Disappointing sales of current luxury EVs is forcing Mercedes-Benz to rethink the move to the ‘MB.EA-Large’ EV platform.

This probably should not come as a surprise but not everyone wants to buy an all-electric vehicle. Whether it is due to their cost, range anxiety, lacking charging infrastructure or anything else, automotive manufacturers are beginning to realize that the general public is not ready to fully switch over to EVs. Mercedes-Benz was working on a new ‘MB.EA-Large’ EV platform that was supposed to see duty in their larger vehicles such as the S-Class, GLS, E-Class and GLE. However, a report from the German Handelsblatt newspaper cited four insiders that claim the MB.EA-Large platform is being put on hold.

The original plan was for Mercedes-Benz to electrify its large vehicles by 2028, but it appears that plan is being shelved. According to the report the development of the MB.EA-Large platform was going to cost in the mid-single-digit billion-dollar range. And with the disappointing sales figures for current luxury electric cars the company decided that now was not the right time to make that type of investment.

More Specifics

Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4MATIC

The folks at electrive, a website that covers the electric mobility space, reached out to Mercedes-Benz for additional comment. A spokesperson responded and stated that “Mercedes-Benz is utilizing sustainable efficiencies between new and existing model series.” When asked about the further development of its product portfolio and the market conditions and customer wishes that determine the pace of transformation the spokesperson said, “We will build the perfect Mercedes for every customer requirement. We will be able to flexibly offer vehicles with both fully electric drive systems and electrified high-tech combustion engines well into the 2030s.” That sounds like the company is walking back from their previous stance of pushing for fully electric vehicles.

A Misjudgment

Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4MATIC

According to Handelsblatt this change in direction is a result of a misjudgment by Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Källenius. Källenius believed that sales of EVs would increase more quickly than they have. With this recent change in direction regarding the MB.EA-Large platform it seems that internal combustion engines are going to be around for a while longer. They may be enhanced with hybrid electric motors, but the days of Mercedes-Benz selling nothing, but fully electric vehicles seem to be a way off. At the Annual General Meeting last Wednesday, Källenius made the following statement: “In the coming years, there will be both: Electric cars and ultra-modern, electrified combustion engines. If the demand is there, well into the 2030s. Strategically, Mercedes is focusing on zero emissions. That is certain. But the transformation could take longer than expected.”

Your Thoughts

Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4MATIC

Are you surprised by this announcement? You probably should not be as there have been numerous reports of EVs from most manufacturers sitting unsold on dealer lots. But now that Mercedes-Benz has made it all but official that an all-electric future is being delayed, does that make you happy? Or were you looking forward to the company being one of the first legacy manufacturers to switch over to all-electric?

Images: Mercedes-Benz

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Joe Kucinski

Joe has been obsessed with cars since he got his very first Matchbox toy in the ‘70s. In 2003, he found a new obsession in track days that led to obtaining his SCCA competition license in 2015. In 2019, he became a certified driving instructor for the National Auto Sport Association. His love for all things four wheels has never wavered, whether it’s driving some of the best cars in the world on the racetrack, tackling 2,000-mile road trips in 2-seat sports cars or being winched off the side of a mountaintop in a Jeep. Writing for the suite of Internet Brands Auto Communities sites, including Rennlist.com, Ford Truck Enthusiasts, 6 Speed and more allows him to share that knowledge and passion with others.

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