Tesla Motors has given a right big jolt to all the major automakers of the world with its commercial electric automobiles and scrambled them into action. Mercedes-Benz is one manufacturer among a few of them who have actually begun to sharpen their claws and grab chunks of the hottest automotive trend right now: Electric Cars.
Daimler Group recently invested $589 million in a facility in Hambach, France. The move aligns with the company’s plan to introduce at least ten new EVs by 2022. The Mercedes-Benz sub-brand is called EQ, and the first car, the EQA will be manufactured at Hambach. The French facility currently produces electric cars of the Smart brand. “The Smart plant in Hambach will become a part of our global compact car production network with the lead plant in Rastatt, Germany,” Markus Schaefer, Chief of Production at Mercedes, said in a statement on Friday.
The company is adapting its inventory of vehicle underpinnings to accomodate production of electric cars on the same assembly line that manufactures petrol, diesel, or hybrid vehicles. Mercedes is targeting equivalent volume sales for all models, and can ramp up production quickly should the demand spike, commented a Daimler spokesman. In September 2017, Mercedes-Benz pulled the covers off the Concept EQA, an electric car with a range of approximately 400 km. The EQA can also recharge itself wirelessly.
Daimler also commented that it is expanding its French plant’s capacity of production and improve the facility’s infrastructure to produce the first ever Mercedes-Benz car in France. Hambach currently produces 80,000 cars annually. With the launch of the EQA followed by production and subsequent launch of the EQC crossover, the German giant looks well ahead in terms of preparation for an electric onslaught on the market. The EQC is scheduled to enter serial production in Bremen in 2019.
With Mercedes-Benz throwing in its hat in the ring, the lectric car industry is going to heat up majorly very soon. Current players in the market are Tesla, BMW with its ‘i’ brand, Volvo with its extensive range of PHEVs, and many other manufacturers besides. Will the EQ cars gain traction in the market? Only time will tell.