Mercedes’ new EV innovation is a paywall on your car’s performance

Tesla isn’t the only car brand asking you to pay extra to unlock your car’s existing capabilities. as edge In response, Mercedes introduced a $1,200 per year “acceleration boost” subscription that improves the performance of the EQE and EQS on their standard sedan and SUV variants. Pay the annual fee and your 0-60MPH time will improve by 0.8 to 1 second thanks to a higher peak motor output and increased torque.

Mercedes is quick to explain that this is strictly a software change. In other words, you’re paying to get the performance your car can already handle. While you’re still getting more value than BMW’s $18 per month heated seats, it’s an odd move when these cars are already expensive and there are faster models that only require a one-time outlay. Why buy an EQS 450 with acceleration add-ons when an EQS 580 will be faster and include more creature comforts into the bargain?

The German automaker isn’t the first to charge extra for extra performance. Tesla has long asked customers to shell out for its most advanced driver assistance. For a while, it charged entry Model S buyers a premium to unlock battery capacity. And if you’re more motorcycle-leaning, the Zero 2022 SR will ask around $1,800 to max out its power. The difference, of course, is that those are still one-time purchases where Mercedes wants you to keep paying for the life of the car

Clear business strategy. As with the tech world’s general shift toward subscription services, Mercedes expects a steady stream of revenue from customers who might otherwise spend little beyond the initial purchase. Increasing acceleration is definitely more profitable than periodic navigation updates and maintenance. Unlike those, though, Power Boost has no recurring costs to help justify its existence.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices correct at time of publication.