Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz wants to challenge Tesla's Model S by developing a purely battery-powered sedan about the size of its $90,000 (£63,362) S-Class.
The new model is dubbed the EQ S and is also positioned to compete with the upcoming high-end electric Audi A8 and Jaguar XJ models. Mercedes management board chairperson Dieter Zetsche introduced the new line yesterday during a presentation in Split, Croatia.
“All vehicles will be electrified,” Zetsche said during his speech.
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Mercedes is the world’s top-selling luxury-car maker — it hit record profit and deliveries last year — and it plans to fully pivot from pure combustion vehicles to only hybrid and pure electric ones by 2022.
The company plans to implement 48-volt technology in its more conventional models, and Daimler AG intends to have 20 electrified vehicles by 2022. The EQ S line, however, could come out as soon as 2020 — models will include a small EQ A hatchback and an EQ C crossover.
“It will be a luxury, electric car — a top-of-the-line car,” Michael Kelz, the chief engineer for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, said. “We will have an electric vehicle at the level of the S-Class, no doubt, but it will not be the S-Class.”
Daimler invested €10bn (£8.67bn) in 2016 to develop electric vehicles, and Mercedes-Benz invested €100m in a battery factory in Thailand last month to secure the battery supply for their electric far efforts. Mercedes will build its electric vehicles in six factories across three continents.
“The electric initiative of Mercedes-Benz Cars is right on track,” Markus Schafer, a member of the divisional board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain said last month about their plan. “Our global production network is ready for e-mobility. We are electrifying the future.”