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Mercedes to Offer Subscription for Performance Boost to Electric Cars

Uchuu
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Summary

 

Mercedes is starting a subscription for increased electric car performance.

 

Quotes

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The German carmaker now lists "acceleration increase" as an option for some electric models in its online store, The Drive first reported. The add-on feature will cost $1,200 per year and is "coming soon," according to Mercedes-Benz's website.

Quote

Customers who pay the fee will unlock between 20% and 24% more power output from their electric Mercedes. The upgrade will also boost torque and shave up to one second off of a vehicle's zero-to-60-mph time, Mercedes says.

Quote

As vehicles become increasingly internet-connected, car companies from Mercedes-Benz to BMW to Stellantis plan to make billions off of software services. That includes asking customers to pay up for features after they buy a vehicle. Some carmakers already offer capabilities like remote start and automatic high beams for monthly or annual fees.

 

My thoughts

Hopefully the backlash stops automotive companies from even thinking about this.

 

Sources

https://shop.mbusa.com/en-us/connect/pdp/Acceleration-Increase/709

https://www.businessinsider.com/mercedes-eqs-eqe-subscription-acceleration-horsepower-boost-electric-cars-2022-11

https://www.thedrive.com/news/mercedes-makes-better-performance-a-1200-subscription-in-its-evs

378700400_Screenshot2022-11-23at09-43-28MercedesmeconnectUSA.png

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16 minutes ago, Uchuu said:

Summary

 

Mercedes is starting a subscription for increased electric car performance.

 

Quotes

 

My thoughts

Hopefully the backlash stops automotive companies from even thinking about this.

 

Sources

https://shop.mbusa.com/en-us/connect/pdp/Acceleration-Increase/709

https://www.businessinsider.com/mercedes-eqs-eqe-subscription-acceleration-horsepower-boost-electric-cars-2022-11

https://www.thedrive.com/news/mercedes-makes-better-performance-a-1200-subscription-in-its-evs

378700400_Screenshot2022-11-23at09-43-28MercedesmeconnectUSA.png

Stops it?  It's great.  You can now pay for the power you want.  Any idea how many people don't WANT the 400+ horsepower in their high end Mercs?  They buy a Mercedes for luxury, not necessarily power.

 

Granted, if they're reducing the price and then charging more, great.  But I bet they're charging a lot, then charging more.

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34 minutes ago, Uchuu said:

Hopefully the backlash stops automotive companies from even thinking about this.

 

Didn't stop adobe or many other companies

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And there goes this thread similar to all "xxx makes a subscription service" threads.

A: "It's great value! You don't pay for stuff you don't use!"

B: "No, you've already paid for that crap when you bought the thing"

.

.

.

∞ (until the mod arrives with the lock hammer for topic deviation)

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31 minutes ago, Dedayog said:

Stops it?  It's great.  You can now pay for the power you want.  Any idea how many people don't WANT the 400+ horsepower in their high end Mercs?  They buy a Mercedes for luxury, not necessarily power.

 

Granted, if they're reducing the price and then charging more, great.  But I bet they're charging a lot, then charging more.

the thing is.. wether you pay for the extra power or not.. it's the exact same car.

 

it's like you bought a car with a V8, but two of the cylinders are just freewheeling if you dont pay for the package.

 

i'm all for options, mercedes is *the* options car company.. but it makes no fucking sense to sell people a car, and then go 'hey, if you pay an obscene subscripton fee, we'll remove a virtual doorstop from underneath your gas pedal."

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1 minute ago, manikyath said:

the thing is.. wether you pay for the extra power or not.. it's the exact same car.

 

it's like you bought a car with a V8, but two of the cylinders are just freewheeling if you dont pay for the package.

 

i'm all for options, mercedes is *the* options car company.. but it makes no fucking sense to sell people a car, and then go 'hey, if you pay an obscene subscripton fee, we'll remove a virtual doorstop from underneath your gas pedal."

Yeah, I get that.  But every car company leaves performance on the table and then we pay for mods or tunes to unlock it.

 

Tesla took it a step further by paying to unlock Ludicrous speed.

 

I think they're trying to emulate the V6 V8 4-banger aspect of ICE cars.  1 electric motor, we can now set it to perform like a V6 when you buy it, and if you want V8 power... pay us.  Granted it's an obscene amount of money, but I understand it.

 

 

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If they do this, it will only mean I wouldn't buy a car from them.  And why would anyone buy an artificially crippled car, especially for the ridiculous prices they're asking.

 

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I don't know where to fall on this stuff. My first instinct is of course to hate it. 

 

But imagine this. Let's say the lowest end card Nvidia wants to make is $1000... let's assume that's truly the cost, plus just a reasonable profit (it's fictional, just imagine it okay!?). If they said "Hey, the cost doesn't make sense for manufacturing another SKU, maybe the market isn't there, whatever, but we'll put some sort of governor on there, and sell it for $500. We'll eat the cost just so there's an option for people with less money, who don't need all the power". It'll just essentially be supplemented by the higher tier purchases. 

 

This doesn't seem unreasonable. It even seems like a good guy move. I realize the example is ridiculous and there'd be more than a market for a $500 graphics card. But make up whatever example you want, the principle is the same.

 

The problem is, you can't really distinguish where that type of scenario begins, and where the predatory upselling ends. Are you really getting a cheaper option that wouldn't otherwise exist? Or are the costs of the features just bumping up? You can't possibly know intent, or products that would or wouldn't exist in alternate timelines...

 

I suspect more often than not it is NOT doing the customer any favors. But I can see the usefulness of the strategy in certain scenarios in theory. So I'm not quite ready to call the whole practice evil.

 

Tesla and their battery might be another  decent example. Maybe it truly is giving a cheaper option that wouldn't otherwise exist (limiting battery power). Why must they physically create a smaller version? To satisfy our psychological issue with it? Because that seems to be the main issue, a psychological one. 

 

It's not unheard of to supplement smaller products with larger ones. Perhaps creating an entire production chain for a 2nd car battery would just jack up the cost of ALL models and make the savings moot? I have no idea.

 

It still feels a little gross though. Just trying to devil's advocate it a bit.

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Paying extra would never be allowed for critical safety systems, so I'm honestly not that worried by this. Oh no, you might have to pay an extra $12,000 on top of the $170k to get the most out of your high end Mercedes! What a shock. Most people won't own the car for more than 10 years anyway, so the extra cost really isn't that extreme. I'm not even reeeeally that bothered by the paid heated seats, that tons don't need at all, and most need for maybe 3 months of the year. 

 

Electric motors are different than conventional motors. So from that aspect as well I get paying more for more performance. It's likely cheaper just to use the higher end motors and simplify your logistics chains by using it in all vehicles and nerfing the lower ones. GPU and CPUs do this all the time. Not every lower tier card is made from bad chips. 

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I don't have any issue with this as long as there is an option to pay once and get the same feature.

To me, this is just as "outrageous" as Microsoft locking features out of Windows 10 Home and expecting me to pay extra for the "pro" model to get it, even though it doesn't cost them any extra for the "pro" license.

Wanna use all of that RAM your PC has? Sorry, you gotta pay us extra to use it.

Wanna use your second CPU? Sorry, you gotta pay us extra for it.

Want to be able to bundle NICs? Sorry, but only customers that pay extra can do that.

 

 

But if it is only available as a subscription, which it seems like judging by the screenshots, then Mercedes deserves all the backlash they may get from this.

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10 minutes ago, LAwLz said:

I don't have any issue with this as long as there is an option to pay once and get the same feature.

To me, this is just as "outrageous" as Microsoft locking features out of Windows 10 Home and expecting me to pay extra for the "pro" model to get it, even though it doesn't cost them any extra for the "pro" license.

Wanna use all of that RAM your PC has? Sorry, you gotta pay us extra to use it.

Wanna use your second CPU? Sorry, you gotta pay us extra for it.

Want to be able to bundle NICs? Sorry, but only customers that pay extra can do that.

 

 

But if it is only available as a subscription, which it seems like judging by the screenshots, then Mercedes deserves all the backlash they may get from this.

 

Yes! I just wrote a big spiel about it above but didn't think to address the subscription aspect. I don't hate the fact that the product already physically exists necessarily. I'll pay for an upgrade. But it's the subscription part that should be argued against more. 

 

I've even gone so far as to defend day 1 expansions and unlocking on-disc content for games for similar reasons as I argue above. If the addons weren't part of the original budget, and only exist under the premise people would pay extra, I don't particularly care about the delivery mechanism.

 

I guess the gist is I just don't like subscriptions for things that don't have an ongoing cost to the company, like heated seats. Whereas it obviously makes sense for say, mobile internet.

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15 minutes ago, dizmo said:

Paying extra would never be allowed for critical safety systems, so I'm honestly not that worried by this.

People do that since a long time now, just look at the options for the light options.  The lights are a critical safety system and unless you pay extra, you get the crappy halogen headlights which suck and shouldn't be allowed anymore.

 

And don't assume that other safety features wouldn't come at extra cost if they weren't required by law.

 

@Holmes108

Neither NVIDIA nor Mercedes eat the cost.  You pay full price for it and then you get to pay extra over and over again for what you already payed when you bought the graphics card or the car.  It's like you buy a car with LED headlights and you have to pay $1200 per year to be allwed to turn them on.

 

 

 

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This actually might have some unexpected consequences. In Europe your engine power is part of the registration. So with this "subscription" the registration would expire and the car would need a new registration. Also the insurance rates might change. So I'm curious how this will turn out for other markets (and hopefully it dies a quick death).

23 minutes ago, Dedayog said:

But every car company leaves performance on the table and then we pay for mods or tunes to unlock it.

Cars have been for more than a decade like modern desktop CPUs - with very little actual headroom without sacrificing longevity or efficiency.

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1 minute ago, heimdali said:

People do that since a long time now, just at the options for the light options.  The lights are a critical safety system and unless you pay extra, you get the crappy halogen headlights which suck and shouldn't be allowed anymore.

 

But they are allowed. So still, it's not like paying extra for legally required safety features. Upgrades will always be a thing.

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1 minute ago, HenrySalayne said:

This actually might have some unexpected consequences. In Europe your engine power is part of the registration. So with this "subscription" the registration would expire and the car would need a new registration. Also the insurance rates might change. So I'm curious how this will turn out for other markets (and hopefully it dies a quick death).

 

 

Oh that's interesting. Registration wouldn't be an issue in Canada, but for insurance purposes, it could potentially change the overall "model" of the car, if the change was big enough.

 

Edit: I guess if this becomes common enough, instead of asking for the model, you'll additionally be required to disclose the current trim level, and to update your insurance when it changes. Not much different than if you suddenly buy winter tires.

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8 minutes ago, heimdali said:

 

 

@Holmes108

Neither NVIDIA nor Mercedes eat the cost.  You pay full price for it and then you get to pay extra over and over again for what you already payed when you bought the graphics card or the car.  It's like you buy a car with LED headlights and you have to pay $1200 per year to be allwed to turn them on.

 

 

 

I know that's what we'll always want to say, because we want to hate the big evil corporations, and 90% of the time it'll be true. But not always. And the concept of loss leaders isn't new or unusual. Microsoft is losing money on consoles right now. Obviously because it benefits them in the big picture. But still it's true nonetheless. 

 

What if financially it made more sense for them to limit the Series X power and have it unlockable, instead of having the Series S. It could make lot's of sense, and even be a better option for consumers. 

 

Edit: But as a one time purchase. Not a subscription!! lol

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17 minutes ago, Holmes108 said:

But they are allowed. So still, it's not like paying extra for legally required safety features. Upgrades will always be a thing.

Yes, but you get to pay extra for a critical safety feature.  Only when the cheaper option is not allowed anymore, you get to pay for the more expensive one and then some because you can't buy a car without anymore.

 

@HenrySalayne

Car manufacturers can bascially do whatever they want, so there won't be any issues with the registration.  They can even sell you cars with high beams on the roof which is illegal, and you won't pass inspection with that, but Nissan put them on the roof from factory and there was no problem whatsoever.  And think of how nicely VW and Audio got away with their emissions fraud.  They should have been forced to refund every fraudulent car they sold in full.  And how much did they pay for the environmental damage?  AFAIK they didn't pay anything.  At least I didn't get any money as compensation for my health which must be affected by the extra pollution they caused.

 

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36 minutes ago, dizmo said:

Paying extra would never be allowed for critical safety systems, so I'm honestly not that worried by this.

yeah right...

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1 hour ago, Dedayog said:

Yeah, I get that.  But every car company leaves performance on the table and then we pay for mods or tunes to unlock it.

 

Tesla took it a step further by paying to unlock Ludicrous speed.

 

I think they're trying to emulate the V6 V8 4-banger aspect of ICE cars.  1 electric motor, we can now set it to perform like a V6 when you buy it, and if you want V8 power... pay us.  Granted it's an obscene amount of money, but I understand it.

 

 

key detail there.

 

it's either hardware you add, or you pay for the hours of a tuner that spends his time setting things up just right.

 

this sort of junk is literally 'you pay extra to unlock the 200 extra watts that your car could deliver, but cant.' there is no "tuning" to make it more powerful, it's literally like paying a subscription service to slide the power target slider on your GPU from "100%" to "120%"

 

actually.. scratch that last one, if nvidia hears that, it's gonna be a feature on 5000 series...

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1 hour ago, heimdali said:

If they do this, it will only mean I wouldn't buy a car from them.  And why would anyone buy an artificially crippled car, especially for the ridiculous prices they're asking.

 

Because no company ever has charged more for different engine options. 

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11 minutes ago, IkeaGnome said:

Because no company ever has charged more for different engine options

You don't get it.  

 

No one is complaining about a different purchased option that stays with the car. 

 

It's paywalling already existing components that is stupid.  People trying to justify paywalls is ludicrous.

 

Personally, I think mercedes has gone off a cliff but their target demo are generally idiots with a few dollars to spend on a status symbol.  BMW et al are doing it to try and lower the initial entry price to sucker in more idiots.

 

It has nothing to do with saving them money, it's the old razzle dazzle. 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, IkeaGnome said:

Because no company ever has charged more for different engine options. 

image.png.899a7c313ef85d6c3daad4b7dff136d4.png

I feel like you're just shitposting, TBH. Because these are three physically different engines. Somebody would have to take out the old one and put in a new one to make a switch. 

Here we are talking about identical engines with different "firmwares" the manufacturer can just change with a flick of a switch.

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Here is a very simple reason why this is complete bullshit:

 

Subscriptions are meant to cover for ongoing costs of products such as cloud storage, which continuously needs electricity and maintanance.

Once you've purchased a car, you don't continue to generate costs for the manufacturer. Repairs and maintanance are paid for seperately, but if there was a subscription which would make sense, it would be for that and not anything else.

Googly 👀

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