Daimler CEO Ola Källenius confirmed plans for an electric Mercedes-Benz G-Class during a speech at the Automobilwoche Kongress in Berlin on Thursday, company spokesman Sascha Pallenberg revealed in a Twitter post.
#Daimler CEO Källenius: ”There will be a zero-emission #EV version of the #MercedesBenz G-Class. In the past there were discussions whether we should eliminate the model, the way I see things now I'd say the last Mercedes to be built will be a G-Class" #AMWKongress #eMobility pic.twitter.com/tAS6tzpR3Y— Sascha Pallenberg 潘賞世 (@sascha_p) November 7, 2019
Timing for the model, which could be dubbed an EQG, wasn't mentioned and it could be several years until we see it eventuate, as the big and blocky G-Class will require a substantial kilowatt-hour rating and Mercedes may want to wait until battery technology improves. In other words, don't expect the electric G-Class to be one of the 10 EVs Mercedes will introduce by the end of 2022.
A plug-in hybrid G-Class is likely to eventuate before any battery-electric version, and it could come with an AMG badge. AMG plans to introduce plug-in hybrid technology across its range and the Affalterbach tuner is known to be readying a powerful setup incorporating a V-8 to fill the void of its soon-to-be discontinued V-12 powertrains.
Note, if you want an electric G-Class today, there's a company in Austria by the name of Kreisel that offers an electric conversion, though so far the company has only shown converted versions of the previous-generation G-Class. Kreisel's setup features an 80-kwh battery and an electric motor at each axle for a combined 482 horsepower. One of the first people to take up Kreisel's G-Class electric conversion was Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Interestingly, Källenius also revealed during his speech in Berlin that Mercedes had consided discontinuing the G-Class at one point. Fortunately, the automaker has come to its senses and, at least during Källenius' watch, the iconic SUV is safe for the foreseeable future.