Mercedes-Benz investing over $1 bn to gear up its powertrain network for EVs
German automaker Mercedes-Benz on Wednesday laid out an over one billion-euro plan to gear up its powertrain network for electric vehicle production from 2024 - including systems such as battery assembly, electric drive units, and axles. The company's factories in Kamenz and Untertuerkheim in Germany as well as Beijing, which already assemble batteries for electric and hybrid models, will assemble batteries for electric models on the upcoming MMA and MB.EA platforms.
Another battery assembly site in Koelleda has support pending from regional government. Untertuerkheim, Beijing and Sebes in Romania will build electric drive units for cars on the new platforms, with Hamburg and Untertuerkheim to remain the lead plants for assembling electric axles and components. "There is no site that is not included," production chief Joerg Burzer said on a press call.
The management and employee representatives of Mercedes-Benz had reached an agreement in June on shifting European car plants towards electric vehicles (EVs), making Sindelfingen the home for high-end vehicles on the AMG.EA platform, Bremen and Kecskemet in Hungary for core luxury models and Rastatt and Kecskemet for entry-level vehicles.
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Mercedes has set up its car plants in a way that it can produce both combustion engine and electric cars on single production lines, but assembling batteries and motors on the same line is more complex. However, many of its component-making plants will carry on making parts for combustion engine cars for as long as there is demand. The automaker is working towards its goal of achieving all-electric sales by 2030 "where market conditions allow".