Momentum is gathering around a new all-electric sub-brand for Mercedes-Benz with a new report out of the US again pointing to a Paris Motor Show debut.
Bloomberg quotes two unnamed sources who reportedly confirm that the three-pointed star carmaker has signed off on the plan, which aims to tackle BMW’s ‘i’ EV and range-extended hybrid program along with the rolling ball of popularity that is Tesla.
This isn’t the first time an EV sub-brand for Benz has been in the spotlight, as the carmaker is heavily tipped to kick-off its new green range with four models.
The C-Class and S-Class would initially carry the green flag for passenger car buyers, while the remainder of the quartet would be SUVs (perhaps GLA- and GLC-Class) with all expected to be in Mercedes showrooms by 2020.
Previously, Mercedes could have been accused of servicing an image-change, but the latest reports suggest the German carmaker believe the financial pendulum has finally swung - that is, electric vehicles can now be profitable.
Tesla has made no secret of its financial burden since the Roadster first arrived on the scene. Even with the growth of the Model S and Model X, the carmaker is betting the farm somewhat on the success of its new ‘people’s car’ Model 3 and the enormous battery ‘gigafactory’ which is crucial in keeping costs down.
“When Tesla started coming up many years ago we decided at the time, and I believe correctly, that the technology wasn’t quite ready,” Daimler’s Wolfgang Bernhard said in an interview earlier this month.
“Now we believe the time has come to earn money in e-mobility over the next 5-10 years.”
Parent company Daimler is also investing heavily in autonomous technology and electric power for heavy vehicles.
While Mercedes is said to have signed off on the EV plan, a marketing name was reportedly missing from the paperwork.
Whether Benz’s BlueTec badging will carry-over to the EV project or not is unclear, but the carmaker is more likely to opt for a new name.
All could be revealed at the Paris Motor Show - stay tuned to TMR for more.
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