Mercedes-Benz has just launched a new generation of its C-Class but the handsome sedan won't have a battery-electric variant to take on the Tesla Model 3 and upcoming electric 3-Series from BMW.
C-Class chief engineer Christian Frueh said in an interview earlier in February that modifying the car's platform to fit the necessary hardware for electric drive would have compromised the overall balance and rear-axle design, thus the option was ruled out.
That doesn't mean Mercedes isn't planning an electric car in the C-Class segment, however. In an interview with Autocar published last week, Markus Schaefer, chief operating offer at Mercedes, said the automaker's planned MMA (Mercedes Modular Architecture) platform which is being designed from the ground up to support battery-electric vehicles in smaller segments could be used for a C-Class-like electric sedan. He said the MMA platform will spawn its first models from 2024.
But why not use the EVA (Electric Vehicle Architecture) platform debuting shortly in the EQS sedan? In his interview with Autocar, Schaefer said the EVA platform will underpin electric cars from the E-Class segment up. This means the smallest model based on the EVA platform will likely be the EQE sedan that's due shortly after the EQS.
SUV versions of both the EQE and EQS are also being developed on the EVA platform. These electric SUVs will be built at Mercedes' plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, starting from 2022.