New Delhi: Mercedes-Benz has announced that it will introduce four new electric models in its line-up by the end of 2020. These cars will stand against the likes of Tesla and Audi’s newly announced electric range. This move from the German carmaker comes after the German government’s announcement that it will offer sales subsidies on all EVs that are priced less than (approximately) INR 45 lakh. The first generation of these cars will be limited to about 50,000 units per year, since the development cost is expected to be high.
This announcement was made by Mercedes-Benz’s R&D head, Thomas Weber, who revealed that two of the four will be electric saloons and two will be SUVs. The saloons are expected to be based on the C-Class and S-Class, whereas the SUVs are expected to be based on the GLA and GLC, which will be launched in the Indian market on June 2. These cars will come with a new design language, which will be immediately recognizable as the Mercedes stand-alone electric vehicle. Also, most likely to be based on the MEA platform, these cars will be rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, and will have up to three electric motors.
The cars are expected to be manufactured at Mercedes-Benz’s Bremen, Rastatt and Sindelfingen plants in Germany. The company has announced that it will be investing around INR 4,885 crore at its Hamburg plant in Germany, which will manufacture key components for these cars. An investment is being also made to expand the company’s battery production facilities in Germany.
This move highlights the shift of major carmakers towards alternate fuels and sustainable energy. Many leading manufacturers are now shifting their focus to electric vehicles and are making heavy investments, for not only do these cars cause zero emissions, they also reduce the burden on fossil fuels, which are depleting quite fast.