With news of popular 4x4 nameplates exploring the electrification route, Mercedes-Benz’s CEO Ola Källenius recently threw his hat into the ring by declaring “there will be a zero-emission version of the G-Class” at the recent Automobilwoche Kongress in Berlin.
The full statement – posted on Sascha Pallenberg’s (head of digital transformation at Daimler AG) Twitter feed – also mentions Källenius’ commitment to the iconic off-roader that “the last Mercedes to be built will be a G-Class”.
#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
Aside from the tweet, there are no official details of when customers can expect an all-electric G-Class to hit showrooms, or what sort of powertrain it would have.
According to Mercedes-Benz, a full-electric drivetrain wasn’t part of the current G-Wagen’s development, so even if such a model were to be greenlit today, it is still years away.
In context, Källenius’ statement doesn’t really mean an all-electric variant will be joining the G-Wagen ranks anytime soon. The Automobilwoche Kongress is an industry event attended by auto industry executives to network and discuss challenges in the industry. Källenius himself was speaking on the topic of “From a Sustainable Strategy to a Sustainable Business Strategy”.
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Picture: Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-Benz with the Mercedes-Benz EQS Concept
Read in full, Källenius’ statement is more like an example of how Mercedes-Benz will continue to adapt its current model line-up to the ever-changing market landscape, rather than confirmation of an all-electric variant in the immediate future.
If such plans are indeed afoot in Mercedes-Benz’s R&D facilities, it would be a prescient move as several auto makers are already developing electrified 4x4s.
The G-Class’ immediate rival, the new Land Rover Defender, has a hybrid drivetrain in its range; Ford has committed to building hybrid and all-electric variants of its F-150 pick-up truck; American-start up Bollinger has already commenced production of its B1 and B2 electric 4x4s; and Toyota is reported to be working on a hybrid Hilux and LandCruiser.