After unveiling its Generation EQ electric SUV concept at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz announced some ambitious future electric-car plans.
Late last week, the luxury carmaker said a production model based on the Generation EQ will be the first of no fewer than 10 electric cars it will sell under a new EQ sub-brand.
That would seem to make EQ the equivalent of rival BMW’s “i” sub-brand, which currently includes two models, with a third rumored for 2019.
The 10 new Mercedes-Benz EQ electric cars will launch by 2025, although Mercedes did not specify when the first model will arrive.
It did say that the initial electric SUV will be built at an existing plant in Bremen, Germany.
That plant currently builds several different versions of the C-Class and GLC-Class, and will build small numbers of the GLC F-Cell hydrogen fuel-cell variant as well.
Previous reports suggested the electric SUV would in fact be based on the GLC-Class, and some of that model’s styling elements could be glimpsed on the Generation EQ concept.
But Mercedes has said the Generation EQ is completely distinct from the GLC.
Earlier this year, the carmaker unveiled a modular platform for electric cars, which could form the basis for an EQ production model.
The electric SUV will use lithium-ion battery cells from Deutsche Accumotive, a subsidiary of Mercedes’ parent company Daimler.
Daimler is planning a 500 million euro ($545 million) battery plant to support increased production of both electric-car battery packs and stationary energy-storage batteries.
The announcement of 10 new electric cars from Mercedes-Benz represents a major ramp-up of Daimler’s electric-car plans.
Reports last May indicated Mercedes was planning four new electric models by 2020—two sedans and two SUVs.
Then, in September, it was suggested that Daimler was planning at least six electric cars—and perhaps as many as nine—between 2018 and 2024.
That figure encompassed its various Smart Electric Drive models, as well as a possible electric car from the ultra-luxury Maybach brand.
In that context, 10 new electric cars from Mercedes-Benz Cars alone represents an ambitious goal indeed.