Mercedes-Benz planning on 10 Electric Cars & SUV’s by 2025
Being first isn’t exactly new to Mercedes-Benz. After all, it was Karl Benz who built the first gas-powered automobile way back in 1885. Those first horseless carriages looked an awful lot like their horse-drawn cousins. Given time, they would gradually begin to take the shape we’ve come to associate with automobiles. As you might expect, Benz was on the cutting edge of those changes as well. It should come as no surprise that Mercedes-Benz is on the cutting edge of re-imagining what tomorrow’s cars might look like as electric car technology improves and marches toward its inevitable replacement of fossil fuel-consuming cars.
Mercedes-Benz is Still at the Front of the Pack Bringing Innovative Design Change
Mercedes-Benz design chief Gorden Wagener has an idea of what some of the changes might bring. He gave the rest of the world a sneak peek at the Paris Auto Show in September, 2016 when he revealed the Generation EQ concept vehicle. The electric SUV is designed to have a 300-mile range. What’s more, it’s expected to have a price that’s competitive with gas-powered vehicles of similar quality.
The Generation EQ is slated for 2019. Mercedes-Benz expects to follow it up with a complete slate of electric vehicles, ranging from compact cars to sedans and SUVs – 10 models in all within six years of rolling out the Generation EQ.
The vehicles are expected to carry on enough of Mercedes-Benz’s iconic design features that they’ll be unmistakably Mercedes-Benz. The Mercedes star isn’t going anywhere. But many design features will be radically different.
The First Thing You’ll Notice is What Doesn’t Need to be There Anymore
Flowing lines aren’t, in and of themselves, revolutionary design features. But many of the features on the concept vehicle are. The tailgate features a light bar that spans the whole width of the vehicle. Drivers will notice the lack of door handles and side view mirrors right away. These are replaced with doors drivers open by waving their hand over a sensor and camera displays, respectively.
Gone, too, is the traditional cluster. Instead, the most prominent thing displayed on the dashboard is a large rectangular screen behind the steering wheel. No dials, no buttons. Just one simple display.
Of course, there are still plenty of innovations to come. The reality is that electric cars don’t need many of the features that gasoline powered cars require. Grille? While the Generation EQ still has something that resembles a grille, it’s a cosmetic feature. The reality is that air vents aren’t needed. So, could the grille be done away with entirely on future models? It’s certainly possible, but if there’s any plan to do so for this first spate of 10 electronic vehicles, no one at Mercedes-Benz is tipping their hand.
Another feature that could eventually be phased out in some models is the center console. Most of us give no thought to them. After all, they’re part of virtually all car design. But they were developed to make useful space of a bulge that is necessitated by the placement of the transmission – a transmission that’s not part of the electronic cars’ design.
There’s No Telling Where Design Could Go From Here
As self-driving cars become available (something that’s already well underway), there will be additional design changes. Who knows which vehicle features that we take for granted can be scrapped as unnecessary (maybe even undesirable) once the car is handling the lion’s share of the driving responsibilities.