It's about time.
With the diesel fallout thanks to Volkswagen, automakers are busy adjusting to a new reality: EVs and plug-in hybrids are the future. Diesel is out, EVs and plug-ins are in, and that's the bottom line. Mercedes-Benz, however, has so far been behind the rest of the pack when it comes to EV powertrains. Not for much longer. According to a new report from Autocar, the German automaker is planning to launch four EVs by 2020. Yes, four: two sedans, two SUVs.
Apparently, the sedans will be based around the C- and S-Class while the SUVs will ride on platforms derived from the GLA and GLC. As we reported last week, Mercedes has been considering a direct rival to BMW's i brand for some time, but today is the first we've heard of more specific plans. None of the four of Mercedes' new EVs will have a standalone platform due to costs, with the plan instead to heavily modify existing platforms for EV applications. Mercedes is also developing its own range of electric motors, ranging in output from 101 hp to 536 hp. Expect a driving range of more than 250 miles as well.
Mercedes parent company Daimler also recently announced major investment in its battery production facilities in Germany, so it's pretty clear the plan isn't to buy batteries from, say, Tesla. So imagine an S-Class size EV competitor to the Model S (or its eventual successor). That's an EV showdown we can't wait to see happen.