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Mercedes EQS sedan. Photo: courtesy of Mercedes

Mercedes has unveiled its first luxury all-electric sedan, and the EQS is headed for U.S. markets late this year.

Why it matters: It's the first of a bunch of upcoming EVs from the German automaker as competition in the market intensifies.

What we don't know: The price. I guess we know it won't be cheap. Here's the Associated Press...

  • "The EQS is the sibling to the company’s S-Class large internal-combustion sedan, the luxury brands flagship model that sells for $110,000 and up."
  • "The two cars aim at the same upper end of the market, though the EQS is set apart by being [built] on the company’s electric-vehicle architecture, or EVA."

How it works: "Sporting what the automaker claims is the world's lowest drag coefficient (0.20) and the world's largest in-car screen (56 inches), and making as much as 516 horsepower, the EQS ... aims to put the Mercedes stamp on the electric-vehicle segment by starting at the top," Car and Driver reports.

What we're watching: The EPA-estimated range of the models sold in the U.S.

  • That's still unknown, but The Verge's detailed and photo-rich coverage points out that European testing shows 478 miles, though that will "most likely drop" in EPA tests.

Go deeper

Walmart invests in autonomous driving company Cruise

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Walmart, along with others, has made a new investment in self-driving car company Cruise, bringing its most recent funding round to $2.75 billion at a valuation of more than $30 billion. The two had previously announced a delivery pilot program in November.

Why it matters: Walmart's biggest rival, Amazon, has been leading the charge on the autonomous driving front, acquiring Zoox last year, and investing in electric vehicle company Rivian.

  • The retailer joins an investor group that includes Microsoft, GM, Honda and others. GM acquired Cruise in 2016 in an effort to accelerate the car company’s development of autonomous vehicle technology.

Misinformation is just one part of a vaccine trust problem

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

COVID-19 is the first major pandemic in the social media era — offering experts a rare opening to study the relationship between online misinformation and human behavior on a large scale.

Why it matters: As misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines runs rampant, researchers are trying to measure how much memes and messages with false information can alter someone's decision to get vaccinated.

33 mins ago - World

Israel's "change bloc" collapses, leaving Netanyahu in charge

Bennett (L) with Netanyahu in 2015. Photo: Gali Tibbon/AFP via Getty Images

In a dramatic shift that comes amid fighting in the Gaza strip and clashes between Jewish and Arab citizens in Israel, right-wing kingmaker Naftali Bennett has announced he will no longer seek an alternative government to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Why it matters: Bennett had been on the verge of a power-sharing deal with centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid that would have made him prime minister for two years until Lapid rotated into the job. Without Bennett, Lapid has no path to a majority, and Israel will almost certainly head for its fifth election since 2019 with Netanyahu still in his post.