C-Class chief engineer Christian Frueh comfirmed the news and said that the electric saloon would have a different design to the C-Class.
An EQ compact saloon will add to the already confirmed line-up of the EQ A hatchback and EQ C SUV.
Mercedes officials told Autocar last year that it was also planning a similar strategy for a large electric saloon, with an EQ model instead of a zero-emission S-Class.
Overall, Mercedes has revealed it will launch ten new electric models by 2025. They will all share the same platform – the Modular Electric Architecture (MRA). Like most electric cars it features a ‘skateboard’ chassis, which offers benefits for packing, particularly for interior space.
Due on sale by 2022, the electric saloon won’t be called the EQ C, since that designation is already being used by its planned electric SUV.
Mercedes is instead focusing on offering hybrids in its C-Class.
The revised model features both diesel and petrol plug-in hybrids, plus a mild-hybrid variant which uses 48v and a belt-driven starter generator.
This is different to the mild hybrid system recently launched on the new CLS, which uses 48v and an integrated starter generator. The latter is a more expensive system, so lower-end models such as the C-Class and A-Class get the belt-driven option.