square-foot facility – the EQS SUV and EQE SUV.
The EQS SUV is currently on sale in the US, with prices starting at $104,400. The full-sized EQS SUV has optional third-row seating and a 305-mile EPA range in 450+ spec. Meanwhile, deliveries of the marginally smaller EQE SUV are expected to begin this summer.
The EQE SUV also has around 300 miles of range but only has room for five. Plenty of features the EQS SUV has, like the 56″ Hyperscreen, can also be equipped on the junior EQE SUV.