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Mercedes Benz Shares Product Roadmap for its New Electric EQ Brand, 6 New Battery-powered Models Coming by 2022

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【Summary】On Monday, German automaker Mercedes Benz provided an update of its electrification plans and where each of the new battery-powered models will be built. The EV portfolio will include six new electric Mercedes-EQ models by 2022, which will be built in Germany, the U.S. and China. Production of the new EQA SUV is already underway, the company said.

Eric Walz    Dec 14, 2020 10:15 AM PT
Mercedes Benz Shares Product Roadmap for its New Electric EQ Brand, 6 New Battery-powered Models Coming by 2022
The Mercedes Benz EQS at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Sindelfingen, Germany.

Like many of the world's auto manufacturers, Mercedes Benz is actively working to electrify its model lineup for markets around the world. On Monday, the automaker gave an update of its electrification plans and where its battery-powered models will be built. Production is already underway, the company said.

The portfolio will include six new electric Mercedes-EQ models by 2022. The automaker's new electric EQ brand will eventually include eight new battery-powered models, which will be built in Germany, the U.S. and China. 

EQ stands for "Electric Intelligence". The name is derived from the Mercedes-Benz brand values of "Emotion" and "Intelligence". 

Mercedes Benz said the production network is in place at the company's factories around the world. The automaker is also streamlining production by integrating the EQ models into series production in existing plants, so the EVs will be built alongside conventional and hybrid models. 

The new EQ luxury electric models include compact and mid-size SUVs for the China market and two new electric luxury sedans called the EQE, based on the company's E-Class model and the EQS, which will be a fully-electric version of the company's flagship S-Class sedan. 

Production of the first all-electric compact  SUV called the EQA has already started at the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant in Germany. The EQA will also be built in China by Beijing Benz Automotive Co., the German automaker's joint venture with Chinese automaker BAIC. 

The EQA will be world premiered on January, 20 2021, Mercedes Benz said. 

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The fully-electric Mercedes Benz EQA SUV, heavily camouflaged for winter testing. Production has already started.

Mercedes-Benz plant in Kecskemét, Hungary will produce a second compact all-electric compact SUV named the EQB next year. EQB production will launch in 2021 at two locations in the global Mercedes-Benz Cars production network, the Mercedes-Benz plant in Kecskemét for the world market and by Beijing Benz for the China market.

The Mercedes-Benz plant Sindelfingen, Germany will begin production of the luxury EQS sedan in the first half of 2021. It will be the first EV to use the automaker's new electric architecture for luxury-class electric vehicles. In the future, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, and the EQS will be produced on the same assembly line as gas and hybrid models.

The Flagship EQS electric sedan from Mercedes Benz will likely compete with luxury models such as the Porsche Taycan, Tesla Model S and future electric models from Cadillac, the luxury division of General Motors, which is being transformed into an electric brand

The Mercedes-Benz Bremen factory in Germany has been tapped to build the upcoming electric EQE business sedan in the second half of 2021. Following the production start of the EQE in Germany, production of the EV will begin in Beijing. The Beijing plant will produce a total of four Mercedes-EQ models for the local market.

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The SUV versions of the upcoming EQS and EQE  will be built in the U.S. at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Production is expected to start in 2022. In the future, the EQS and EQE SUVs will be produced on the same flexible assembly line as conventional and plug-in hybrid models in Alabama. This allows for production to be adjusted on short notice depending on market demand.

A battery plant is currently being built in the immediate vicinity of the Alabama factory and will supply the battery systems for both electric SUV models. Work on the building has already been completed, Mercedes Benz said.

The batteries for the future lineup of Mercedes Benz EQ electric vehicles will be supplied by a global battery production network with plants on three continents. The automaker said production of battery systems for EQS and EQE in Untertürkheim/Hedelfingen, Germany is imminent. Other plants producing batteries are in China, Kamenz, Germany and Jawor, Poland. 

The automaker said that local battery production is a key success factor for its aggressive electrification plans. The battery systems for the EQ line will be manufactured and assembled within the production network for each market. 

The battery plant in Jawor already started producing plug-in hybrid batteries this year for the Mercedes Benz C, E and S‑Class vehicles. In 2021, the plant will expand its portfolio to include battery systems for the compact EQA and EQB SUV models. 

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The EQB SUV during winter testing. Production starts at the end of 2021 in Hungary and at the Beijing plant of Beijing-Benz Automotive Co. Ltd.

Mercedes-Benz is aiming to be a leader in electric drives, vehicle software, as well as battery technology. The electrification of the automaker's entire product portfolio is part of its strategic focus called "Electric First" and "Ambition 2039" to offer an electrified version of every vehicle in its lineup and become a CO₂ neutral company by 2039.

"With its ‘Electric First' strategy, Mercedes-Benz is consistently on the path to CO₂ neutrality and is investing heavily in transformation. Our vehicle portfolio becomes electric and thus also our global production network with vehicle and battery factories. We intend to lead in the field of e-mobility and focus in particular on battery technology," said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG; responsible for Daimler Group Research and COO Mercedes-Benz Cars.

With its electric vehicle production map setup, Mercedes Benz is poised to become a strong competitor to segment leader Tesla, which has grown to become the world's most valuable automaker. 

The Mercedes EQ lineup of EVs will also help the automaker compete with its rival Volkswagen, which is also planning to sell millions of electric vehicles over the next decade.

"We are now beginning a real Mercedes-EQ fireworks display. Six electric product launches by 2022 underscore the strength and competence of our Mercedes-Benz production sites worldwide," said Jörg Burzer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz AG, Production and Supply Chain.

Mercedes Benz delivered a total of 45,000 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids (xEVs) worldwide in the third quarter of 2020.

The goal over the next few years is for the automaker to gradually increase its purely electric portfolio so plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles account for more than half of sales by 2030.

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