Mercedes-Benz C-Class Plug-In Hybrid - Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Plug-In Hybrid - Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs

Four all-electric production cars will be introduced by Mercedes-Benz, starting in 2018 with the first model, according to CAR magazine.

The original plan was to start by offering a long-range BEV in 2019, but apparently Mercedes needed to maintain competition with Audi and Porsche (both of these German brands are expected to launch a comparable electric project within a similar time frame).

CAR magazine speculates that the new plan is an all-out assault on Tesla.

According to the report, there will be two saloons and two crossover SUVs, all using the new electric vehicle architecture called EVA.

"First out is a saloon positioned sizewise between C- and E-class, closely followed by a similarly sized crossover aimed at the gap between GLC and GLE.

The plan to build these cars in a dedicated greenfield factory has also been ditched. Instead, the Bremen plant has been chosen as EVA’s home. The established site in Northern Germany will in fact become pivotal for Benz’s alternative drivetrain offerings, be they PHEVs or BEVs. It is also going to accommodate the assembly of EVA Phase II which will add an S-class-sized saloon and a second SUV even larger than today’s 5.1m-long GLS."

EVA is to consist of a sandwich battery floor and one or two electric motors (two in AWD version). CAR magazine states 400 kg of batteries and 450 kW of power (300 kW rear and 90 or 150 kW front).

Sales targets are for a minimum of 20,000 units (annually, we assume) for each of the four new models.

Source: CAR magazine