Already sick of your EV’s whiplash-inducing acceleration or wishing you’d spent more money on a more powerful model? For Mercedes owners in North America, who will soon be able to “tune” their vehicles through an official “Acceleration Increase” subscription service, this is not a problem.
However, Mercedes does not plan to introduce the service in Europe. “The feature you are inquiring about relates only to Mercedes-Benz models in the United States and Canada. This is not available in the UK and Europe currently,” said a Mercedes representative.
The simple explanation is that it is illegal. According to a Mercedes Netherlands spokesperson, the company cannot deliver the OTA update that unlocks the car’s performance due to legal difficulties within the EU. However, the spokesman failed to elaborate. Therefore it is currently uncertain what rules prohibit such subscription-based businesses.
Subscriptions in the automotive industry are a controversial topic; some recognize their perks, while the majority despise them. However, it appears that subscriptions are here to stay. Last July, Mercedes was in hot water in Germany for offering an extra 5.5 degrees of angle in the rear-wheel steering system for a €500 monthly subscription.
For a $1,200 yearly subscription, the company is now attempting to provide greater power for its EQE and EQS models. The EQE and EQE SUV get 61hp, while the EQS and EQS SUV gains 88hp. Acceleration time is reduced by a second for all four models, and the subscription is currently only available for the EQE 350 and EQS 450 versions.
However, people paying subscription fees for better performance are frowned upon by EU regulations. You can buy it outright and upgrade your automobile to produce more power, but you can’t keep turning the dial up and down.