Does Mercedes have an Electric Car? Rewind things back a few years and Mercedes’ electric car strategy was all at sea. Despite dominating a new electrified F1 since 2014, Stuttgart – like its German counterparts – had been left in the dust by new, bespoke products from Tesla, Nissan and others. But skip back forward to 2023 and things are looking very different for the Germans.
Mercedes’ new range of electric cars – christened EQ – is growing every month: it started with the mid-sized EQC SUV, but now includes everything from the bespoke EQS limousine to electric-powered AMG models. And unlike those early EQs which simply swapped out ICE for EV, Mercedes’ latest EVs are designed from the ground up to go electric. There’s also the reemergence of the SMART sub-brand, though that’s now a joint partnership with Geely. Either way, the future for Mercedes (and Affalterbach) has arrived.
Does Mercedes have an Electric Car?
Indeed, Mercedes makes electrified vehicles. The brand’s first completely electric luxury sedan is the Mercedes-Benz EQS. It can travel up to 455 miles on a single charge and was introduced in 2021.
Mercedes electric cars: what’s next?
At the 2023 Munich motor show, Mercedes revealed the new Concept CLA Class, and it previews at least four upcoming electric cars. The new concept won’t make it to production, but its DNA will be carried into four new production cars that’ll also use the MMA platform.
Mercedes says the concept you see in Munich will spawn a four-door saloon, a shooting brake and two SUVs. The first of those will be the four-door coupe, and we’ll see that towards the end of 2024.
What’s a platform?
The new electric revolution costs money, and that means brands are looking to funnel their R&D cash into a one-size-fits-all solution that can be adapted for various models. EVA2 is the current version of Mercedes’s bespoke electric-car underpinnings. It’s what sits beneath the big, luxurious EQS saloon and the slightly smaller, slightly less luxurious EQE saloon, which has a wheelbase 90mm shorter than the EQS’s, and 10 battery modules rather than 12.
EVA stands for electric vehicle architecture, and the 2 signifies that it’s a generation (or half a generation) on from EVA1 and EVA1.5. That actually undersells it, as those earlier versions were adapted from combustion-car platforms whereas EVA2 was designed from the off as an electric-only architecture – and it shows.
Earlier electric Mercs – the GLC-based EQC, the A-Class-based EQA and B-Class-based EQB – are compromised by proportions that make sense when there’s a big engine up front and the accompanying transmission hardware, plus a fuel tank up the back. EVA2, by contrast, is all about having batteries under the seats and an electric motor on the rear axle, or one on each axle, with no physical connections between front and rear axles.
The result is a shorter, lower bonnet – which can look weird on the EQS, certainly when compared to the S-Class, which shares the EQS’s ambitions of providing smooth, quiet, luxury driving, but does not share any of its platform. That shorter bonnet, combined with shorter front and rear overhangs, means that a car of similar length can have a roomier interior.
EVA2 is available in a variety of different sizes, but it’s not infinitely stretchable or shrinkable. The production offshoot of the acclaimed EQXX concept – essentially an all-electric replacement for the C-Class – is likely to be built on MMA, created especially for compact and mid-size electric vehicles.
What’s more, the EQXX isn’t just a concept – and lots of the technology used in the concept will be taken to production in some form. ‘That’s like 2425 timeframe, where we see most of the components out of the EQXX,’ Schafer told CAR magazine at the 2023 CES show. ‘So the battery more or less will be the one that we see in EQXX, the Mercedes E-drive, which is the first Mercedes e-drive, we ever did, an in-house design. That’s the one running in the EQXX platform,’ he continued.
‘There are many elements – solar roof and so on – many details on this car will be on that platform.’
‘So, in short: the motor, the battery technology, the cell technology, and part of the inverter elements are definitely in the in the next generation. And there’s more even on the infotainment side; our engineers’ imaginations went wild and came up with this seamless pillar-to-pillar screen, which is something I am going to transfer into series production.
What about AMG, or Maybach?
‘In our transformation to all electric, we’re now in full development of a fully dedicated electric architecture for AMG, from the ground up. That will be some time towards the end of 2025 when that will hit the market,’ said Mercedes boss Ola Källenius at the FT Future of the Car conference.
‘You will have a Maybach fully electric version by the middle of next year. The G-Wagon, I recently drove a prototype of the powertrain of it, down in Graz where we develop and make these vehicles, and went for some serious off-roading. Came off that test drive and said off-roading in the future is definitely electric, and it will be as far as the G is concerned in the middle of 2024.’
Mercedes CEO on the future
‘We’re well under way with the transformation. We’re in the first wave of the product offensive, which will be followed by an even larger second wave,’ said CEO Ola Källenius at the FT Future of the Car conference. ‘Last year we made the decision to go all in on electric and get the transformation done in this decade, with the attitude to make the market, not just wait for the market.’
‘The biggest decision that we made, from the year 2025 forward all new architectures from Mercedes-Benz will be electric only,’ he added. ‘That will put us in a position by the end of this decade to serve markets 100 per cent if they are ready, and we will do our best to make them ready.’
‘For the big game of transformation all the way to electric there are other things that we need to watch – lithium, nickel and so on, things that we need for the battery materials. There substantial investment is necessary if the pace towards electrification is going to accelerate. Next to solving the problems that are here and now, we’re also looking at the long term and trying to lock up our supply chain for a dominant electric world.’
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