Daimler AG rolled out is new electric car brand, EQ, last month in Paris and it was assumed the idea would gestate for a bit.
However, Daimler and its Mercedes-Benz Group are moving ahead with the plans by announcing the implementation of the next step in its EV strategy by announcing the first production version of EQ will be built at its plant in Bremen, Germany.
The announcement did leave Mercedes-Benz, which operates the Bremen complex, some wiggle room as the maker said only that the first EQ will roll off the assembly line by the “end of this decade.”
As he had stressed in Paris, Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, emphasized the German auto giant was very, very serious about getting into electric vehicles in a big way.
“Emission-free automobiles are the future. I am pleased that for the series production of our first electric EQ model, we can count on one of our most important partners in the global production network: our colleagues from Bremen. The Bremen plant delivers a maximum of flexibility and high speed as well as Mercedes quality from the beginning, also for our electric models,” Zetsche said.
He also said production model will be based on the EQ show car – an electric vehicle in the look of a sporty SUV Coupé presented in Paris, which came with an estimated range of up to 300 miles and the safety, comfort, functionality and connectivity found in a conventional Mercedes-Benz with an internal combustion engine.
The product brand EQ is a fundamental part of Daimler’s corporate strategy for future mobility bundled under the term CASE. The four letters stand for the four strategic pillars Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services and Electric Drive, which are connected, Zetsche noted.
Mercedes-Benz Cars aims to have more than 10 all-electric vehicles in its portfolio by 2025.
The new electric vehicles can be built within the existing global production network with sites on four continents.
“In our production, we work intensely on the execution of our electric offensive,” noted Markus Schäfer, a member of the Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain Management. “In this context, we assess the potential production of electric vehicles at all sites of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
(For Mercedes, X-Class marks the spot. To get details, Click Here.)
“We have already started intensive preparations in Bremen. In general, our new production organization has become highly flexible, allowing us to quickly react in case of increasing customer demand.”
The Bremen complex, the largest outside of the home plant Sindelfingen, currently produces 10 different models, including plug-in hybrids of the C-Class and the GLC e. It is the largest private employer in the region with more than 12,500 employees.
“It is an enormous sign of trust and a genuine reward for our site that the first EQ vehicle will be built in Bremen,” said Peter Theurer, manager of the Bremen plant.
“As lead plant for the C-Class and the GLC, we have repeatedly proved our ramp-up competence, our flexibility and our technical know-how. Now, we take a further crucial step towards future mobility and expand our variety also when it comes to drive technologies,” Theurer said.
(Daimler adds second battery plant for new Mercedes-EQ electric vehicle family. Click Here for more.)
As lead plant of the C-Class, Bremen directs the worldwide production of the highest-volume model series in the plants abroad in the U.S., China and South Africa.
In addition, the GLC F-CELL – the worldwide first fuel-cell vehicle with plug-in technology – will be produced in Bremen. With the confirmation for the new Electro-SUV of the EQ brand, cars “made in Bremen” will cover the entire range of intelligent drive technologies in the future.
“Our team is proud and happy about the decision to produce the first EQ vehicle in Bremen. The greatest future prospects in the industry currently lie in electromobility and it is our ultimate goal that the Bremen site participates in this. We understand the company`s decision as gratitude and appreciation for the great performance of our colleagues over the past years,” said Michael Peters, Chairman of the employee council at the Bremen plant.
The battery for the new electric vehicle will be developed by the Daimler subsidiary. Accumotive and produced in Kamenz. The production is currently being expanded in the context of the corporate strategy CASE with an investment of $560 million.
The new factory in Kamenz will be one of the largest and most modern battery factories in Europe and will produce lithium-ion batteries for all electrified vehicles of Mercedes-Benz and smart – including plug-in hybrids as well as fully electric vehicles.
(Click Here to check out the Daimler Generation EQ.)
The plant will also produce batteries for stationary Mercedes-Benz energy storage units as well as 48-volt-systems.