Concept work has well and truly kicked off for a fully electric version of Mercedes' beloved off-roader.
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Mercedes-Benz customers will be able to own an electric G-Class in the "next few years", according to Mercedes-Benz Cars CEO and Daimler AG Chairman, Ola Källenius.

Speaking with CarAdvice during a conference call in lieu of the cancelled Geneva Motor Show, Mr Källenius said the popularity of the iconic 4x4 has "transcended" the rest of the market in recent years.

"The G-Wagen transcends all segments and almost the logic of the car industry, it’s like it is its own company you could say," the Mercedes-Benz Cars boss said.

"People love this car, we had record-breaking sales of the new G last year as we rolled out the full production of the completely updated G."

Mr Källenius had previously confirmed plans for a "zero-emissions" version of the G-Class and, this week, revealed concept work for the EV version was well and truly underway.

"Yes, the G is going to go electric, we have kicked off the concept work for this, so in a few years you’ll be able to go electric with the G as well," Mr Källenius said.

Originally launched in 1979, the G-Class has been previously plagued by talk of discontinuation, but in recent years has seen sales growth that goes against global trends.

In 2019, for example, global sales of the G-Class increased by more than 60 per cent, with 34,912 delivered vehicles marking a 13,000-unit increase on the 2017 record.

According to recent VFACTS data, a total of 300 G-Class cars were sold in Australia in 2019 – although, currently, the only new-gen G-Class available to buy here is the Mercedes-AMG G63.

Beyond the G-Class, Mr Källenius more broadly reiterated Daimler's commitment to become fully carbon-neutral.

The Swede told journalists the coming year would see a "very steep ramp-up of electrification from Mercedes", including the implementation of "plug-in hybrids and 48-volt systems into all of our SUVs".

In 2019, every third Mercedes-Benz sold was an SUV, led by sales of the new GLC and GLE.

"We have made a very clear decision – as a general mental flicking of the switch – that modern luxury is going to be sustainable," Mr Källenius said.

"We are going CO2 neutral, there are no ifs or buts, and now we’re just talking about how fast we can get there, the technologies, the economical impact of this."

Mr Källenius promised a whole host of new electric and plug-in hybrid cars in the coming years, with a goal of increasing volume in order to "reap the benefits of scale".

"We’re ramping up... We will quickly introduce a whole host of electric vehicles in the next few years," Mr Källenius said.

"It is true the cost structure of electric vehicles is higher than what we are used to on combustion-based vehicles. [But] we feel as volumes go up, from tens of thousands of vehicles to hundreds of thousands of vehicles, we can start reaping benefits of scale.

"We have made full commitment to writing the electrical chapter."

Mr Källenius' comments came after Mercedes-Benz debuted three all-new plug-in hybrid models in the CLA Coupe, CLA Shooting Brake and GLA – however, none of these models will be coming to Australia.

When an electrified G-Class arrives, it won't technically be the first of its kind: Austrian startup Kriesel Electric previously built a plug-in 373kW G-Wagen for Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2017.