Mercedes-Benz is transitioning to electric vehicles. If market conditions permit, Mercedes-Benz only wants to put new battery-electric cars on the road in 2030. The next generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class, introduced in early 2023, will most likely be the last new model to use a combustion engine basis.
"As of today," said Head of Development Markus Schäfer in an interview with Automobilwoche, "the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and its variants are the final Mercedes-Benz models to be produced on a pure combustion engine architecture." The S-Class and C-Class have also been built on this platform, which, according to the research, will be phased out at the end of the model cycle, most likely before 2030.
Mercedes already has a competitor to the E-Class plug-in hybrid, which operates on a wholly electric car platform, with the EQE, which has been available since this year. The Mercedes-Benz EQS in the S-Class category debuted the EVA2 (Electric Vehicle Architecture) in 2021. Meanwhile, SUV variants of both vehicles have been introduced. There are also other variants in the Mercedes-Benz EQ electric car family that use combustion engines.
Mercedes compact and medium-sized vehicles will be built on an architecture developed explicitly for electric drives beginning in the middle of the decade. The MMA (Mercedes Modular Architecture) should, nevertheless, allow for the employment of a combustion engine if necessary.
Schäfer also discussed hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles with Automobilwoche. Mercedes manufactured such a model in small series with the GLC F-Cell for about a year and a half till 2020, but it no longer plans to utilize this driving technology in the future.
"We perceive significant drawbacks in unit pricing, energy efficiency, and tank space," says Mercedes' head of development. The fuel cell makes sense for long-distance trucks, but Mercedes is entirely focused on the battery-electric future for vehicles. "If every component is specialized, I can only be as efficient as possible there."