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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Mercedes-Benz announces dedicated EV platforms, aims to go all-electric in some markets by 2030

Mercedes-Benz on Thursday provided an update on its electrification plans, including a goal to switch to an all-electric lineup by 2030, where market conditions allow.

“The tipping point is getting closer and we will be ready as markets switch to electric-only by the end of the decade,” Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius said in a statement.

Key to that is the introduction of three dedicated EV platforms, to be introduced in 2025. These include the MB.EA platform for medium and large Mercedes models, the AMG.EA platform for Mercedes-AMG performance models, and the Van.EA platform for light commercial vehicles.

Battery production at Mercedes-Benz’s plant in Hedelfingen, Germany

In 2024, Mercedes will introduced the MMA platform for compact vehicles. The automaker claims this will be its last platform designed for both EVs and internal-combustion vehicles.

Mercedes said all new vehicle architectures it introduces after 2025 will be electric-only, but that doesn’t rule out legacy architectures supporting internal-combustion vehicles remaining in production beyond that point.

Mercedes has also made some efforts to electrify its heavy-duty truck and bus lineups as well, although henceforth those operations will be part of a separate Daimler Truck business.

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS production at plant in Sindelfingen, Germany

2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS production at plant in Sindelfingen, Germany

The automaker has said it plans to be involved in all aspects of the battery business, from to research, to production, to so-called “second-life” uses after batteries have outlived their usefulness in cars. Last year, Mercedes announced a $1.1 billion plan to establish a “global network of nine battery factories,” managed by subsidiary by Deutsche Accumotive. It also has a deal to purchase cells from China’s CATL.

Some battery research will focus on new materials, including silicon-carbon composite anodes and silicon carbide inverters, according to Mercedes. The automaker also mentioned solid-state batteries, but unlike some competitors, it won’t commit to a specific timeline for production.

Mercedes also noted that it recently purchased British motor firm Yasa, with the aim of providing axial-flux motors for the AMG performance division.

Teaser for Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX concept debuting 2022

Teaser for Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX concept debuting 2022

For charging, Mercedes indicated it could launch its own branded charging stations in Europe, alongside partnerships with Shell and Ionity. The automaker has said it will build a brand-specific charging ecosystem, using its own app while also supporting the Plug & Charge standard.

To showcase its EV know-how, Mercedes will unveil the Vision EQXX concept in 2022. It will use a production battery pack, but will have a range of 621 miles thanks to an emphasis on efficiency. Mercedes claims the EQXX will be able to travel six miles on just 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity. The power unit division of the Mercedes-AMG Formula One team was involved in development, the automaker said.

Mercedes is already ramping up EV production, starting with the EQS flagship sedan. The EQS will be sold in the United States, along with the EQB crossover and two more models slated to be built in Alabama. Mercedes has also shown the EQA compact, but it’s unlikely to reach the U.S.

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