Tesla and its erratic leader Elon Musk are very good at stealing the limelight – or telling the PR story they want to tell. We’ve seen it time and again. For example, at the height of the Model 3 production issues last year Musk suddenly revealed an electric lorry and the new Roadster to distract everyone.

So, what has this to do with Mercedes-Benz?

Today, Mercedes revealed the EQC electric SUV, its first standalone electric model at an event in Stockholm. It’s the first model in a ten billion Euro investment plan for electrified vehicles at Mercedes, making it a pretty big deal. The EQA hatchback, seen in concept form already, will arrive next year and an EQS, an electric equivalent to the S-Class, will launch in 2020/21. Overall, 130 electrified vehicles are due in the next seven years.

Mercedes-Benz EQC electric SUV revealed

Mercedes has been revving up for this launch for some time. Jaguar won the race of mainstream firms launching electric SUVs earlier this year, but thanks to Audi delaying its e-tron launch, Mercedes can now at least beat its German rival.

Meanwhile, Tesla plods on mired in varying dramas, but with bold plans to add to its strong range of electric cars. Forthcoming machines include the Model Y compact SUV, an electric lorry and the modern-day Roadster.

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By far the most anticipated is the Roadster. When Musk announced it last year, he claimed a wild 0-60 mph time of 1.9secs  – enough to get even the most sedate car fan’s interest.

We’ve seen pictures of the Roadster and more details since then, but when would it appear at a major event – and in Europe? Today, it turns out. The same day as Mercedes, one of Tesla’s mainstream rivals, launches its assault into the electric vehicle market.

Tesla has chosen an unusual setting, showing the Roadster at the Grand Basel show, a niche, historic design-focused car show in Switzerland, and a show that almost never features reveals of new production cars.

I have no doubt there will be some Roadster buyers in affluent Switzerland, but you can’t help but wonder: did Musk do this on purpose? Did he pick an European event on the same date as the Mercedes EQC launch to show off the Roadster, in a bid to trump the German brand?