Mercedes-Benz is moving forward with electric drives and vehicle software. In 2022 the portfolio includes eight all-electric Mercedes-EQ models. The global Mercedes-Benz production network is ready for the company's electric product offensive and is integrating its Mercedes-EQ models into series production in its existing plants.
Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG; responsible for Daimler Group Research and COO Mercedes-Benz Cars: "With its 'Electric First' strategy, Mercedes-Benz is consistently on the path to CO₂ neutrality and is investing heavily in transformation. Our vehicle portfolio becomes electric and thus also our global production network with vehicle and battery factories. We intend to lead in the field of e-mobility and focus in particular on battery technology. We are taking a comprehensive approach, ranging from research and development to production, and also including strategic cooperation."
The EQS, the first electric luxury sedan from Mercedes-Benz, will start in Germany in the first half of 2021 in Factory 56 at the Sindelfingen site. With the production launch of the electric compact SUV EQA at the Rastatt plant and the current decision to locate EQB production in the Hungarian plant in Kecskemét. High-efficiency battery systems will also be manufactured and assembled within the production network. For further information see the IDTechEx report on Electric Vehicle Motor Manufacturers and Developers: 255 Analysed and Assessed.
Jörg Burzer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz AG, Production and Supply Chain: "The Mercedes-Benz production network is global, digital and flexible, and ready for the upcoming electric offensive - thanks, of course, to our highly qualified and motivated employees worldwide. We are now beginning a real Mercedes-EQ fireworks display. Six electric product launches by 2022 underscore the strength and competence of our Mercedes-Benz production sites worldwide. The production network will have a total of six Mercedes-EQ car locations. Local production of highly efficient battery systems plays a central role in the Mercedes-Benz strategy - coupled with a comprehensive sustainability concept that spans the entire life cycle of the battery all the way to recycling."
In May 2019 production of the EQC at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen (Germany) was integrated into ongoing series production. Just a few months later the German-Chinese production joint venture, Beijing Benz Automotive Co Ltd (BBAC), launched EQC production for the local market in China. In 2020 production of the EQV premium electric MPV started in Vitoria, northern Spain.
EQA will celebrate its world premiere on January, 20 2021 as the first fully electric derivative of this compact car. As with the EQC from Bremen and Beijing and the EQV from Vitoria, which are already on the market, the fully electric models at the Rastatt plant run on the same production line as compact vehicles with conventional and hybrid drives. That means all five vehicles produced in Rastatt are electrified: In addition to the fully electric EQA, the A‑Class, A-Class sedan, B-Class and the compact SUV GLA are also produced in Rastatt - with classic combustion engines as well as plug-in hybrid drive. EQA production will also follow next year (2021) at BBAC in Beijing for the Chinese market.
EQB production will launch in 2021 at two locations in the global Mercedes-Benz Cars production network: in the Hungarian Mercedes-Benz plant in Kecskemét for the world market and in the German-Chinese joint venture BBAC in Beijing for the local market. The compact SUV EQB will be the first purely electrically powered production vehicle from Hungary and will complement the plug-in hybrid portfolio consisting of the CLA and CLA Shooting Brake. The A-Class will also be produced in Kecskemét with a plug-in hybrid drive, in addition to production in the German Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt.
Furthermore, in the first half of 2021 production of the EQS electric luxury sedan will begin in Factory 56. EQS is the fully electric member in the new S-Class program and is the first to use the new electric architecture for luxury and upper-class electric vehicles at Mercedes-Benz. In Factory 56 the S-Class and, in the future, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, and the EQS will be produced in a fully flexible manner on the same line.
Furthermore, the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen will begin production of the EQE business sedan in the second half of 2021, followed shortly thereafter at the Beijing plant. The Beijing plant will then produce a total of four Mercedes-EQ models for the local market.
The Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa (USA) is also preparing for production of the EQE SUV and EQS SUV in 2022, which will be produced in the future on the same line with SUVs with conventional and plug-in hybrid drives.
In 2022 a total of eight Mercedes-EQ electric vehicles will be produced at seven locations on three continents. In the Mercedes-Benz AG plants, vehicles with different drive types can be produced in parallel thanks to highly flexible structures. With a view to the strategic goal of generating more than half of sales with so-called xEVs, i.e. plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, from 2030 on and gradually increasing the purely electric share, the high degree of flexibility is a decisive advantage. It enables production to be adjusted at short notice depending on market demand.
smart rounds off the electric Mercedes-Benz Cars portfolio with three additional models. The smart EQ fortwo and smart EQ fortwo Cabrio are produced in Hambach, France, and the smart EQ forfour in Novo Mesto, Slovenia. The next generation of smart electric vehicles will be produced by the joint venture smart Automobile Co Ltd.in China. This is a joint venture of Mercedes‑Benz AG and the Zhejiang Geely Group (Geely Holding).
Plug-in hybrid drive is important as a key technology and intermediate step toward a purely electric product portfolio. More than 20 plug-in hybrid model variants are already an integral part of the Mercedes-Benz product portfolio. The portfolio will be expanded to include more than 25 model variants by 2025. Their production therefore also plays an important role in the global production network. Plug-in hybrid vehicles are already rolling off Mercedes-Benz Cars assembly lines in almost all car plants.
The batteries for the Mercedes-EQ electric vehicles are supplied by a global battery production network with plants on three continents including Germany, Poland and China. Local battery production is a key success factor for the Mercedes-Benz electric offensive.
Production of the EQS and EQE SUV models will start in 2022 at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa (USA). A battery plant is currently being built in the immediate vicinity and will supply highly efficient battery systems for both models. Work on the building has already been completed. The ultra-modern systems will be installed in the coming months.
Source and top image: Daimler