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Mercdes-Benz looks as though it’s going to ditch its electric EQ name, but will the others follow?

At last, it seems a car-maker has realised just how silly it is to have an entirely different brand name for its electric car line-up. Yes, Mercedes-Benz sounds as though it’s going to drop its EQ brand name for its EVs, because it’s all going electric, right? So what’s the point? Now we just have to wait for all the other car manufacturers to realise that it was all a big mistake.

Yep, last week I wrote a story about how Mercedes-Benz was rumoured to be planning to axe its EQ sub-brand name.

Currently, Mercedes-Benz uses EQ to denote an electric vehicle in its line-up. There’s the EQB which is an electric version of the GLB, the EQE which is an electric E-Class, and so on. 

Well, a Reuters report questioned Mercedes-Benz over the rumours to which the car maker responded with this statement:

“With the goal of our parent Mercedes-Benz becoming fully electric by the end of the decade, we will adapt the positioning of the vehicles and thus the use of the brand in line with the times, but it is too early for details on this at the moment.”

Sounds very much like the bosses at Benz have realised the whole EQ thing was not a very good idea. An electric E-Class in the future will be an E-Class, as there won’t be a combustion engine version.

So what about the rest of the carmakers who have also gone down the same dead-end street?

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Kia’s electric car collection includes the EV6 and the EV9.

I’m looking at you Hyundai with your Ioniq brand – your Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6. Great cars, but why not just use your existing nameplates such as i30 and Tucson and Santa Fe? Are you going to throw those in the bin?

And Volkswagen. You’re doing it, too. There’s the ID.3 which is obviously being lined up to replace the Golf. The Golf, which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year. Nice birthday present. You’re old, get out. 

Word is, Volkswagen will keep the Golf name for that petrol car only for as long as it exists and the same goes for Polo, Tiguan, Passat and the rest. 

You can get sentimental about a 2009 Golf GTI, but will anybody be looking back on their ID.3 the same way? 

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Hyundai’s EV collection includes the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6.

And Kia with your imaginatively named EV6 and EV9. I’m being sarcastic, Kia. Come on, these aren’t phones or computers we’re talking about. 

Sure, Carnival probably isn’t the best name and neither is Stonic, nor Seltos or Sportage and what was going on with Pro_ceed GT? But that’s beside the point. When it comes to names give me a Sportage Electric over an EV6 any day.

BMW your names have always been extremely methodical and read like a list of ammunition supplies. When you did try to start bringing in actual words you messed it all up with things like Gran Coupe, but at least your electric names aren’t completely ridiculous. Then iX, the i4, the i7 –  they make sense even if the whole ‘i’ thing is as out of date as an iPod.

And Audi. Don’t even get me started on e-tron.

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BMW’s electric range includes names such as the iX, the i4 and the i7.

Why do we have these EV sub brands when the whole car industry is going to go electric anyway? Well, it could be because vehicle development plans can stretch decades ahead. They need to create a name separate to the current line-up as the new electric vehicles will be on entirely different platforms, so they are essentially totally different cars.

Car-makers could also be protecting their breadwinning petrol and diesel models too, from the potential failure of electric models by keeping them in separate ‘baskets’ until the EV models start to prove themselves and pay their way.

These electric sub-brands could be being used as testing labs until the technology, the charging, the batteries and the cars are good enough to wear the regular nameplates?

So what’s going to happen? Are we going to go through a whole series of Final Edition i30s and Farewell Special Golfs, or will car companies see the light like Mercedes-Benz it seems and drop the electric sub-brand name thing altogether?

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Audi’s EV range goes by “e-tron”.

Well, it will come down to money. If the car company feels that losing a loved nameplate is detrimental in how customers view and connect with the brand, and especially if the action significantly affects sales, then you’ll probably see the name stay… or return.

Imagine the fanfare (and the sales) around bringing back the Golf nameplate after everybody thought it was long gone.

Perhaps that’s been the plan all along…

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