Mercedes reinvents itself. Not one, but four newly planned electric cars will be launched in the next four years, all based on their very own, dedicated modular platform.
An important part of the Mercedes strategy is, of course, the expansion of its electric car range. Already this fall the Germans will launch the electric Smart Fortwo, Smart Fortwo Cabrio and the four-seater forfour. The small brand may proudly call itself the only manufacturer in the world offering for all its models both combustion and e-alternatives.
2017 continues with the GLC F-Cell. Based on the current GLC, it is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell stack, while in urban traffic a electric motor provides the drive, which must be recharged at the outlet for a maximum of 50 kilometers. This eliminates the search for a hydrogen filling station. Overall, this car runs over a distance of approximately 500 km. The fuel cell version will then be followed by a pure electric GLC, capable of getting the current for 100 kilometers within a five minute quick charge. Complete range: 500 km.
For the next generation of battery electric vehicles Mercedes developed a new vehicle architecture, abbreviated EVA. Initially Mercedes wanted to use the regular MRA platform, but the conversion of the conventional GLC for fuel cell or pure electric propulsion has made no sense economically. In the end, there are only about 20 percent identical parts.
Two electric sedans and two SUVs
On the new cross-model EVA modular platform, Mercedes will initially built an electric luxury sedan, the size of an S-Class. This first electric model will previewed as soon as next month at the Paris motor show. Next in line there will be an SUV the size of a GLC, a full-size sport utility vehicle in the vein of the GLS and another electrically powered sedan based on the all-new E-Class.
This way, Mercedes will finally get a complete product portfolio that can compete with the model program of Tesla. The first model comes to market in 2019 with a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery supplied by Daimler subsidiary German Accumotive.
Important to know: From 2020/21, there will be rapid charging stations installed all over globe – that make long journeys easier to cope with. For the route between Stuttgart and Berlin, the charging time will then amount to just 15 minutes.
For long-distance drivers, Mercedes recommends anyway fuel cells as an alternative to e-cars: The number of hydrogen filling stations in Germany is set to increase by 2023 from the current 50 to 400, to cover the daily needs, especially on the main roads.
Mercedes’ own electric car brand
Similar to BMW and its i sub-brand, Mercedes will organize its alternative electric car range under the umbrella of a new label, which will be presented in late September at the Paris Motor Show. The sub-brand will be called Mercedes-EQ. In Paris a luxury sedan study will additionally give a concrete outlook on the electric car visions of Mercedes.