Mercedes-Benz announced plans on July 22 to shift to all-electric by the end of the decade. The move marks a change from an electric-first to electric-only strategy in an effort toward an emissions-free and software-driven future, the automaker said. The news did come with one important caveat: Mercedes stated that the strategy is dependent on "where market conditions will allow," but did not elaborate further.
By 2022, Mercedes-Benz will have battery-electric vehicles (BEV) in all segments. From 2025 on, all new vehicle architectures will be electric-only, and customers can choose an all-electric alternative for every model.
To facilitate the change, Mercedes-Benz unveiled a comprehensive plan, which includes accelerated R&D. Investments into battery-electric vehicles between 2022 and 2030 will total over €40 billion. The company hopes the 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 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 focuses on purpose-made electric vans and light commercial vehicles, contributing to emission-free transportation and cities in the future.
Putting planning, development, purchasing, and production under one roof, Mercedes-Benz will also deepen vertical integration in manufacturing and development, and insource electric drive technology. This step includes the acquisition of U.K.-based electric motor company YASA. China is also expected to play a key role in accelerating the OEM's electrification strategy.
Mercedes-Benz will partner with new European partners to develop and produce future cells and modules. The company aims to increase range during the production lifecycle of a model. Partners like SilaNano will further increase energy density by using silicon-carbon composite in the anode.
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 this year. Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz is working with Shell on expanding the charging network, allowing customers enhanced access to Shell's Recharge network with over 30,000 charge points by 2025 in Europe, China, and North America.
Mercedes-Benz is developing 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 world premiere is expected for 2022.
Mercedes-Benz is preparing its global production network for electric-only output with the pace of the ramp-up designed to follow market demand, they said in a news release. As soon as next year, eight Mercedes-Benz EVs will be produced at seven locations on three continents. And, all passenger car and battery assembly sites run by Mercedes-Benz AG will switch to carbon neutral production by 2022.
The company is joining forces with GROB to strengthen its battery production capacity and knowledge. They also plan to install a new battery recycling factory in Kuppenheim, Germany, to develop and secure recycling capacity. Operations will start in 2023, dependent on discussions with public authorities.
The announcement also said that the strategy will bring about 3,000 new software engineering jobs worldwide.