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Mercedes Ditching EQ Sub-Brand Because Everything Will Be Electric Anyway: Report

As the EQ name goes away it'll be interesting to see what Mercedes-Benz calls electric- and gas-powered cars in the same segment.

Mercedes-Benz’s growing all-electric sub-brand is reportedly outgrowing its dorky baby nickname. German newspaper Handelsblatt reported Thursday that the EQ sub-brand will go away by the end of next year as the German automaker makes electric cars more commonplace and gradually becomes an entirely electric luxury marque. 

The newspaper cited sources within the company who weren’t allowed to speak publicly about the automaker’s future. Mercedes’ EQ was launched in 2016 and applies to the all-electric variants of its already-large stable of alphanumeric cars and the Smart EQ (nee Smart) brand of minicars. The first car to bear the EQ nameplate in earnest was the EQC crossover, launched in 2019 and initially slated for U.S. arrival in 2020 before those plans were scuttled. 

The EQ name now applies to a few cars and crossovers, including the EQB, EQS, EQE, and EQS SUV. The EQ moniker was reportedly set for the upcoming all-electric G-Wagen, although that’s unlikely going forward. What’s less clear is what naming convention Mercedes will use to specify electric and non-electric versions of similar vehicles that likely will occupy the same showrooms for at least a few years. For instance, the EQB name applies to the automaker’s small electric crossover, while the GLB name applies to the equivalent gas-powered model. Mercedes may use the numerals to differentiate between electric and internal combustion power, as higher power output has been identified in the numbers before. 

Mercedes’ naming convention issues, for now, won’t be its alone. Other automakers such as BMW and Volkswagen will eventually need to reckon with their EV branding as those cars become more commonplace and eventually take over. BMW’s i7, for example, will become the only 7 Series available, which would forgo the “I” branding completely. The same goes for the EX series for Volvo and ID series for VW. What used to be novel soon will be the norm. 

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