By on November 8, 2019

Sascha Pallenberg, Daimler’s Head of “Digital Transformation,” shared a quote from CEO Ola Källenius issued at this year’s Automobilwoche Kongress, saying Mercedes-Benz is planning to manufacture an electric G-Class.

“There will be a zero-emission EV version of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. In the past there were discussions whether we should eliminate the model, the way I see things now I’d say the last Mercedes to be built will be a G-Class,” Källenius said.

Using current battery technologies, this seems idiotic. The G-Class already outweighs pretty much every EV on the market this author can think of and it’s only going to get heavier once it’s lugging around a gigantic battery pack. The lightest G-Wagon tips the scales at 5,550 pounds. Another thousand wouldn’t be out of the question if Daimler expects it to have a truly competitive range. The model is just too heavy and has the aerodynamics of an open parachute. 

But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. The G’s clientele often have more money than sense and zero-emission vehicles are pretty in with the Hollywood crowd these days. Maybe this will become the next Toyota Prius. Just don’t point out that a three-ton electric isn’t likely to be the most energy-efficient vehicle unless you’re ready for an argument with someone above your pay grade.

However, that presumes the GE-Class… EQG-Wagen (?) … whatever they call it, will be a production vehicle. We could just as easily see Mercedes using it as a way to showcase MB’s newest technologies at trade events. Alternatively, the manufacturer could make it hydrogen powered and sell it in isolated areas as a compliance model. Källenius never specified anything other than it being a zero-emission vehicle.

Due to the preliminary nature of this announcement, we figure the EV is likely in the very earliest stages of development. Don’t expect to see an electric G-Class ready for purchase for at least a couple of years. Also, don’t assume Mercedes-Benz will take an axe to the gas-powered version. Going all-electric (or hydrogen) is a huge gamble for the model, and Daimler will want to hedge its bets.

[Image: Daimler AG]

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35 Comments on “Mercedes-Benz Announces Electric G-Class...”


  • avatar
    R Henry

    The German manufacturers have rightly been chided for brand dilution as they seek fill countless niche markets.

    In the case of this product, they must be chided for intelligence insulting to fill a niche 3 units deep.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Eh, how many G-Class buyers mostly use them to get around a handful of cities, many of which are contemplating policies that make it difficult to operate a privately owned ICE vehicle? Moreso than catering to an obscure niche, it seems like they’re trying to future-proof their Cash cow.

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      The Mercedes G truly is the four-wheeled Harley Davidson.

      • 0 avatar
        Lockstops

        oh, except that the G-wagen is far better suited for cowards. You know, the lazy cowards who wouldn’t trust people like themselves while on 2 wheels so they get into a fortress to protect themselves from their negligence and ineptitude no matter what it means for everyone else. That added danger by the way Includes their own children when they’re not inside that fortress, but they are too lazy to even think about that fact.

        Yeah, let’s change all of traffic into tall, 3-ton barges and see how great of an idea that is. I’m sure the roads being f***ed to hell doesn’t have anything to do with that either…

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    “The model is just too heavy…”

    No such thing (apparently).

    [I often rip on manufacturers for the weight of modern vehicles. But I just added about 30 pounds to my old truck in the form of sound deadening mat (highly recommended) from “The Russian Federation” (I’m a sellout). So call me a hypocrite.]

  • avatar
    Oreguy

    The next “must have” for the Kardashians and their ilk.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Bingo – these things go for stupid money so the cost of making a G-wagon into an EV will not deter would be owners. In fact it might work to boost sales turning a $150k brick into an exclusive $250k machine for “elite” clients.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Yeah, when I looked at the pricing of the G-Wagon, I realized I could buy a fleet of Jeep Wranglers for the same price.

      …One to drive, and enough extras to start a small car rental company or a taxi company…

      But this kind of thinking only gets me so far, unless I borrow enough money to buy a G-Wagon and actually start the business.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      Seems like a good move on Mercedes part because they can build up their knowledge base selling to Beverly Hills people who aren’t bothered to worry about costs. As I understand it most mainstream manufacturers who put out an EV sell it at a loss. That won’t be a problem here and they can work out all their bugs.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        While I’m skeptical of the value of the G-Wagon, the strategy of introducing a high-end EV and moving down market is a solid one.

        It’s worked for Tesla.

        As near as I can figure, one the reasons it works are because rich people are less demanding of cars than the middle class. A Honda Civic has to start every for, or else the owner can be fired, whereas the requirements for a high-end car are more flexible.

        But, yeah, if I had G-Wagon money I’d order a Tesla Model Y and invest the rest (possibly in my own business).

  • avatar
    mcs

    Current 300Wh/kg technology would put the weight of the cells (no cooling etc) of a 100kWh battery at about 734 lbs. By the time this comes out (if it’s a couple of years), cell weight should be down to 440lbs (500 Wh/kg) for a 100 kWh battery. Subtracting the weight of the engine, transmission, xfer case and gas might get it close to the gas model.

    There could be more surprises in the battery industry. Toyota now has its solid-state battery and will show it this summer according to their CTO. It’s just a matter of getting it into mass production and that could take a few years. There are some other technologies that could be going into production as well. It’s tough to guess what technologies will be able to cross the gulf between lab discovery and mass production.

    • 0 avatar
      Imagefont

      Citations needed, for pretty much everything you claimed.

      Please note: Can’t be Electrek, Teslarati, Clean Technica or “Elon said”.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        Toyota’s Solid-State Battery:

        How about SAE????
        https://www.sae.org/news/2019/09/battery-show-solid-state-battery-roundtable

        Oilprice.com – think they’ve got a bias toward EVs????

        https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Solid-State-Batteries-The-Next-Big-Thing-In-Electric-Cars.html

        https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/toyota-solid-state-battery-electric-olympics/

        https://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2019/10/toyota-set-to-reveal-breakthrough-solid-state-batteries-announce-three-evs/

        https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/motor-shows-tokyo-motor-show/toyota-reveal-solid-state-battery-powered-prototype-next-year

        Plus craploads of patent filings over the last several years that gave away what they were up to.

        CATL 304 Wh/kg:

        https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/catl-opens-first-north-american-base-strengthening-presence-in-us-market-300761936.html

        Want a 450 Wh/kg batttery? You can buy it now:
        http://www.solidenergysystems.com/hermes/

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        @mcs: Don’t cite any source that knows anything about EVs.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    A three-ton brick-shaped electric vehicle could easily have the same energy usage as a Prius.

    Comparable electric vehicles are doing about twice as well as their gas equivalents.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    I’m waiting to read the news report of the Ford F-150E electric pickup (don’t hold your breath) and the electric G-Class box (hold your breath even longer) – two pointless 6500 lbs bricks – involved in a head-on collision because someone was distracted by the stupid touchscreen trying to find the radio’s bass control buried three menus deep. The resulting mushroom cloud and exclusion zone should be interesting.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Thank you…This is the dumbest thing I have ever read. We are all a bit stupider for having read it. May God have mercy on your sad soul.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Imagefont believes EV trucks are fake news:

        https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2019/11/tesla-pickup-has-a-reveal-date-availability-still-tbd/#comment-9829074

        https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2019/11/ford-amps-up-the-starpower-for-ev-crossover-launch/#comment-9828618

        I suppose the reveal events will just be light shows, the press won’t ask why there was no product, and we’ll all just forget about it. The teams of EV engineers at all these companies aren’t really doing anything. And OJ Simpson is still looking for the real killer.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    This thing would be – as all electric cars are – about as zero-emmisions as I am. Building the damned thing and its batteries negates all benefits over the course of its useable lifetime. Plastics? Peeled cows for the interior? Oils? I love that much bunker fuel would be burned to deliver this apparent paragon to the USA. Look up ‘bunker fuel’.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Lookup ‘economies of scale’ as it applies to energy production and consumption. This is the reason homes don’t have individual power plants.

      Likewise, an EV benefits from the economies of scale offered by a power plant. Pushing the energy production and pollution from the vehicle to the power plant is not an even transaction. At worst it’s break-even; at best it’s heavily in favor of the EV.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “I love that much bunker fuel would be burned to deliver this apparent paragon to the USA. Look up ‘bunker fuel’”

      ‘Liner shipping is the most efficient mode of transportation of goods.’ http://www.worldshipping.org/benefits-of-liner-shipping/efficiency

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Yup, if there’s only one EV being transported by the ginormous cargo ship then, yes, the EV would be a net problem.

        However, since the ship is fully loaded they’re incredibly efficient in terms of ton-miles-per-gallon. More efficient than most cars, for sure.

        Not clean, but efficient. …And the clean part could be fixed.

  • avatar
    Add Lightness

    I can only conclude that the dumb-a** elites that buy G-wagons don’t embarrass easily.

    Once G-wagins hit the civilian market, the have always been test beds for how goofy a vehicle they can sell to those with too much $.

  • avatar
    mcs

    “The lightest G-Wagon tips the scales at 5,550 pounds.”

    An EV conversion of the current G-Wagon with current battery technology weighs 5732 lbs. That’s 232 lbs heavier.

    https://www.kreiselelectric.com/en/projects/electric-g-class/

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    “There will be a zero-emission EV version of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. In the past there were discussions whether we should eliminate the model, the way I see things now I’d say the last Mercedes to be built will be a G-Class,” Källenius said.

    What a long and strange trip it has been. The first G-wagon was a rebadged Steyr Puch utility vehicle made under contract in Austria. I believe they’re still being made by Magna-Steyr in Austria to standards rather higher than anything made by Daimler. I do think it is unwise to dismiss his word choice. The EU is rushing into a new dark age and the last Mercedes-Benz will be built sooner than most people can wrap their addled minds around.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Will this be as useless as the Model X too or will it have some level of capability that almost makes it palatable for people to consider owning?

    • 0 avatar
      smartascii

      Electric vehicles aren’t quite ready to be “useful,” at least in the load-carrying sense I suspect you’re talking about as it relates to trucks and SUVs. A 100 kWh battery pack contains, when fully charged, the energy equivalent of about three gallons of gasoline. Now, electric vehicles are *much* more efficient at turning that energy into work, because a majority of the energy in gasoline is lost as heat in an ICE, so you’re really talking about the equivalent of roughly a 12-gallon tank of gas in terms of the work accomplished. But when you’re talking about high payload or heavy towing applications, a 12-gallon tank that takes 4 hours to refill is not very practical. It’ll get better. But if you need a truck or SUV for actual work, I think it’d be pretty limiting to have an electric one.

  • avatar
    Lockstops

    It bothers me no end that it’s considered ok to call EVs ‘zero-emission’. That’s 100% a straight-up lie.

    This one is not only clearly not ‘zero-emission’, but how much will it weigh, 3 tons?

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      San Fecesisco used 700 gallons of aerosol paint creating a giant mural of fetal alcohol syndrome suffering puppet Greta Thunberg. #climatehoax

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      “Zero operating emissions if you squint just right and believe the marketing your power company is selling you about ‘clean power’ upcharges!”

      (Could get to realistic zero operating emissions with a national push for nuclear power, but hippies will never let THAT happen!)

  • avatar
    IBx1

    You’re missing the point; there are a few city centers in the world where non-hybrid cars are banned from entering, and those city centers happen to be places where you go to be seen. The G-Wagen clientele cannot be seen without their rig, so an electric G would allow them to cruise right on in with a side bonus of virtue signaling.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      A minimal-compliance “hybrid” system would be cheaper and easier.

      But, well, yeah, the target market doesn’t care.

      (If I had FU money I’d totally get a G-class and outfit it as an expedition rig and use it.

      But I am definitely not the target market.)


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