Mercedes-Benz isn’t letting the automotive world go electric without planning to play a major role. Benz fans have been wanting to know why MB lacked a response to the Tesla S. The German government has announced a $1.1 billion electric car purchase incentive. And now the word is that four EV models will be in the Mercedes lineup by 2020, according to Autocar.
Due to the high cost of producing new electric-only models from the ground up, it’s expected the Mercedes electrics will share platforms, bodies, and major design components with other models. With the expectation of two sedans and two SUVs, it’s speculated that the sedans will be electric versions C-class and S-class models. The SUVs will share components with GLA and GLC models.
The current Mercedes B-class all-electric car‘s Modular Front Architecture (MFA) platform will be used by the GLA electric SUV. In the B-class EV there’s room in the back for batteries. The other three EV models, the C-class, S-class, and GLC SUV-based varieties, will use a newer Modular Rear Architecture (MRA), which is referred to at Mercedes-Benz as Modular Electric Architecture (MEA), according to Autocar.
The Mercedes GLC Fuel Cell, planned for next year, is seen as a precursor to the new EV vehicles. The Fuel Cell is the first vehicle to use the MEA, which gives it room in the floor for batteries and, in this case, hydrogen tanks as well. The MEA platform allows for a range of combinations, supporting either front- or four-wheel drive with as many as three electric motors.
Driving range is always a major talking point for electric vehicles, of course. The baseline for the new Mercedes EVs will be a 250-mile minimum range for all versions. Anything less will make it hard to compete with gas, diesel, and hybrid models.