Mercedes-Benz is massively picking up the pace with regard to the electrification of the automobile. By 2022, the entire Mercedes-Benz Cars product range is set to be electrified. This means that different electrified alternatives will be available in every segment – from smart to large SUV. There are plans for well in excess of 130 electrified vehicle variants, from 48-volt versions to a wide range of plug-in hybrids to all-electric vehicles. The electric initiative is subsumed under the new technology and product brand EQ. EQ stands for "Electric Intelligence" and draws its strength from the two central Mercedes-Benz values: emotion and intelligence. Another indispensable part of this is a comprehensive and seamless service environment for the customers, covering everything from electric-specific comfort features to the infrastructure.
EQ encapsulates all the electric know-how of Mercedes-Benz Cars. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, at the world premiere of the EQC (combined electrical consumption 22.2 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions 0 g/km, provisional figures)1 in Stockholm: "With the EQC as the first all-electric SUV from Mercedes-Benz, we are throwing the switch. The electric powertrain is an important component in the mobility of the future. Accordingly, we are investing more than ten billion euros in new EQ products in the next few years, and more than one billion in battery production." Battery-electric models are set to account for 15-25 percent of total unit sales at Mercedes-Benz Cars by 2025, depending on customer preferences and the development of the public infrastructure.
The road to emission-free mobility has many lanes:
- EQ Boost: The electrification of modern combustion engines to increase their efficiency. Mercedes-Benz is at the very forefront with regard to the introduction of the 48-volt on-board electrical system and already introduced the technology on the market with the launch of the current-generation S-Class last year. There will now be a successive roll-out across the whole range. The integration of starter motor and generator and the electrification of ancillaries not only make the car more efficient; temporarily available torque also provides additional thrust and with this an increase in performance.
- EQ Power: This is the label under which Mercedes-Benz is further developing its plug-in hybrids in order to offer the perfect combination of combustion engine and electric drive – also in conjunction with the latest generation of diesel engines. Plug-in hybrids are a key technology on the road to a locally emission-free future for the automobile. They offer customers the benefits of two worlds: in town they run in all-electric mode, while on long journeys they benefit from the range of the combustion engine. They make the vehicle more efficient overall because they can firstly recover energy and secondly allow the combustion engine to run in favourable operating ranges. EQ Power is also a guarantee of exceptional dynamism.
- EQ Power+ is the name of the performance hybrid technology that Mercedes‑AMG will use on the road in future and is already used successfully in Formula 1 today.
- All-electric drives like in the EQC, the three smart EQ models and the GLC F-CELL (combined hydrogen consumption 0.34 kg/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 0 g/km, combined electrical consumption 13.7 kWh/100 km)2. The EQ car family will continue to grow rapidly up until 2022. The basis for this will be a scalable architecture offering maximum flexibility – in terms of both range and performance. Another important aspect here is the integration of the electric models into the existing production lines at the respective plants to ensure maximum flexibility when responding to customer demand.
This multi-track approach enables Mercedes-Benz to deal with different requirements at different times on a market-by-market basis as the electric mobility revolution gathers pace and to offer customers vehicles that meet their individual needs.
smart goes all electric: electric cars for the city
The smart brand is going all out when it comes to electric mobility. smart is the first car brand with its sights set on a clean-cut switchover from combustion engines to electric drive. All new smart cars sold in the USA, Canada and Norway since 2017 are electric, with all other markets in Europe set to offer exclusively battery-electric smart cars from 2020 onwards.The remaining global markets should follow suit shortly afterwards.
Electric transport: Trucks, Buses and Vans also hooking up to the mains
Daimler has been gaining experience with electric trucks since 2010 already and since last year has the first all-electric production truck on the market and in customer hands: the light-duty Fuso eCanter truck. In the bus segment, the first Mercedes-Benz eCitaro models will start deliveries at the end of the year and will enter real-life operations in so-called customer-centric vehicle testing. In the van segment, the eVito from Mercedes-Benz Vans has been available to order since November 2017. The eSprinter will follow in 2019. In August 2018 the "Concept Sprinter F-CELL" study showed how the hydrogen technology of the GLC F-CELL could be implemented for a camper van. The vehicles from Daimler Trucks, Daimler Buses and Mercedes-Benz Vans thus cover all urban transport with electric vehicles. And on 17 September, Mercedes-Benz Trucks started practical testing of its all-electric heavy-duty eActros truck. All in all, 20 customers from different industries will integrate the electric truck into their fleet.
Electric infrastructure: seamless electric experience
Mercedes-Benz is transforming itself from a pure vehicle manufacturer to a provider of mobility services. EQ with Mercedes me provides comprehensive services for the electric mobility of today and tomorrow. The intelligent services and functions extend from route planning to pre-entry climate control, new assistance functions and convenient charge management. Via the EQ-optimised navigation, customers can quickly find public charging stations and, starting with the EQC, have convenient access to the charging stations of different providers via Mercedes me Charge and benefit from an integrated payment function with easy accounting - including at the stations of IONITY, the European quick-charging network. The objective: relaxed, uncomplicated travel with transparency and planning certainty
Production: EQ plants on three continents
Daimler and Mercedes-Benz Cars are also planning extensively upstream. Electric vehicles under the product and technology brand EQ will be integrated into the series production processes at the existing plants within Mercedes-Benz Cars. This is possible because the company made investments in maximum flexibility and hi-tech equipment offering trend-setting Industry 4.0 solutions at an early stage.
The EQC is produced at the Bremen plant. Alongside Bremen, the Sino-German production joint venture Beijing Benz Automotive Co. Ltd. (BBAC) is preparing to start production of the EQC for the local market in China. BBAC is part of the global production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars. Other production locations for future Mercedes-Benz EQ models are the Mercedes-Benz plants in Rastatt (Germany), Sindelfingen (Germany), Tuscaloosa (USA) and Hambach (France):
Battery know-how: the global battery production network
Local battery production is a major success factor in the electric initiative of Mercedes-Benz Cars, and the key component when it comes to servicing worldwide demand for electric vehicles flexibly and efficiently. In future the worldwide battery production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars will consist of eight plants on three continents, all responding flexibly and efficiently to market demand. The various locations supply the local vehicle production facilities and are able to export if required. All in all, the company will be investing over one billion euros in global battery production with two factories each in Kamenz, Saxony and Stuttgart-Untertürkheim (Germany), and one each in Beijing (China), Tuscaloosa (USA) and Bangkok (Thailand).
1 Figures for electrical consumption and CO2 emissions are provisional and were determined by the Technical Service. The range figures are also provisional. The EC type approval and a certificate of conformity with official figures are not yet available. Differences between the stated figures and the official figures are possible.
2 Figures for fuel consumption, electrical consumption and CO2 emissions are provisional and were determined by the technical service for the certification process in accordance with the WLTP test method and correlated into NEDC figures. The EC type approval and a certificate of conformity with official figures are not yet available. Differences between the stated figures and the official figures are possible.