Mercedes Officially Begins Fight For EV Dominance

Electric Vehicles / Comments

Here's what's happening between now and 2022.

Mercedes-Benz has made no secret of its intention to take the premium electric vehicle spotlight away from Tesla. But so has the Volkswagen Group and BMW, two of Mercedes' most direct rivals. Can any of these three major German automakers catch up to what was only a California-based start-up less than two decades ago and is now the world's most valuable automaker?

Time will tell but today, Mercedes has announced the production sites in Germany, the US, and China where it will build its new lineup of EQ-branded EVs. These vehicles will be integrated into the same factories as the current hybrids, gasoline, and diesel-powered models. Mercedes' goal is for these full battery electrics to account for more than half of its total sales by 2030.

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By 2022, first and foremost, the EV portfolio will include eight EQ models, six of which will debut between now and 2022. At present, only the Mercedes EQC is on sale. Next will come the compact EQA SUV which is already being manufactured in Rastatt, Germany, and that will also be built in Beijing beginning next year after its official debut on January 20, 2021. The EQB subcompact crossover will call also Beijing home, as well as Kecskemet, Hungary once it begins series production next year.

Next up, the EQS sedan will enter series production in the first half of 2021 in Sindelfingen, Germany. The EQE sedan, roughly the size of the E-Class, will be manufactured in Beijing and Bremen, Germany sometime later in 2021. In the US, Mercedes will outfit its Tuscaloosa, Alabama production site to build the SUV versions of the EQE and EQS beginning in 2022. Tuscaloosa currently builds the GLE and GLS SUVs.

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It is currently building a new battery factory in Alabama and will receive all necessary tooling in the coming months. Mercedes says that it remains on schedule to becoming carbon neutral with its "Ambition2039" plan. By early 2022 in fact, Mercedes car and vans plants will be carbon neutral.

"With its 'Electric First' strategy, Mercedes-Benz is consistently on the path to CO2 neutrality and is investing heavily in transformation," said Markus Schafer, Mercedes board member responsible for research. "Our vehicle portfolio becomes electric and thus also our global production network with vehicle and battery factories."

Looking even further ahead, a G-Class EV is due later in the decade but production details have yet to be revealed.

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