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Mercedes-Benz chief confirms all-electric G-Class wagon in the works

Ola Källenius, chairman of Daimler and head of Mercedes-Benz, confirmed today that the company will produce an all-electric version of the iconic G-Class wagon. Källenius made the commitment to the G-Class EV while speaking at Automobilwoche Kongress in Berlin.

The introduction of a G-Class wagon — rated at 14 miles per gallon ­— would transform one of Mercedes’ biggest gas guzzlers into a zero-emissions vehicle.

Källenius mentioned that there had been discussions to eliminate the iconic model. Apparently, instead, it will be electrified.

Sascha Pallenberg, identified on Twitter as the head of digital transformation at Daimler AG, tweeted the news:

The prospect for an electric G-Class became public as early as January 2018, when Automotive News reported that Arnold Schwarzenegger put pressure on former Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche to do the project. Schwarzenegger had a year earlier taken ownership of a custom G-Class converted to run on electrons.

Zetsche replied that the German automaker pledged to electrify its entire portfolio of cars. Källenius, at the time in charge of research at Daimler, was on the scene. He kept quiet then, but today confirmed the electric G-Class was on the way.

Mercedes-Benz’s electric vehicle effort has been under the “EQ” subbrand, starting with Mercedes-Benz EQC electric SUV, which we tested earlier this year. In 2017, the German automaker also unveiled the Mercedes-Benz “EQA,” an all-electric compact car. Daimler has one of the most aggressive electrification plans among established automakers. They plan for Mercedes-Benz and smart cars to offer electric versions of all car models by 2022.

Källenius replaced Dieter Zetsche as the chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG on May 22, 2019.

Here’s Källenius on the Mercedes-Benz commitment to electric vehicles:

 All systems are go. We are investing more than €10 billion in the development of our EQ vehicle portfolio alone. By 2022, we will be bringing more than 10 different all-electric vehicles to market. We will also be electrifying the entire Mercedes‑Benz portfolio, and our customers will thus have the choice of at least one electric alternative in every Mercedes‑Benz model series, taking the total to 50 overall.

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Avatar for Bradley Berman Bradley Berman

Bradley writes about electric cars, autonomous vehicles, smart homes, and other tech that’s transforming society. He contributes to The New York Times, SAE International, Via magazine, Popular Mechanics, MIT Technology Review, and others.