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Mercedes-Benz will only sell EVs by 2030, but only ‘where market conditions allow’

Mercedes-Benz has announced a broad plan setting out its plans to move towards becoming an EV-only brand. This is a seismic shift from its previous ‘Ambition 2039’ plan and expedites the plans by the best part of a decade, with the first big steps coming in the next four years.

Mercedes’ plan incorporates everything from vehicle platforms to battery production and the way in which its employees will be geared up for an EV future. The headline grabber is that Mercedes-Benz is joining the ranks of car brands committing to being battery electric only by 2030, albeit it makes this commitment with the caveat that it will be all-electric only “where market conditions allow”.

There will be huge changes at Mercedes before that, though, with some of the biggest coming in the next few years.

By 2022, Mercedes will offer a full EV in every vehicle segment that the company serves incorporating everything from the compact segment  (A-Class) to the large SUV segment (G-Class). From 2025, all new Mercedes vehicle architectures will be electric-only and there will be an electric version of every model that the brand makes.

Also in 2025, Mercedes-Benz will launch three electric-only architectures. MB.EA will cover all medium to large passenger cars through scalability, forming the backbone of the brands EV future. AMG.EA will be a performance-orientated platform which will be used for Mercedes-AMG models. VAN.EA will underpin Mercedes’ light goods vehicles.

These will join the MMA EV architecture which launches a year earlier in 2024 and will underpin the brand’s smaller models.

To give you a bit of a taster of what’s to come, in 2022 we will have the flagship EQS, EQA and EQB compact SUVs, EQE saloon, EQE and EQS mid-sized SUVs to bring the brand’s provision to eight full EVs.

Mercedes is aiming to achieve all of this whilst maintaining a healthy profit to keep the shareholders happy, but will also be investing 40 billion euros in the overall plan. This will be spent on R&D, improving its efficiency, creating a reliable battery and component supply line and updating its production methods.

New motor tech, for example, will come courtesy of UK-based YASA, which was acquired by Mercedes and allowed the brand access to axial flux motor technology. It will sit alongside in-house developed eATS 2.0 motor technology.

Batteries will obviously be a big pressure point for the brand, with more than 200GWh required for its plans. Up to eight gigafactories will be established globally to fulfil this need with cells being standardised so that they can be used across the Mercedes portfolio. Mercedes will partner with third parties, like SilaNano, to develop more energy-dense cells using silicon-carbon composites, for example. Charging will also get an overhaul to both increase the provision and simplify the process of using it.

“The EV shift is picking up speed – especially in the luxury segment, where Mercedes-Benz belongs. The tipping point is getting closer and we will be ready as markets switch to electric-only by the end of this decade,” said Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG. “This step marks a profound reallocation of capital. By managing this faster transformation while safeguarding our profitability targets, we will ensure the enduring success of Mercedes-Benz.”

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