In a statement Mercedes-Benz said, it expects its factories to exclusively produce electric vehicles (EVs) from the second half of this decade; however, it will steer clear of building EV-only plants but instead keep production lines flexible, in line with market demand.
“Building a whole new battery-electric vehicle factory takes time. We have taken another approach,” said Burzer. “We will certainly have some lines producing only electric vehicles in the next few years… we also see whole factories switching to electric – that is a topic for the second half of the decade.”
In September 2021, Mercedes-Benz had revealed that it aimed to launch production of its EQE model at the IAA Mobility show in Bremen later this year, followed by Beijing and Tuscaloosa.
Mercedes is betting on the model, which is an electric adaptation of its E-class with a peak milerange of 660 km, to boost sales of its EV units as it gears up to shift investment away from internal combustion vehicles towards electric-only production platforms.
“With the ramp-up of the EQE in Bremen and later in Beijing, we are coming into a segment where we can deliver at far higher volumes,” said Burzer.
Only 2.3% of Mercedes-Benz Cars’ sales in 2021 were battery-electric vehicles, with plug-in hybrids making up 11% of its car sales.
In 2025 it expects electric and hybrid electric cars to make up 50% of sales, with all-electric cars expected to account for the bulk of that.
Existing models are all being built in factories also producing internal combustion engine vehicles, with batteries transported by rail from the main plant in Sindelfingen to plants in Germany and Hungary.