Mercedes-Benz Is the Latest Automaker to Go All Electric

With a $47 billion investment in EV technology, the company plans to phase out internal combustion engines by 2030

Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4MATIC
The 2022 Mercedes EQS EV.
Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, announced today that it will spend more than $47 billion to fully electrify its lineup by 2030, one of the largest investments in EVs any major automaker has made so far.

The announcement is more of a promise than a guarantee. The company said in a statement that the switch to EVs would take place “where market conditions allow.” But it follows similar announcements from other automakers as lawmakers around the world attempt to address the transportation sector’s outsized contribution to climate change. In the U.S., transportation accounts for about 29 percent of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Mercedes is well-positioned for electrification thanks to its unique lineup, which includes luxurious vehicles, such as the S-Class sedan, performance cars wearing an AMG badge, and no-nonsense commercial vehicles, such as the Metris van, says Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports. “While many automakers are moving toward EVs, luxury and commercial vehicles have the most immediate promise,” he says. That’s because luxury car buyers are better able to absorb any price premium of going electric, and commercial operators can save money on maintenance by electrifying their fleets. “Considering its lineup,” Fisher adds, “it makes sense that Mercedes would move toward full electrification.”

Starting in 2025, the company says that all newly launched Mercedes-Benz vehicles will be available only as EVs. These vehicles will be based on three underlying shared designs and technologies, which car manufacturers call “platforms.” The MB.EA platform will underpin mainstream passenger vehicles, the AMG.EA platform will be for performance vehicles, and the VAN.EA platform will be the basis of commercial vehicles. 

At the same time, the automaker plans to work with external partners and acquire smaller companies to help develop new motors, open new battery factories, and expand and simplify charging networks.

“Until recently, we expected a moderate development of the global EV market,” said Britta Seeger, who is responsible for marketing and sales at Mercedes-Benz. “Now we believe customer preferences will shift even faster.” Seeger is also a member of Daimler AG’s board of management, and delivered remarks at a recorded press conference.

Mercedes-Benz EQ family of electric vehicles.
A preview of the coming Mercedes-Benz EV lineup.

Photo: Mercedes-Benz Photo: Mercedes-Benz

The investment is one of the largest any automaker has made regarding electrification to date. Hyundai has promised to spend $87 billion on EVs and autonomy by 2025, but other automakers have been more modest. Volkswagen promised to spend $19 billion and GM says it will spend $35 billion on EVs and autonomy, also by 2025. Stellantis—the parent company of Alfa Romeo, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Fiat, Ram, and others—said it will put $35.5 billion toward EVs by 2025. And Honda has plans to spend $46.3 billion on research and development, including for EVs, by 2040. Smaller automakers, including Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo, and Bentley, have made similar promises.

At Mercedes-Benz, the all-electric EQS sedan and EQA and EQB SUVs will be available by 2022. These will be followed by even more EVs, including all-electric Maybach and G-Class ultra-luxury SUVs and electric AMG sports cars, the automaker says.

“Luxury automakers are leading the way because they’re already feeling the heat from Tesla eating into their market share and more competition from new startups including Lucid and Rivian on the way,” says Chris Harto, senior transportation and energy policy analyst at Consumer Reports. Sports cars can also benefit from electrification, he says. “It’s really hard for gasoline vehicles to match the high levels of performance that a well-designed electric vehicle can deliver.”

These announcements aren’t entirely altruistic, says Gabe Shenhar, associate director of CR’s Auto Test Center. Instead, they’re coming on the heels of new regulatory requirements worldwide that address climate change by limiting sales of new vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. In the U.S., California, Massachusetts, and New York will require that all new passenger vehicles sold by 2035 meet zero emissions standards. They join the EU and other countries—including the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Israel, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan—with similar coming phaseouts.

“The bottom line is that no manufacturer can afford to stay behind on the EV frontier,” Shenhar says, “so they have to heavily invest in research and development to maintain a competitive edge and at the same time take care of their public image.”


Head shot photo of CRO Cars CIA editor Keith Barry

Keith Barry

Despite my love for quirky, old European sedans like the Renault Medallion, it's my passion to help others find a safe, reliable car that still puts a smile on their face—even if they're stuck in traffic. When I'm not behind the wheel or the keyboard, you can find me exploring a new city on foot or planning my next trip.