Currently reading: Mercedes-Benz set to release four EVs by 2020
Mercedes-Benz C-Class and S-Class are said to be the inspiration behind the new EV saloon models
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3 mins read
21 May 2016

Mercedes-Benz has accelerated plans for a range of new electric vehicles

The move follows a long-awaited announcement by the German government that it will begin offering sales subsidies on all EVs priced at less than €60,000 (£47,300) as part of a €1.2 billion (£950 million) electric car purchase incentive scheme.

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The plans have been orchestrated by Mercedes-Benz’s outgoing R&D boss, Thomas Weber, and call for four new electric models to join the Mercedes line-up by the end of 2020.

Two electric saloons and two SUVs are expected. Each is set to share the basic elements of a more conventionally powered sibling, including so-called hard points such the windscreen and roof structure. However, there will be unique design touches to make them instantly recognisable as zeroemissions vehicles, according to insiders privy to the proposals for the four models.

The new electric car line-up is aimed at pitching Mercedes into direct competition with Tesla Motors, which has led the electric car push and had solid levels of sales growth since the Model S executive saloon began production in 2012. It also comes in response to recent moves by key rival Audi, which has already announced that it will begin offering a production version of its e-tron quattro concept in 2018 in the first stage of a similar electric car offensive.

A heavy shroud of secrecy surrounds the upcoming electric-powered Mercedes models, although recent comments by Weber suggest the saloons will be based around the C-Class and S-Class and the SUVs will share common links with the GLA and GLC.

Mercedes has intensively studied the idea of bringing stand-alone electric cars with uniquely engineered bodies to showrooms. However, it says the high cost of development, components and production makes it prohibitive at volumes below 50,000 per year during the first generation, even for highpriced models. Its conclusion is backed up by Tesla’s inability to turn a profit since the Model S, which currently has a base price of £51,900 in the UK, first went into production. 

The GLA-based model is set to adopt a modified version of the MFA platform currently used beneath Mercedes’ first dedicated electric car, the B-Class Electric Drive. The C-Class, S-Class and GLC-based electric cars will use a newly developed variant of Mercedes’ MRA (Modular Rear Architecture) platform conceived specifically for EV applications and known to insiders as the MEA (Modular Electric Architecture).

The first recipient of this new platform will be the GLC Fuel Cell, due next year. The new hydrogen-powered model, which will be offered to customers on either a limited lease or outright purchase scheme, is described by Weber as a forerunner to Mercedes’ new EV line-up. As well as housing batteries within the floor, its version of the MEA platform features tanks to house the hydrogen.

One of the key elements of the MEA platform is its ability to offer either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive in combination with up to three electric motors.

Although it is still early days, insiders at Mercedes’ R&D centre in Stuttgart confirm the company is developing its own range of electric motors, ranging in output from about 75kW (101bhp) to 400kW (536bhp).

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A new generation of lithium-ion battery cells from Accumotive will provide the Mercedes EVs with a range of more than 250 miles — the minimum prescribed by Weber to make the new zero-emissions models a practical alternative to their more conventional petrol, diesel and hybrid siblings. 

In addition to its own range of electric cars, Mercedes is currently putting the finishing touches to a successor to sister company Smart’s Fortwo Electric Drive.

Expected to make its debut this year, the new two-seater is set to be joined by a fourseat Forfour Electric Drive fitted with a slightly larger battery and a more powerful electric motor — a move that will provide the German car maker with six EVs by the turn of the decade.

The electric-powered Mercedes models are expected to be produced on dedicated production lines at the company’s Rastatt, Bremen and Sindelfingen plants in Germany. Mercedes has also announced a €500 million (£394m) investment at its Hamburg plant in Germany, which will supply its new range of electric cars with selected components.

Further investments are being poured into battery production. In March, Mercedes parent company Daimler announced plans to invest €500m in an expansion of its existing battery production facilities in Germany.

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Vertigo 21 May 2016

...

They also have more than double the range and charging speed of any other EV in the country...
przemo_li 27 May 2016

Vertigo wrote: They also have

Vertigo wrote:

They also have more than double the range and charging speed of any other EV in the country...

Range is actually triple the range.

There is one variant of Model S that was rated 300 miles in EPA test other EVs are rated for less then 100 miles. :)

For the 2020 hopefully, CCS will have 150kWh ready.

winniethewoo 21 May 2016

Also read Consumer Reports

Also read Consumer Reports reviews and ratings of the Tesla Model S, read about the quality problems they are having with the Model X. Don't just believe the hype and live in ignorance, get informed. There is a whole electric car world with players other than Tesla out there. They just shout the loudest.
Clarkey 22 May 2016

winniethewoo wrote: There is

winniethewoo wrote:

There is a whole electric car world with players other than Tesla out there. They just shout the loudest.

Slightly odd comment given the fact that all other car companies produce huge volumes of advertisements and Tesla don't do any at all.

winniethewoo 21 May 2016

Tesla's Supercharger network % is tiny

You can see it here, plus quite a few interesting stats.

www.zap-map.com/statistics/#location

przemo_li 27 May 2016

winniethewoo wrote: You can

winniethewoo wrote:

You can see it here, plus quite a few interesting stats.

www.zap-map.com/statistics/#location

That is because each night You charge Your car for up to 300 miles (newest EPA rating for one of S models!).

When You have even 200 miles as a starting charge, You can drive quite a distance without recharging it again. That's why Tesla put Superchargers every 170 miles in USA.

Of course that is solution only for long range driving. When You for example stop at some hotel You would like to have some faster charging then 220v too. That is destination charging for You. This will come this year to europe in general. 50-60kWh charging for places where You leave Your car for hour or more (hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, etc.)

But even then You need less of them as You charge faster and thus more cars can be served by smaller number of chargers.

And that daily 300 miles range. 5 minutes refill & payment at gas station is irrelevant when You do not need to stop to recharge at all for most of the trips/days!

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