Mercedes developing EV platform that will spawn four new models

Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

In terms of performance and luxury EVs, Tesla is king. But for how long?

According to a new report by Car Magazine, Mercedes-Benz has signed off on an electric vehicle platform that will eventually underpin four new models. Dubbed EVA, the architecture will likely make its debut in 2018 with a sedan geometrically positioned between the automaker’s C and E-Class lineup.

In terms of dimensions, that puts the four-door at about 188 inches in overall length (the C-Class measures in at 184.5 in and the E-Class at 192.1 in), which is noticeably smaller than the Tesla Model S’ length of 195.9 in. Could Merc’s new EV be targeting the upcoming Model 3? Unlikely, given that Tesla boss Elon Musk has said the Model 3 will be approximately 80 percent the size of the Model S, but it’s far too early to place bets on Mercedes’ competitive set.

After the sedan’s debut in 2018, the EVA platform will lay the foundation for an electric crossover sized between the GLC and GLE. The last two models — a sedan the size of an S-Class and an SUV larger than the GLS — will be supported by the heftier EVA Phase II platform.

Despite previous claims, Car Magazine reports that EVA will not be an entirely new design, but rather a derivative of Mercedes’ current MRA architecture. The electric platform will share its suspension and basic body structure with MRA, meaning that all its vehicles will be biased toward rear-wheel drive. Mercedes is also expected to adopt a monolithic, floor-mounted battery pack layout akin to the Tesla Model S and Model X.

Insiders report that the German brand’s battery weighs approximately 400 kg (882 pounds), and can supply either one or two electric motors depending on configuration. RWD models will be powered by a single 300kW (402 hp) unit, while all-wheel drive variants will benefit from additional motors rated at either 90kW (120 hp) or 150kW (201 hp).

If all goes well, Mercedes hopes to sell around 20,000 examples of each vehicle annually.