German luxury powerhouse Mercedes-Benz has broken ground on an upcoming 500 million euro ($747 million) manufacturing facility that will produce the lithium-ion battery packs for its upcoming range of electric vehicles (EVs) branded under the EQ banner, along with numerous other future models.
- shares

Located in Kamenz, Germany, the new factory is claimed to be Europe's premiere EV battery factory when it goes live in mid-2018, set to take on Tesla's Gigafactory - which has been developed in cooperation with Japanese electronics company Panasonic.

The 20-hectare facility is just one part of parent company Daimler's 1 billion euro ($1.5 billion) investment into energy storage subsidiary, Accumotive, and will form the basis of Mercedes-Benz's upcoming EQ electric car sub-brand - which will kick off with the production version of the Generation EQ SUV concept in 2019.

Generation EQ

Above, Top, Below: Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ concept

Speaking with the UK's Autocar, Dieter Zetsche, chairman for Mercedes-Benz, said: "The automotive industry is facing a fundamental transformation".

"The battery factory in Kamenz is an important component in the implementation of our electric offensive. By 2022, we will have more than ten purely-electric passenger cars."

"We also continue to drive forward the hybridisation of our fleet. Under the EQ brand, we are creating a holistic ecosystem for e-mobility," he added.

Generation EQ

Accumotive also plans to produce batteries for Mercedes-Benz vehicles equipped with 48V battery modules, the first being selected versions of the facelifted 2018 S-Class range - which arrives in Australia by the end of the year.

Last year, Mercedes-Benz filed trademark applications for the names EQA, EQC, EQE and EQS - indicating the new EV models will be structured around the existing A, C, E and S model lines.

The production version of the Generation EQ SUV concept is expected to be named the EQC. Fuelling these claims were recent spy shots of a prototype wearing sheetmetal borrowed from the current GLC crossover (below).

mercedes-benz-eqc-mule-spy-2-front

In terms of Australia, Mercedes-Benz has projected the production Generation EQ will be available locally around 2020.

Stay tuned to CarAdvice for more Mercedes-Benz EQ updates.