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Mercedes-Benz shifts EV platform strategy as EQE sales sag.

Mercedes Reportedly Cancels MB.EA-Large EV Platform

Germany’s Handelsblatt reports Mercedes-Benz has halted development of its flagship electric-vehicle platform due to poor sales of its luxury electric models.

Mercedes-Benz is set to dramatically reduce its investment in electric-vehicle platform development with a decision not to proceed with plans for the so-called MB.EA-Large structure, according to media reports in Germany.

The new platform, planned to be launched in 2028, originally was earmarked to underpin successor models to the existing EQE and EQS sedans and SUVs.

As first reported by Handelsblatt, development of the MB.EA-Large platform has been canceled. The German financial and business publication, citing information provided by four separate insiders, says the decision is based on poor sales of the existing EQE and EQS models.

The investment savings brought by halting the development and infrastructure changes at Mercedes’ production sites to accommodate the new platform are estimated to be between €4 billion and €6 billion ($4.3 billion and $6.5 billion). 

Mercedes-Benz originally planned to develop two versions of the MB.EA platform: the MB.EA-Medium for the upcoming EQC sedan and SUV as well as the MB.EA-Large for more advanced replacements for the EQE and EQS sedans and SUVs. 

The MB.EA-Medium is set to launch in 2025.

With the MB.EA-Large structure now canceled, Mercedes intends to further develop the EVA2 platform, which forms the basis for the existing EQE and EQS sedans and SUVs, with an 800V electric architecture replacing the 400V system used today.

Other changes to be incorporated on the updated EVA2 platform include new battery-cell technology and more efficient electric motors for increased range as part of what Mercedes insiders describe as the EDU3.0 drivetrain.

Together with the MB.EA-Medium, Mercedes is said to be holding firm to plans to develop the MMA, MB.AMG and MB.VAN platforms.

The MMA platform, conceived to support both electric and internal-combustion-engine drivetrains and planned to be unveiled later this year, will underpin the third-generation CLA, CLA Shooting Brake, third-generation GLA and second-generation GLB. The new structure will share its so-called eATS2.0 electric drivetrain architecture with the upcoming MB.EA-Medium platform.

The MB.AMG platform, due in 2025 as a pure electric architecture, is earmarked to underpin an electric-powered successor model to the GT Four-Door Coupe (pictured, below) as well as a new dedicated AMG SUV model.

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The MB.VAN platform, set to launch in 2026, initially will form the basis of a successor to today’s EQV before being used for other Mercedes commercial vehicles.

According to Handelsblatt, the decision to cancel plans for the MB.EA-Large platform is part of a broader realignment of Mercedes future development activities. 

The German automaker recently postponed its target of achieving a 50% xEV (plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle) share of sales in 2025 to 2030. It also rolled back on plans to sell only electric vehicles by 2030 “in markets where the conditions allow.”

The halt in the development of the MB.EA-Large is expected to see Mercedes develop successor models to today’s seventh-generation S-Class, fourth-generation GLE SUV, third-generation GLE Coupe and third-generation GLS as ICE models with plug-in hybrid capability off an updated MRA platform.

They will be sold alongside their electric-powered equivalents based on the further-developed EVA2 platform.

 

“In the coming years, Mercedes faces the expensive and extremely complex task of keeping its portfolio of combustion engines and electric cars up to date,” says Handelsblatt.

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