It’s safe to say that most of the major automakers were taken by surprise by the performance, refinement and—most importantly—popularity of Tesla Motors’ [NSDQ:TSLA] Model S, especially the luxury makes whose large sedans sport similar price tags to the electric star. Having seen the light, they’re now rushing to develop large, powerful and long-distance capable electric cars of their own.
The British publication is reporting that Mercedes is developing a dedicated platform for a new generation of electric cars, the first of which will come in 2018. The platform, dubbed EVA (an acronym for Electric Vehicle Architecture), will reportedly be the basis of up to four electric cars spanning both sedans and SUVs.
Using a design pioneered by Tesla, a flat battery pack installed in the floor is said to be planned, and engineers will likely be able to drop an electric drive unit at either end of the vehicle. The first model is said to be a sedan sized somewhere between the C- and E-Class models. Beyond this, we can expect an S-Class-sized sedan and two SUVs. One of the planned SUVs is said to be even bigger than the current GLS.
Mercedes is yet to confirm plans for the EVA platform and a new range of dedicated EVs, though the automaker has stated that it is working on an electric sedan. It’s possible the stunning Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile concept unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show hints at the styling we can expect.