Mercedes Will Launch Six New Electric EQ Models by 2022

Get ready for a tsunami of electric models from Mercedes-Benz in the next two years, as the automaker gets ready to launch six new EQ models by 2022. That’s right: In just a couple of years, Mercedes-Benz will have more electric models in its lineup than Tesla, even if Tesla actually launches the Cybertruck.

The planned EQ lineup, getting a big boost in 2021, will largely mirror the gas- and diesel-engined Mercedes lineup, with the automaker offering a model in just about every major segment from the smallest to the largest. 2021 sees four new electric models debut, starting with the EQS luxury sedan, previewed in concept form in 2019.

Next year also sees the EQA pocket-sized sport utility start production. It is analogous in size to the GLA-Class, as well as the larger EQB, corresponding to the GLB-Class. It debuted just a short time ago in gasoline form.

“The Mercedes-EQ production network is ready for our electric offensive. We started this transformation several years ago and set up our plants with maximum flexibility,” said Jörg Burzer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz AG, Production and Supply Chain. “The Mercedes-EQ electric models are gradually being integrated into our existing vehicle plants worldwide. They come off the same lines as vehicles with combustion engines or plug-in hybrid drives. The same applies to all of our Mercedes-Benz car plants – a total of six on three continents. This concept is particularly advantageous because demand for electric and electrified vehicles is developing very differently by region and we can adjust our production planning accordingly on short notice. In this way we can manufacture exactly what our customers want.”

The EQE sedan, the electric version of the E-Class positioned just below the EQS sedan, follows the two smaller SUVs. Taken together, these four new models join the EQC sport utility in production and on sale in Europe for the past few months, but whose U.S. debut had been pushed back to sometime in 2021.

2022 sees two additional electric SUVs. The automaker calls them the EQS SUV, analogous in size to the GLS-Class, and the EQE SUV, an electric model roughly similar to the GLE-Class. Yes, these model names are identical to the EQS and EQE sedan — something which seems like an unforced error since Mercedes was starting with a clean sheet — but if you’ve already memorized all the others and know what they represent you’re doing pretty well. The large EQS SUV and the midsize EQE SUV will be produced in the U.S., at Mercedes’ Tuscaloosa, Alabama plant.

Some of these six new models have already started rolling off the assembly line, even though they haven’t been seen undisguised in public. The small EQA sport utility is already in production at the Rastatt plant in Germany, and will have its world premiere on January 20 next year. Mercedes plans to start EQA production for the Chinese market at its Beijing plant in 2021 as well, for the domestic market there.

The EQB enters production in 2021 at two locations as well: Kecskemét, Hungary, and at Mercedes’ BBAC plant in Beijing. Together with the EQA, these two smallish SUVs could very well comprise a significant chunk of all seven EQ models, because they’ll be in production in two plants around the globe by the end of 2021 and because they’ll be among the more affordable. So as advanced and capable as the EQS sedan will be, large electric sedans with sticker prices more than $100,000 are no longer where the electric car market is at the moment, even though that’s where it was nearly a decade ago when the Tesla Model S entered production. Small SUVs, on the other hand, appear to have more momentum at the moment, even amid the pandemic.

“With the production launch of the electric compact SUV EQA at the Rastatt plant (Germany) and the current decision to locate EQB production in the Hungarian plant in Kecskemét, the company is taking further important steps toward making its product portfolio CO₂ neutral,” the automaker noted. “The course has also been set toward ‘Electric First’ in the global powertrain production network as well. High-efficiency battery systems will also be manufactured and assembled within the production network.”

The EQE sedan, entering production in the second half of 2021, will be built in Bremen and will soon thereafter enter production in China as well for the local market. But if you’ve spotted a notable gap in the electric sedan lineup, that’s because an electric version of the C-Class hasn’t been announced yet. The EQC badge represents the GLC-sized electric sport utility which almost went on sale in the U.S. a year ago. So Mercedes won’t quite have a Tesla Model 3 equivalent in the next couple of years, simply because it’s focusing on sport utilities over sedans. This sounds like the right move at the moment, even though the Model 3 has proven to be very popular in Europe, to the point that Tesla is now building them in China and shipping them to Europe. But we do expect Mercedes to offer a small electric sedan down the line.

Speaking of SUVs, the EQS SUV and EQE SUV will land in 2022 and will be produced in the U.S. for all global markets, alongside the gasoline-engined models rolling out of Tuscaloosa. It remains to be seen how close in size and cargo capacity these two will be to their gas-engined siblings. Will Mercedes opt for something close in packaging to these existing models, or will it create some space between the gas and electric offerings? For now, these two have not been seen up close in prototype form, but we should have a pretty good sense of both by the second half of 2021.

“The Mercedes-Benz production network is global, digital and flexible, and ready for the upcoming electric offensive – thanks, of course, to our highly qualified and motivated employees worldwide,” Burzer added. “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. The production network will have a total of six Mercedes-EQ car locations. Local production of highly efficient battery systems plays a central role in the Mercedes-Benz strategy – coupled with a comprehensive sustainability concept that spans the entire life cycle of the battery all the way to recycling.”

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