Mercedes to Launch ELA and ELC Bespoke Electric Models from 2018: What?

Mercedes is working with pretty much everybody these days, whether it's developing smart cars with Renault or making an entire hatchback for Infiniti. There are even a couple of Mercedes window switches in the Tesla Model S.
The GLA and GLC will get bespoke EV derivatives 1 photo
Photo: Mercedes-Benz
That's not going to stop the Stuttgart automaker from keeping some of its cards close to its chest and making some competitive EVs. But like Audi (e-tron quattro concept), the three-pointed star wants to go down the crossover road.

According to German magazine Auto Bild, two electric models called the ELA and ELC-Class will debut in 2018. The latter is based on the GLC-Class and will provide a total driving range of about 500 kilometers for €50,000.

The ELA-Class will be smaller and less aimed towards the off-road side of things. It will cost around €40,000 but will share many components with its big brother thanks to an "electric model toolkit" that Mercedes has not yet revealed.

The same publication suggests it will be ready only two years after the ELC, so 2020 is the magic year. However, that could also mean that it's underpinned by the second version of MFA architecture.

This could be a warm-up to a massive transformation of the crossover market. Immediately after showing the e-tron quattro concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi confirmed that it would enter mass production. The start of the diesel scandal only spurred the Germans to action and the only major hurdle is the development of the battery.

Of course, there are already several SUVs that can drive purely on electric power and come with rechargeable batteries. Even Mercedes has one, the GLC 350e plug-in hybrid that makes diesel look less of a default choice.

As for the smaller ELA, it will face up against a plug-in version of the BMW X1 that could come out as early as 2016. However, this crossover will still mostly rely on its 3-cylinder gasoline engine to move.

Unless we see actual test prototypes, we're not going to start saving our money for either of these cars. But it's funny how Mercedes is making its naming system even weirder. After Motor trend nicknamed the GLE "ugle," we now have an EV with a girl's name.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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