Mercedes-Benz Plots an Electric S-Class

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Did you ever the the feeling that the Tesla Model S was just an S-Class for EV enthusiasts? Mercedes-Benz sure hopes so, because its CEO, the mustachioed Dieter Zetsche, recently let fly that the brand has a full-sized electric under development called the EQ S. While Mercedes’ core lineup will welcome all manner of hybrid and mild-hybrid powertrains in the years to come, Zetsche says the brand will also start building fully electric vehicles by way of its EQ line.

The EQ nameplate is something we’ve heard a lot about in the past, but its true purpose has yet to be defined by Daimler. Typically, we’ve only seen EQ badging added to concept vehicles promising electrification, with no additional details. But new claims from the CEO suggest the category may be reserved for models that use batteries as their only power source.

According to Bloomberg, Zetsche said Daimler intends to launch 10 all-electric vehicles by 2022. He also said Mercedes will move into widespread electrification through the addition of 48-volt electrical systems — like on the 2019 CLS — and even some plug-ins. “All vehicles will be electrified,” Zetsche said.

Of course, there is a world of difference between a mild hybrid and a battery electric vehicle. That could be where the EQ designation comes in. Doctor Zee noted EQ cars will boast a battery range that’s “totally different” from what’s on offer today. Presumably, he means among Mercedes vehicles. However, Daimler’s head of R&D, Ola Källenius, said the company has been working with various startups on the development of solid state batteries for a couple of years.

Most estimates put a major breakthrough in the technology several years into the future. If Daimler were to get there first, it could allow Mercedes-Benz to leave all other EV manufacturers in the dust. Still, Källenius estimates solid-state technology probably wouldn’t come to fruition until 2025 at the earliest.

Meanwhile, the EQ S is estimated for production around 2020 and should offer Model S shoppers a very tempting alternative — even if it doesn’t have next-generation battery hardware.

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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4 of 19 comments
  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Apr 13, 2018

    So Mercedes now apes Tesla? Are they going to make EQ X, EQ Y and EQ 3 too? Oh, forgot about EQ Roadster and EQ Semi. And please rocket too.

    • See 1 previous
    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Apr 15, 2018

      Can I get a brochure for the 1972 Tesla line? Yeah, the Mercedes S class debuted in 1972.

  • Readallover Readallover on Apr 14, 2018

    The thing is going to weigh four tons.

  • Varezhka The biggest underlying issue of Mitsubishi Motors was that for most of its history the commercial vehicles division was where all the profit was being made, subsidizing the passenger vehicle division losses. Just like Isuzu.And because it was a runt of a giant conglomerate who mainly operated B2G and B2B, it never got the attention it needed to really succeed. So when Daimler came in early 2000s and took away the money making Mitsubishi-Fuso commercial division, it was screwed.Right now it's living off of its legacy user base in SE Asia, while its new parent Nissan is sucking away at its remaining engineering expertise in EV and kei cars. I'd love to see the upcoming US market Delica, so crossing fingers they will last that long.
  • ToolGuy A deep-dive of the TTAC Podcast Archives gleans some valuable insight here.
  • Tassos I heard the same clueless, bigoted BULLSHEET about the Chinese brands, 40 years ago about the Japanese Brands, and more recently about the Koreans.If the Japanese and the Koreans have succeeded in the US market, at the expense of losers such as Fiat, Alfa, Peugeot, and the Domestics,there is ZERO DOUBT in my mind, that if the Chinese want to succeed here, THEY WILL. No matter what one or two bigots do about it.PS try to distinguish between the hard working CHINESE PEOPLE and their GOVERNMENT once in your miserable lives.
  • 28-Cars-Later I guess Santa showed up with bales of cash for Mitsu this past Christmas.
  • Lou_BC I was looking at an extended warranty for my truck. The F&I guy was trying to sell me on the idea by telling me how his wife's Cadillac had 2 infotainment failures costing $4,600 dollars each and how it was very common in all of their products. These idiots can't build a reliable vehicle and they want me to trust them with the vehicle "taking over" for me.