Mercedes-Benz is getting ready to go all-electric by the end of the decade, where market conditions allow. Shifting from electric-first to electric-only, the company has laid out its plan toward an emissions-free and software-driven future. By 2022, Mercedes-Benz says it will have battery electric vehicles in all segments the company serves. From 2025 onwards, all newly-launched vehicle architectures will be electric-only and customers will be able to choose an all-electric alternative for every model the company makes.
Mercedes-Benz has revealed a plan which includes significantly accelerating R&D; in total, investments into battery electric vehicles between 2022 and 2030 will amount to over €40 billion (approx. $47.09 billion). Accelerating and advancing the EV portfolio plan will bring forward the tipping point for EV adoption.
In 2025 Mercedes-Benz will launch three electric-only architectures:
- MB.EA will cover all medium to large size passenger cars, establishing a scalable modular system as the electric backbone for the future EV portfolio.
- AMG.EA will be a dedicated performance electric vehicle platform addressing technology and performance oriented Mercedes-AMG customers.
- VAN.EA ushers in a new era for purpose-made electric vans and light commercial vehicles, which will contribute to emission free transportation and cities in the future.
Vertical integration: After reorganizing its powertrain activities to put planning, development, purchasing and production under one roof, Mercedes-Benz will deepen the level of vertical integration in manufacturing and development, and insource electric drive technology. This step includes the acquisition of UK-based electric motor company YASA. The company says China is expected to play a key role in accelerating the Mercedes-Benz electrification strategy.
Batteries: Mercedes-Benz will need a battery capacity of more than 200 Gigawatt hours and plans to set up eight Gigafactories for producing cells, together with its partners around the world. This is in addition to the already-planned network of nine plants dedicated to building battery systems. The company says next-generation batteries will be highly standardized and suitable for use in more than 90% of all Mercedes-Benz cars and vans while being flexible enough to offer individual solutions to all customers. With regard to cell manufacturing, Mercedes-Benz intends to team up with new European partners to develop and efficiently produce future cells and modules. Mercedes-Benz says it aims to increase range during the production lifecycle of a model.
Charging: Mercedes-Benz is also working on setting new standards in charging: “Plug & Charge” will allow customers to plug-in, charge and unplug without extra steps needed for authentication and payment processing. Plug & Charge will go live with the market launch of the EQS later in 2021. The company says Mercedes me Charge currently comprises more than 530,000 AC and DC charging points worldwide. Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz is working with Shell on expanding the charging network. Customers will get enhanced access to Shell’s Recharge network consisting of over 30,000 charge points by 2025 in Europe, China and North America – including over 10,000 high-power chargers globally. Mercedes-Benz is also planning to launch several premium-charging sites in Europe, which will offer a bespoke charging experience with top-notch facilities.
VISION EQXX: Mercedes-Benz is currently developing the Vision EQXX, an electric car with a real world range of more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles), targeting a single-digit figure for kWh per 100 kilometers (over 6 miles per kWh) at normal highway driving speeds. The company says the world premiere will be in 2022. Technological advances made with Vision EQXX will be adapted and applied for potential use in new electric architectures.
Production: Mercedes-Benz says it can already mass produce BEVs already today. As soon as next year, eight Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles will be produced at seven locations on three continents. All passenger car and battery assembly sites run by Mercedes-Benz AG will switch to carbon neutral production by 2022. Mercedes-Benz is also joining forces with GROB, a German battery production and automation systems company. In addition, Mercedes-Benz says it plans to install a new battery recycling factory in Kuppenheim, Germany, to develop and secure recycling capacity and know-how. Start of operations will be in 2023, depending on the outcome of discussions with public authorities.