The Mercedes AA Class, a spoof car powered by AA batteries.
Saturday Night Live
By Katie Fehrenbacher
April 18, 2016

Meet the electric car if it was designed by the Energizer Bunny. This weekend Saturday Night Live ran a skit of the world’s most ridiculous luxury electric car powered by thousands of AA batteries, the kind you likely use in many a low end gadget around your home.

A clear spoof of Tesla (TSLA) and its Model S sedan, the so-called “Mercedes AA Class” uses 9,648 AA batteries that wrap around the entire body of the car. Batteries can be replaced on an individual basis, or all at once with a pull tab, mugs actress and SNL host Julia Louis-Dreyfus, as she pulls a tab and batteries awkwardly spill out and pile up on both the sides of the car.

Unlike Tesla’s cars that emphasize high performance, rapid acceleration, and blazing fast speeds, the Mercedes AA Class only has a top speed of 52 miles per hour, jokes the fake commercial. Tesla would never settle for that.

The Mercedes AA Class also has sweeping luxury dashboard screen that will alert drivers when individual batteries need to be replaced. The commercial shows a screen that constantly and annoyingly alerts the driver of AA batteries that need to be replaced every couple of minutes. Chuckles.

Years ago Tesla used to actually build technology for Mercedes’ B-Class electric car. But Mercedes now plans to bring its battery and powertrain technology in house for the next-generation of the B-Class. Mercedes has invested over $550 million in its own powertrain and battery technology for its electric cars.

A SNL skit featuring a Mercedes powered by 9,648 AA batteries.

The skit shows how electric cars are still a really new technology to most consumers. If you hear about a luxury car powered by batteries, and you know nothing about electric cars, this might actually be close to what you’d imagine.

At the same time, thanks to high profile cars and car launches—like Tesla’s unveiling of its Model 3 earlier this month—consumers around the world are increasingly starting to hear about the rise of electric cars. As consumer interest continues to grow, speculation will no doubt grow about how the technology works, or doesn’t work.

For more on Tesla’s new Model 3 watch:

But thanks to the progress of the lithium-ion battery over the years, electric cars like Tesla’s are using thousands of lithium-ion batteries wrapped together into a battery pack. Tesla has designed its cars so that the batteries lie in a flat pack underneath the bottom of its cars, not around every inch of the car.

Tesla now has close to 400,000 reservations for its mainstream car, the Model 3, after unveiling it only a little over two weeks ago. Customers won’t be able to buy the car for years, but it was still one of the largest product launches in history.

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