Mercedes-Benz's first dedicated EV, the EQS, debuts April 15

Although Mercedes-Benz was relatively early to the electric-vehicle game with its B-Class and SLS AMG Electric Drive models launched a decade ago, as well as an investment in Tesla before it went public, the German auto giant has had a rocky start when it comes to volume EVs.

There was the EQC originally due here in 2020, though the small crossover is now off the table indefinitely. The automaker also unveiled the EQA compact crossover in January but isn’t expected to offer it here.

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC

Fortunately things are about to change for the better. Mercedes on Tuesday said it will unveil its first dedicated EV, the EQS large sedan, on April 15. We should see the EQS arrive here later this year as a 2022 model.

While all previous Mercedes EVs were based on platforms originally developed for internal-combustion engines, the EQS will ride on a dedicated EV platform, referred to internally as EVA. This has allowed Mercedes to avoid some of the compromises of using an ICE platform.

For example, the EQC uses the platform of the GLC-Class. As a result, it misses out on a front trunk as its front electric motor needed to be positioned up high where the internal combustion engine normally sits. Weight is also an issue, with the EQC tipping the scales at 5,346 pounds. In comparison, the Jaguar I-Pace, which is about the same size and has a dedicated EV platform, weighs 4,702 pounds.

A dedicated EV platform also allows more batteries to be installed. In the EQS, there will be a lithium-ion battery pack ranging up to 108 kilowatt-hours. This is expected to give the big sedan a range approaching 400 miles on a charge. The cells are being supplied by CATL.

Battery production at Mercedes-Benz's plant in Hedelfingen, Germany

Battery production at Mercedes-Benz’s plant in Hedelfingen, Germany

Production of the EQS’s battery packs is already underway at Mercedes’ plant in Hedelfingen, located just outside of Stuttgart, Germany. Production of the EQS will take place at the new Factory 56 site in nearby Sindelfingen.

The EQS will feature an electric drive system at both axles. This will create an all-wheel-drive system that Mercedes said is able to precisely adjust the drive torque at the front and rear wheels to suit the conditions, resulting in impressive stability even on very slippery surfaces.

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MBUX Hyperscreen from Mercedes-Benz EQS

MBUX Hyperscreen from Mercedes-Benz EQS

We also know the EQS will be positioned alongside the S-Class in Mercedes’ lineup. As a result it will have an interior on par with the automaker’s flagship sedan. They won’t be completely the same, however. For example, the EQS will be available with a new dash-wide curved display dubbed the MBUX Hyperscreen.

In addition to the EQA and EQS, Mercedes has two more EVs set for a reveal in 2021. They are the EQB based on the GLB-Class and a smaller sibling to the EQS known as the EQE. Both the EQB and EQE are expected to end up here. The EQE and EQS are also destined to spawn crossover variants. These will arrive in 2022 and be built at Mercedes’ plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.


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