Mercedes currently offers two battery-electric models with the EQC and EQV. The big breakthrough is to follow in 2021 with the premiere of a new electric architecture for premium electric models starting with the EQS. Daimler now confirmed two more e-SUV models on the new platform.
The Electric Vehicle Architecture (EVA) will be used for the first time in the large sedan EQS next year. You may think of it as the electric equivalent to the S-Class. A smaller model called EQE (as the electric E-Class counterpart) was also on the way, and disguised prototypes of both the electric luxury and the business sedan are already on the road.
Following the Mercedes-Benz Strategy Update today, Mercedes announced that two E-SUV models based on the new electric architecture, EVA, would also follow – each as a sport utility version of the EQS and EQE. However, the carmaker when speaking to the press did not give the designation or specification of the two models to come to market. As EQ models on their own platform, however, it will not be a matter of converted GLE and GLS series.
This shows that the naming system for electric series introduced with the EQC (still developed based on combustion engines) has already reached its limits: The EQC is an SUV, but the similarly named EQE and EQS are sedans. In the case of the combustion engine series, the distinction is clear: The familiar models with one letter specify the size, think A-Class. Their SUV counterparts have a “GL” in front of the model letter – the same applies to the four-door coupes with the “CL”.
Mercedes does not make further statements about the new electric SUV models, for example, the market launch, at present yet, which may also be because, for the time being, they want the attention primarily on the EQS. Daimler hopes that the WLTP range of up to 700 kilometres will enable it to “meet the demands of a progressive sedan in the S-Class segment in this respect as well”. Also, the EQS is to make optimum use of all the advantages of a purely electric architecture in terms of space and design.
At the Strategy Update event itself, Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, confirmed the carmaker’s course with its own electric platforms. “The strategy aims to focus on the activities that are critical to success: electric vehicles on independent platforms and proprietary vehicle software,” Källenius said at the virtual investor conference. “We will address structural costs and aim to achieve strong and sustainable profitability.”
There will be not only other EQ-branded e-models but also those of AMG, Maybach and the G-Class, which has apparently been specially designed because of its importance. While AMG is also to appear as an electric high-performance brand and Maybach is to offer electric luxury, the EQ brand will in future address new customer groups “with new high-tech products based on independently developed electric platforms”.
Second e-platform for compact and mid-size class from 2025
Currently, the luxury electric sedan is undergoing final tests on its way to series production, including at the Test and Technology Center (PTZ) in Immendingen, Germany. So far, Mercedes tested the EQS under harsh winter conditions in Scandinavia or on the high-speed track in Nardo, Italy. “The EQS has already collected well over two million test kilometres, from the heat of South Africa to the cold of northern Sweden,” says Christoph Starzynski, who as Vice-President Electric Vehicle Architecture at Mercedes-Benz is responsible for EQ vehicles. “The EQS will become the S-Class among electric vehicles. It is therefore undergoing the same demanding test program as any other vehicle that can proudly wear a star.” Besides, there will be electric-specific tests for range, charging and efficiency.
Daimler is also providing a brief update on the compact electric models: Production of the EQA, the all-electric brother to the GLA, is scheduled to start this year. Recently there have been reports that the EQA program has been delayed, which Mercedes has consistently denied. Production of the electric car will start at the end of the year, and the sales start is “unchanged” and set in 2021. Production of the EQB should begin at an unspecified date in 2021. Both models are based on a different platform than the EQS. According to Daimler, the new electric architecture is meant “for luxury and luxury-class electric vehicles at Mercedes-Benz”.
EQA and EQB will then be what the EQC is a few classes higher in the compact class: a pilot model coming in before the actual platform. This is because Mercedes announced a second newly designed e-platform for 2025, the Mercedes-Benz Modular Architecture (MMA) for vehicles in the compact and mid-size segment.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.
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