Insiders have told Autocar that Mercedes-Benz will roll out two electric sedans and two SUVs before 2020 is finished. Although they will share components, hard points, and basic platform structures with the brand's conventionally powered range, they will feature unique styling to set them apart.
The magazine understands that three out of the four models will be based on a variant of the Modular Rear Architecture (MRA) that underpins the company's rear- and all-wheel drive range. To be known as the Modular Electric Architecture (MEA), this platform can accommodate up to three electric motors.
This platform will make its debut next year when the company launches a hydrogen fuel-cell version of the GLC. In time, MEA will be found underneath EVs based on the C-Class, GLC and S-Class. These three models will feature Accumotive lithium-ion batteries and are said to have a range of at least 400 kilometres.
Above: Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive.
If Autocar's sources are on the money, the final model in the three-pointed star's electric jigsaw puzzle will be an EV based on the GLA. The drivetrain for this car is believed to shared largely with the B-Class Electric Drive.
Last week, Angela Merkel's coalition government and the country's car makers agreed to equally fund a spending package aimed at boosting the uptake of electrified cars in Germany.
Priced at around a billion euros ($1.6 billion), the package includes 300 million euros worth of charging stations. The majority of the money, though, will go towards rebates.
Under the plan, German buyers of pure EVs and plug-in hybrids will be subsidised to the tune of 4000 euros ($6200) and 3000 euros ($4660), respectively.
At current uptake rates, the country won't meet its self-imposed target of having one million electrified cars on the road by 2020. Currently there are only around 25,000 pure EVs and 130,000 hybrids amongst Germany's fleet of 45 million vehicles.