To Source Battery Packs In-House
Mercedes-Benz is one of the brands that will be taking part in the dramatic electrification—several electric truck models are already on the road; they’ll be joined by the Mercedes-Benz EQC electric SUV from Daimler (parent company for Mercedes-Benz cars and a portfolio of trucks) in a year. All those electric vehicles need batteries.
Earlier this month, Daimler broke ground on its new electric-vehicle (EV) battery factory in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The factory represents part of Mercedes-Benz’s latest $1 billion investment into its Tuscaloosa facilities.
The new facility will be used to produce battery packs for a wide range of upcoming Mercedes-Benz hybrid and electric vehicles, both in North America and Europe, and should be operational in 2019.
“The widely export-oriented Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa is a high-tech production facility with a successful history and an exciting future in terms of our brand in the United States,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain. “We aim to play a pioneering role in the development of e-mobility and are well prepared to accomplish this mission.”
Since 1995, more than $6 billion has been invested in the Tuscaloosa plant, however this newest contribution is a clear statement by Mercedes-Benz that it is investing heavily in an electric future (at lease that is the image they are going for). Currently the plant produces three SUVs (the GLS, GLE and GLE-Coupe as well as the C-Class sedan.
While official details have not been released, the battery packs created at the new factory will most likely be used in Daimler’s new EQ vehicle lineup. The EQ platform (somehow standing for “Electric Intelligence”) will be featured in all Mercedes-Benz EVs over the next few years; the first of which will be an SUV called EQC.
A direct competitor for the Tesla Model X, as well as the soon to be massive EV SUV segment, the EQC is expected to go on sale sometime in 2020.
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