Mercedes-Benz wants to dominate the electric car industry, and Tesla Motors is standing in their way. According to a story in the UK’s Car Magazine, this is how the German automaker plans to zap Elon Musk.
Well-connected automotive reporter and future-predicter Georg Kacher says Mercedes is set to launch a two billion Euro “Ecoluxe” project after its new Electric Vehicle Architecture (EVA) was recently approved by the board.
The first car built on the platform, expected in 2018, will reportedly be a sedan with proportions sitting between the C and E-Class. A similarly sized crossover, sitting somewhere between the GLC and GLE, will join the party shortly thereafter.
Car says a “Phase II” of the project will add an electric S-Class and a second bigger SUV slotting above the forthcoming GLS.
We don’t know how Mercedes’s new EVs will look, but Car has drawn up a rendering of the CUV, and they say the new EV sedan will draw its design inspiration from the IAA concept shown in Frankfurt this year:
IAA will influence the proportions, the grille (note those four bars) and the streamlined rear – though without motorised extension to tweak the aerodynamics
I think the IAA—the car in the pictures here—looks great, so we hope those British motoring journalists are right.
Manufactured in Bremen, the EVA platform will share suspension, body and basic electrical components with Daimler’s current MRA platform. Like the Tesla Model S, the battery (expected to weigh 400 kg) will be integrated into the floorpan and will supply electrons to either a sole 300 kW rear-mounted motor or a 300kW rear motor and a 90 or 150 kW front-mounted motor.
Expect to see adaptive suspension, regenerative braking and “e-torque vectoring” on all EVA models. Mercedes aims to sell 20,000 of the four EVA-based cars at prices between $103,000 and $118,000.
But that’s not all. The magazine says Mercedes has grander plans. To get more of the electric-car sales pie, Benz kicked off a “New Electric Vehicle” project, called NEV. This China-only project involves building a battery electric vehicle in China, for China, by 2020.
Tesla, the Germans are hot on your heels.