German auto giant Mercedes-Benz has hit the accelerator on its transition to all-electric vehicles, declaring on Friday it will spend €40 billion to help bring forward the “tipping point” in EV adoption.
The Stuttgart-based company said customers would be able to choose an all electric car in all segments (sedan, SUV etec) by next year, an all-electric alternative for every model by 2025, and will not produce any more new ICE models from 2025. It will make and sell electric only by 2030.
“The EV shift is picking up speed – especially in the luxury segment, where Mercedes-Benz belongs,” said Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler and Mercedes-Benz.
“This step marks a profound reallocation of capital. By managing this faster transformation while safeguarding our profitability targets, we will ensure the enduring success of Mercedes-Benz.
The shift in speed builds on the “Electric First” strategy unveiled by Mercedes in October of 2020, which committed the car maker to a full electrification of its portfolio, with the goal of taking BEVs to 50% of global sales by 2030 and reducing ICE variants by 70% by 2030.
To achieve the new goals, Mercedes has unveiled a comprehensive plan that will tip more than €40 billion in battery electric vehicle R&D between 2022 and 2030, advance the EV portfolio plan and “bring forward the tipping point for EV adoption.”
In an updated timeline set out on Friday, the car maker said it would launch three electric-only architectures in 2025: MB.EA to cover all medium to large size passenger cars; AMG.EA as a dedicated performance electric vehicle platform; and VAN.EA for electric vans and light commercial vehicles.
In a statement, Mercedes said the new fast-tracked strategy would also involve reorganising the car maker’s powertrain activities to put planning, development, purchasing and production under one roof – and “insource” electric drive technology.
This step would includes the acquisition of UK based electric motor company YASA, which would give Mercedes access to unique axial flux motor technology and expertise to develop next generation ultra-high performance motors.
The car maker also noted that China, as the home to hundreds of companies and suppliers specialised in EV components and software technologies, was expected to play a key role in accelerating the Mercedes-Benz electrification strategy.
On the battery side of the equation, Mercedes says it will need a cell capacity of more than 200GWh, produced via eight Gigafactories, which it would set up together with its global partners. This was in addition to the already planned network of nine plants dedicated to building battery systems, the statement said.
Finally, the car maker unveiled plans for a high performance Vision EQXX – due for its world premier in 2022 – that would have a “real world range of more than 1,000km” and would target a single-digit figure for kWh per 100 kilometres at normal highway driving speeds.
This bests the up-to 700km of range offered by the recently launched EQS luxury sedan, which was recently rated as the “best electric car in the world,” albeit by a German auto magazine.
“A multi-disciplinary team including experts from Mercedes-Benz’s F1 High Performance Powertrain division is making rapid progress towards the project’s ambitious goals,” Mercedes said.
“Technological advances made with Vision EQXX will be adapted and applied for potential use in new electric architectures.”