Mercedes-Benz has placed a paywall that costs $1,200 a year in front of some electric vehicles’ full performance. Although many people have criticized the company, it claims that the “Acceleration Increase” will “unleash enhanced performance” of its Mercedes-EQ EQE and Mercedes-EQ EQS vehicles.
The price range for the aforementioned vehicles is £74,350 to £161,860 ($89,817 to $195,929). The vehicles will be able to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour slightly more quickly, by about 1 second, thanks to the Acceleration Increase subscription, which the company says is “COMING SOON.”
According to Mercedes, who confirmed this to the BBC, this will only be offered in the US. It will not be made available in the UK.
Microtransactions have come to destroy everything we enjoy https://t.co/oK7uiRsZhI
— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) November 24, 2022
According to the manufacturer, “Acceleration Increase boosts this performance even more: electronically increasing the motor’s output also significantly increases the torque,” and “Fine tuning of the electric motors increases the maximum motor output [kilowatts] of your Mercedes-EQ by 20 to 24 percent, depending on the original output from factory. Additionally, the torque is boosted, allowing your car to accelerate substantially faster and with more force.
However, many have noted that since this is a software update rather than a hardware upgrade, the cars already have the physical capacity to operate at their full potential. As a result, it appears that they are essentially being purposefully made less capable in order to convince customers to pay more.
Mercedes is adding a subscription fee to their electric vehicles that will increase horsepower and torque. It's happening. Late-stage capitalism is going to have people paying a monthly fee to improve the performance of a car they already bought. pic.twitter.com/7rHIkolC9R
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) November 22, 2022
This action is similar to one taken by Tesla, which introduced a $2,000 “Acceleration Boost” in-app upgrade that sped up 0 to 60 times for some vehicles but was ultimately circumvented by hackers and reportedly scrapped for some vehicles.