The future for high-end luxury cars, including Mercedes-Benz, is emissions-free. The German carmaker announced its shift to fully electric cars by 2030 last month.
“The EV shift is picking up speed – especially in the luxury segment, where Mercedes-Benz belongs. The tipping point is getting closer and we will be ready as markets switch to electric-only by the end of this decade,” Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, said in a statement. “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. Thanks to our highly qualified and motivated workforce, I am convinced that we will be successful in this exciting new era.”
By 2025, Mercedes says it will shift its focus “entirely” to electric vehicles, with the goal of moving away from all combustion engines by 2030. Although, the carmaker said the complete shift is contingent on “market conditions.”
The announcement comes as key markets including the EU and the state of California have bans going into effect over the next 15 years to phase out combustion engine vehicles. The transportation sector and its reliance on fossil fuels are among the key drivers of climate change.
Mercedes said it’s investing $47 billion on electric cars, vans, and light commercial vehicles by 2030. Ahead of that, by 2025, it will introduce three new electric vehicle platforms to advance its new efforts. According to Källenius, one of the company’s new battery factories will be based in the US, with four in Asia, and three in the EU.
The Mercedes EQS
Mercedes-Benz customers have had to wait for the automaker to launch its first EV, expected later this year. In May, it released a first peek at the 2022 EQS—its first electric sedan designed to tackle the Tesla Model S head-on. While the price hasn’t yet been announced, its S-class price range runs between $94,000 and $160,000. The EQS is expected to tip toward the top of the range when it hits the market later this fall. Tesla’s Model S large sedan ranges from around $79,990 to $149,990.
“The EQS is designed to exceed the expectations of even our most discerning customers,” said Mercedes-Benz and Daimler CEO Ola Kaellenius in part of a 63-page press release for the car. “That’s exactly what a Mercedes has to do to earn the letter ‘S’ in its name. Because we don’t award that letter lightly.”
Despite targeting the Tesla consumer, the EQS, according to Edmunds, “is a different beast entirely.”
The car, a decade in the works, according to the company, is not the electric version of its S-Class sedans. Edmunds says it more closely resembles the E-Class in size as the two vehicles “share a similarly styled interior and some features. Both sport a line of exotic trim and upholstery options, use ambient lighting strips extensively throughout the cabin and feature rear-axle steering that points the rear wheels the opposite way at low speeds to reduce the turning circle. The two models also offer some nifty upgrades in common, including deeper personalization options with the MBUX infotainment system and a head-up display that can virtually project navigation instructions onto the lanes you need to enter.”
But like Tesla and other electric luxury cars, the EQS also offers a fully vegan interior option with microfiber inserts.
The EQS will also feature an augmented reality system that projects 3D graphics onto the screen. The luxury car also features a built-in fragrance system with an optional HEPA filter designed to remove more than 99 percent of airborne particles.
While not quite as fast in the zero to 60 as Tesla, Mercedes says it will hit 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, with a top speed at 130 mph. The sedans come with a 108kWh battery, providing a driving range of up to 478 miles per charge.
Mercedes has been slower to market with EVs than some of its competitors like Jaguar with its I-Pace. But it looks to be worth the wait.
“We want to be people to make it happen,” Mr. Källenius told reporters Thursday, “not just go with the flow.”