At the more price-sensitive end of the line-up, Mercedes city car brand Smart will upgrade its range, with new electric Fortwo and Forfour models set to go on sale by the middle of the year.
By 2022, the Smart line-up will grow as Mercedes co-operates more closely with Chinese car giant Geely, which now owns a 50% shareholding in the city car maker, to develop a brace of new urban-focused models. One of these will be a compact electric-powered SUV that will be built in China and exported to the UK.
Other key new Mercedes models for the near future include five EVs from its new EQ electric car sub-brand. These comprise production versions of the earlier EQA and EQS concepts, plus new EQB, EQE and EQG models. Together, they form part of a €10 billion (£8.6bn) development programme aimed at propelling Mercedes to the front of the electric car ranks by the middle of the decade.
Mercedes’ new entry-level electric model, the EQA, is based on the second-generation GLA, alongside which it will be produced at the firm’s Rastatt factory in Germany. Although it retains the same bodywork as its combustion-engined sibling, it receives its own individual front and rear styling elements in a move similar to that of the larger EQC.
Details about the EQA’s driveline remain scarce, but Mercedes sources suggest it will be sold with a choice of up to three different electric motors and battery capacities. The most efficient of those is expected to provide this Volkswagen ID 3 rival with a range of up to 250 miles.
At the other end of Mercedes’ future electric car line-up is the EQS, which will be the first model to use the company’s dedicated MEA electric car platform.
The EQS is described as being similar in size to today’s CLS. Unlike its combustion-engined sibling, though, the new range-topping EQ model will have a liftback-style tailgate for added practicality. With a 100kWh battery housed within its flat floor, the EQS is claimed to offer a range of up 435 miles in its ultimate form.
The expanded line-up of EQ-branded electric-only models will join new EQ Power petrol-electric plug-in hybrid versions of the second-generation CLA and GLA and facelifted E-Class – all three of which are set to be unveiled at the Geneva motor show this March.
The front-wheel-drive CLA 250e and GLA 250e plug-in hybrids will have the same system as that used by the A250e and B250e. This means a turbocharged 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and gearbox-mounted electric motor developing 215bhp and 332lb ft of torque. A 15.6kWh battery provides an electric range of around 42 miles.