Mercedes-Benz has already officially announced it will be locking certain performance-related specifications in Mercedes-EQ and possibly in some other electric car models.
The new “comfort package” is called ‘Acceleration Increase’. In order to remove what essentially is a paywall, owners will have to pay an annual fee of $1,200.
This electronically-controlled power boost will depend on exact engine specifications. For example, in Mercedes-EQ EQE, the power after unlocking would jump from 215 kW to 260 kW (21% increase), and in Mercedes-EQ EQS from 265 kW to 330 kW (24.5% increase). The baseline price of these models will range from $89,817 to $195,929.
The resulting performance increase should improve 0-100 km/h (0-62mph) acceleration by approximately 0.8-1.0 seconds.
Initially, Mercedes is planning to roll out this subscription fee in the U.S. only.
It should be noted that the technical hardware in these vehicles will remain the same. Power will be limited based on a software solution, and this weakening of cars is just an attempt to introduce a new business model essentially forcing customers to pay more.
Previously, a similar move was made by Tesla which charged $2,000 for an “Acceleration Boost” upgrade in some vehicles. Later this software limiter was hacked.