Mercedes aims electric and hybrid electric cars to make up 50% of its sales by 2025, with all-electric cars expected to account for most of that.
Mercedes-Benz expects to have production facilities making exclusively electric vehicles by the second half of the decade, however, it will steer clear of building EV-only plants. The carmaker will instead keep its plants flexible in line with market demand.
The automaker foresees some of its production lines within factories switching fully to electric even sooner, the production chief Joerg Burzer said in an interview with Reuters.
“Building a whole new battery-electric vehicle factory takes time. We have taken another approach,” he said. While Mercedes will certainly see production lines producing only electric vehicles in the next few years, it also expects to see whole factories switching to electric eventually.
The automaker will begin production of its EQE model, that it revealed last September at the IAA Mobility show, later this year. The production will initially begin in its production facility in Bremen, Germany, followed by Beijing and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The model is an electric adaptation of the E-class with a maximum per charge range of 660 km.
The carmaker is betting big on this model to boost the sales of its EV units as it shifts its investments away from internal combustion vehicles and 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,” Burzer said in the interview.
Currently, Mercedes’ all existing models are being built in factories that also produce internal combustion engine vehicles, with batteries transported by rail from the main plant in Sindelfingen to plants in Germany and Hungary. Burzer said that going down the line, battery assembly and production could be brought nearer to car plants.
Last year, out of all new cars sold by the carmaker, just 2.3% were battery-electric vehicles. The figure rose to 11% when plug-in hybrids were included, which have both an engine and a battery. However, Mercedes now aims to boost this figure by ramping up production and investment on EV platforms. Mercedes aims electric and hybrid electric cars to make up 50% of its sales by 2025, with all-electric cars expected to account for most of that.