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2016-01-13

Mercedes Bringing 4 EVs To Market By 2017



Mercedes-Benz is now aiming to bring 4 electric vehicles to market over just the next few years, rather than simply one, according to recent reports.
The reason for the speeding up of plans is apparently that competitors such as BMW and Audi (not to mention the rising competitor Tesla) have been making strong moves as of late — meaning that Mercedes needs to speed things up on the electric vehicles front or possibly get left behind.
Note that the company was previously expected to introduce a single new battery electric vehicle in 2018.
According to CAR, the EVA chassis is not entirely new. It adopts elements of the modular rear-drive MRA architecture, such as the electronics platform, the suspension, and the basic body structure. Mercedes says it will begin with a sedan that fits between the C Class and E Class cars of today. It will be followed closely by a crossover SUV that should fit in between the current GLC and GLE in size. Later, a larger electric car similar in size to the S Class is planned, as well an SUV that is larger than the current GLS. At one time, Mercedes had planned to build a new “green” factory for its electric cars, but has decided to manufacture all its battery electric and plug-in hybrid cars at its facility in Bremen in northern Germany.
What will the new cars look like? Mercedes chief designer Gordon Wagener, tells Automotive News, “We have a strong strategy, and if you look at last year’s concept cars, they can give you some indication of where we are going. A full electric would definitely have an expression of its own. We will keep the grille, although I can’t tell you yet in which form.” He says the IAA concept it had on display at the Frankfurt auto show offers important clues. “Our Frankfurt concept was inspired by the airflow and streamlined spirit of the 1930s. We wanted to show that an aero car can look beautiful. The aero effect, with the long tail end, brings significant advantages at highway speeds and this is important in an electric.”
Reportedly, the company is aiming to sell at least 20,000 units of each model. Pricing will be in the ~$100,000 range.