Mercedes-Benz Cars’ CEO: Electric G-Class really coming ‘in a few years’

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Mercedes’ CEO Ola Kallenius reconfirmed in an interview that the G-Class will also get an electric spin-off with concept work for the EV version well and truly underway.

Following the cancellation of the 2020 Geneva Motor Show, CarAdvice spoke to Mercedes-Benz Cars CEO and Daimler AG Chairman, Ola Källenius, during a conference call. The CEO said that the overhauled G-Class, which was unveiled in 2018, performed beyond expectations: last year, the new W464 was sold in nearly 35,000 copies, 13,000 more than its predecessor in its last full year, 2017.

Not surprisingly, the G-Class will also become an electric car. The costly powertrain fits smoothly into the price of such an expensive luxury SUV, and even profits are plentiful without the need to raise the price.

“The G-Wagen transcends all segments and almost the logic of the car industry, it’s like it is its own company you could say,” Kallenius said. “People love this car, we had record-breaking sales of the new G last year as we rolled out the full production of the completely updated G.”

“Yes, the G is going to go electric, we have kicked off the concept work for this, so in a few years you’ll be able to go electric with the G as well.” This new confirmation of the electric G-Class comes only a few months after the Daimler boss announced that an EV G-Class is indeed in the works.

The extra weight caused by the battery is also not as great as the size and weight of the G-Class. What’s more, the G-Class style of the late 1970s was back in fashion and the enthusiasm of the audience did not seem to fade away: whatever expensive and powerful versions had been produced at almost any price, there was always a buyer.

Of course, the development of a new model will not go overnight. Given the current pace of development in the automotive industry, it will be at least another three years before we can see the electric version of the luxury SUV – with dozens of electric and conventional models now being worked on by Mercedes’ engineering team.

“We have made a very clear decision – as a general mental flicking of the switch – that modern luxury is going to be sustainable,” Mr Källenius said. “We are going CO2 neutral, there are no ifs or buts, and now we’re just talking about how fast we can get there, the technologies, the economical impact of this. The coming year would see a very steep ramp-up of electrification from Mercedes, including the implementation of plug-in hybrids and 48-volt systems into all of our SUVs”.