In October, Mercedes-Benz confirmed that it was going to be releasing six new fully electric models within its EQ range. However, at that time it only gave scant details; now we have those details, and a timeframe within which we will see them hit the roads. By 2022, a total of eight fully electric Mercedes EQ-badged models will be available alongside the fortow and forfour compact cars from smart.
Mercedes' flagship luxury saloon – the S-class – goes electric in 2021 and will be produced at Factory 56 within the Sindelfingen plant in Germany. It'll be the first Mercedes to use new architecture which has been specifically developed to underpin the brand's large, luxury vehicles for the foreseeable future. EQS will be a fully independent member of the S-Class programme, meaning it will be produced on the same production line as regular internal combustion-powered cars.
Joining the EQS in 2021 will be the EQA compact SUV – the brand's first compact EV. The EQA is already in production at the brand's Rasatt plant in Germany, and will make its global debut on January 20, 2021. Mercedes reports that production is running smoothly on the line that now only builds electrified cars such as the hybrid A- and B-Class. From early 2021, Mercedes will start producing the EQA in China at BBAC in Beijing to cater for the Chinese domestic market.
Production of Mercedes' other compact electric SUV, the EQB, will begin at the Kecskemét plant in Hungary to serve the global market, whilst it will also join the EQA in being produced at the BBAC plant in China.
Beginning production in the second half of 2021, the EQE will join Mercedes' range of fully electric saloons, catering for its traditional executive saloon market. It will be produced at Bremen for the global market and also at BBAC in Beijing. The EQE saloon will be the second saloon variant to use Mercedes' new EV architecture, slotting in below the EQS within the model range.
Perhaps inevitably, Mercedes is going to be producing SUV versions of its two all-electric premium saloons. These won't start production until 2022 and will be built in Tuscaloosa, USA, alongside conventional and hybrid models. We would imagine that these two models will be built for the global market, but with the USA's love of SUVs being so strong, it makes business sense to build them in that market.
Alongside the cars themselves, Mercedes' march towards carbon neutrality – which it aims to reach by 2039 through its aptly named “Ambition 39” strategy – is shoring up its in-market battery production. Like other manufacturers, control of battery production is a significant part of a stable, scalable and sustainable electric future.
Already, Mercedes produces batteries in Kamenz, Germany, Beijing and most recently, Jawor in Poland. In the near future, it will start making them in Untertürkheim, also Germany, and Tuscaloosa in the USA. Further down the line, the brand may add a further plant in Sindelfingen, Germany, and start making drive batteries for EQ brand vehicles in Bangkok.