Mercedes-Benz wants to make one million electric drive units per year from 2024 for its EQ-branded models, doubling current output by ramping up production at the Unterturkheim and Bad Cannstatt plants in Germany.
This move comes in the context of Mercedes-Benz wanting to become an all-electric brand by 2030, “wherever market conditions allow,” according to the company’s previous statements. In this strategy, the Unterturkheim plant near Stuttgart, Germany will transition to an “electric-only” role.
Mercedes-Benz Unterturkheim Plant
Now, the Unterturkheim plant is responsible for the production of engines and transmissions, as well as batteries and axles for plug-in hybrids and fully electric Mercedes-EQ models, like the EQS and EQB, but in the future, it will be responsible for parts of the electric drive units as well, which will be made in newly-built annexes.
"The transformation of the Unterturkheim location is progressing with great strides. With highly efficient drive units and batteries, we are making the Unterturkheim plant fit for the future. In the future, we will be able to supply e-drives for one million Mercedes-EQ vehicles to our vehicle plants. That makes me proud. The ramp-up will begin in 2024. With our highly flexible and committed teams here at the location, we are continuing to write the success story of the Unterturkheim plant together," said Frank Deiß, Chairman Mercedes-Benz Drive Systems, Head of Production Powertrain Mercedes-Benz Cars and Plant Manager, Mercedes-Benz Unterturkheim.
Construction of the new assembly lines at the Unterturkheim and Bad Cannstatt facilities will begin in 2023, with Mercedes-Benz taking great pride in offering “a comprehensive training and retraining program for the employees at the location.”
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The German luxury brand launched its EQ line of all-electric cars in 2016 with the Generation EQ concept car, but the company first experimented with battery-powered vehicles in the 1900s, with the Mercédès Electrique from 1906. Over the years, Mercedes-Benz tried its hand at EVs with prototypes of buses, vans, station wagons, sedans, and city cars.
The first production EQ model was the EQE SUV launched in 2019, followed by a host of sedans, crossovers, and vans, upping the total number of models offered to ten in just a few years.