By on May 18, 2018

Daimler AG has announced an investment of 500 million euros ($589 million) for its plant in Hambach, France, to start production on a compact electric car for the Mercedes-Benz EQ brand. Known as “Smartville,” the complex was purpose built in the 1990s to supply the automaker with the first batch of Smart ForTwos and has been humming along ever since.

While numerous outlets have billed the model as a “Tesla fighter,” the rumor mill claims this vehicle is quite a bit smaller than the Model 3. That sounds reasonable enough, considering the new model would be produced in the same facility as the electric ForTwo and cabrio. However, the multi-million dollar investment will presumably go toward expanding the factory and procuring the EQ its own assembly line. We’ve heard nothing about the new Mercedes being a rebranded Smart vehicle.

There are actually a lot of gray areas to navigate here. While Mercedes spent a lot of time billing EQ as an electrified subsidiary, it’s already tacking the name onto electric Smart cars. The nomenclature now seems intended for any Daimler model with an electric powertrain, plus cleverly styled concept vehicles. Spyshots of the EQC sport utility vehicle, Mercedes’ first official entry into its broader EV effort, show the heavily camouflaged vehicle looking very much like the standard GLC-Class — not the concept EQs we’ve seen in the past.  (Read More…)

By on September 22, 2017

Mercedes-Benz Alabama Assembly Line - Image: Mercedes-BenzMercedes-Benz is investing $1 billion into its Tuscaloosa, Alabama, assembly operations in order to facilitate the production of its first EQ-branded SUVs in 2020. The investment, timed to roughly coincide with the beginning of Mercedes-Benz ML production in Alabama, is expected to result in the hiring of another 600 employees.

In the near term, Mercedes-Benz has been open with its doubts regarding the profitability of pure electric vehicles. Evidently, the long-term view is different. And it probably doesn’t hurt to pour more money into a U.S. operations hub that accounts for nearly half the vehicles sold by the automaker in America. (Read More…)

By on September 29, 2016

Generation EQ, 2016

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled an all-electric SUV concept at the Paris Auto Show, strongly hinting at what we can expect from its recently announced EQ sub-brand.

The Generation EQ concept offers impressive range and up to 400 horsepower, which the automaker needs to compete with the likes of Tesla and rival BMW’s “i” sub-brand. (Read More…)

By on August 11, 2016

2016-Mercedes-C350-Plug-In-9

Last week, we told you how Mercedes-Benz planned to go the BMW route and turn its looming roster of electric vehicles into a sub-brand.

All the automaker needed was a name to slap on its gas-free offerings. Well, according to UK trademark application filings first reported by Autocar, the new sub-brand’s name is… (Read More…)

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