Mercedes-Benz is prepped to lead the way for U.S. electric vehicle production. According to a statement made to Automotive News on Thursday by the luxury brand’s global production chief, Jorg Burzer, the company could switch to all-electric vehicle production at its U.S. assembly plant in Vance, Alabama as soon as 2025.
The company started production on its first full-size electric SUV, a battery-powered version of its flagship GLS, at the factory this Thursday. The EQS full-size SUV is the first of two electric vehicles initially planned for the factory and is expected to hit U.S. stores this fall. The EQE, the electric version of Mercedes’ GLE midsize crossover, is scheduled for production early next year. The company launched its all-electric EQ sub-brand last fall with its battery-powered S-Class sedan.
The factory expects to produce more than 100,000 EVs next year, the equivalent of a third of its annual capacity of 305,000. The EQEs will supply all markets except for China. Mercedes expects electric vehicles to account for half of its U.S. sales by 2030, according to announcements made at the brand’s national dealer meeting earlier this year.
The recent signing of The Inflation Reduction Act, which offers a $7,500 federal tax credit for new electric vehicles built in North America, is unlikely to help the company’s outlook after January 1st when new restrictions go into effect. The restrictions take into account where an EVs battery and battery materials are sourced, as well as setting income and price limits for qualification.
Mercedes has not announced the expected sticker price for the new electric SUV, but the brand has a reputation for high-priced vehicles and high-income customers, making it unlikely that either would qualify for the credit after January first.
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