Mercedes-Benz to introduce acceleration subscription fee
To help its electric cars accelerate more quickly, Mercedes-Benz will provide an online subscription service in the US.
The company will give some of its vehicles the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph one second faster for an annual cost of $1,200 (£991 excluding tax).
It follows competitor brand BMW’s announcement earlier this year of a heated seat subscription function.
Mercedes has acknowledged that it does not currently have plans to launch “Acceleration Increase” in the UK.
The Mercedes-Benz EQ 350, EQS 450, and their SUV equivalents will all be available for purchase in the US.
The feature “electronically increases” the motor’s output and torque, according to the Mercedes US online store.
A Mercedes-Benz EQ 350 SUV will be able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 5.2 seconds as opposed to 6.2 seconds without the subscription; according to an estimate, this will result in a 20 to 24 percent increase in output overall.
The new feature from Mercedes was “unsurprising but disheartening,” according to Jack McKeown, president of the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers and motoring editor of the Courier newspaper in Dundee.
He explained that when you pay a monthly subscription for a phone or broadband, you are funding the provision and upkeep of a data network by the company.
Mercedes is requesting payment for hardware that was already installed in the vehicle when you purchased it, and on which Mercedes presumably already realised a profit.
“It’s a worrying trend, and I hope there’s consumer backlash against it to try to leverage even more profit out of subscription services.”
When BMW announced in July that customers could pay £25 per month to unlock heated seats and steering wheels in their vehicles, there was the backlash.
Additionally, Toyota declared that starting a car remotely with a key fob would cost some drivers $8 per month in December 2021.
Tesla introduced “Acceleration Boost” in 2019, which, for a one-time cost of $2,000, accelerates its Model 3 vehicles from 0 to 60 mph in half the time.
There is no specific release date provided for the Acceleration Increase subscription, which is listed on the US Mercedes storefront as “coming soon.”