Mercedes-Benz South Africa officially launched its electric brand locally last week. Known as Mercedes-Benz EQ this new range of models will be the automakers first series of all-electric powered vehicles. Mercedes-Benz electric future, both locally and abroad was outlined as a recent media event.

What’s in a name?

EQ – the name stands for “Electric Intelligence”. On the road to emission-free driving, Mercedes-Benz is offering a three-pronged strategy to implement minimum environmental impact across all vehicle segments. The three forms are: electric models (EQ), plug-in hybrids (EQ Power) and electrified combustion engines (EQ Boost), or hybrids as we generally know them.

Local introduction

Speaking at the event held in Cape Town last week, CEO of Mercedes-Benz South Africa, Johannes Fritz and marketing director for passenger cars, Selvin Govender, outlined the EQ brand’s introduction to the local market.

Seen earlier this year, the Mercedes-Benz EQC, all-electric SUV will make its SA debut around the middle of 2019. Click here to see and read about the new SUV. The early cars will be here to create awareness among local buyers before the car goes on sale in 2020. The SUV has a driving range of 450 km, but Govender explained that battery technology is improving at a rapid rate and it won’t be long before the 600 km mark is broken.

Govender also said that Mercedes engineers are working on a fast charging system that will take a battery pack from 10 to 80 percent in just 40 minutes.

Government help

With a myriad of problems to solve, the SA government has to date not been proactive with regards to the introduction of electric vehicles locally. Fritz and other spokespersons at the event said that the tune from legislators has changed of late, with younger blood in the halls of power increasingly keen to see the new tech in SA.

But Mercedes-Benz SA is not waiting for help from elsewhere. The German parent company has invested over R100m in setting up its East London plant to produce hybrid models. Soon we will see a C300de, which is the brand’s first diesel hybrid model.

Standing in front of the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA, Govender commented that Mercedes-Benz will be introducing an EQ model in every segment it currently competes in. The EQA will be the second all-electric car to be turned into a production reality. In total Mercedes-Benz will introduce 10 EQ models by 2022.

Learn more about Mercedes-Benz electric future by checking out the company’s local site.