Mercedes to start electric-vehicle push in SA

Mercedes-Benz is to launch five full battery electric vehicles (BEV) in the South African market in 2022.

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The launch of the new models, all from the global Mercedes-EQ range, form part of a clear, strategic push to position the brand as a global and local leader in the electric vehicle (EV) market.

The new strategy aims to leverage the brand’s strengths in the luxury space while unlocking the full potential of its unique speciality brands, AMG, Maybach and EQ.

Mark Raine, the newly appointed President of Mercedes-Benz Cars and Co-CEO of Mercedes-Benz South Africa, said leading in electric drive and digitisation is a key pillar of the Mercedes-Benz strategy.

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Raine admitted electric vehicle sales are relatively small in South Africa but says Mercedes-Benz South Africa will follow the global push towards zero-emission mobility.

Ola Kallenius, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG, previously announced that Mercedes-Benz Cars aims to have a carbon-neutral new passenger car fleet over the next 20 years, and its target is for plug-in hybrids or all-electric vehicles to make up more than 50% of its car sales by 2030.

Raine says significant interest has already been shown by potential customers in South Africa in Mercedes-Benz's EQ range.

“This interest is aided by the growth in the public charging grid, including national coverage on main routes and the number of potential customers with existing renewable energy solutions (or considering these in the near-future).

“Based on these developments, we are confident that the cars we bring into the country will find many happy owners,” he says.

The BEV models that will be launched into the South African market this year are the:

  • EQA, an all-electric dynamic sports SUV.
  • EQB, an all-electric family size SUV.
  • EQC, an all-electric mid-sized SUV.
  • The EQE, an all-electric business sedan.
  • The EQS, an all-electric luxury sedan.

Raine added that Mercedes-Benz has created a strong growth strategy for the South African market to capitalise on what it sees as a ‘growth market potential’.

He says the local EV strategy announced by Mercedes-Benz includes the digital transformation of the entire customer experience, a focus on strengthening the positioning of the company as the most desirable luxury vehicle brand and providing a clear roadmap to support the growth of Mercedes-EQ in South Africa.

Raine expressed confidence that there will be a strong uptake and growth in the luxury EV market in South Africa in the next 12 to 24 months.

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