In preparations for the production launch of the EQS SUV and EQE SUV, Mercedes-Benz has opened a new battery factory in the United States. Located in Bibb County, Alabama, the plant will produce the batteries for the two large electric vehicles in a CO2-neutral process on a production line around 984-feet (300-meter) long with more than 70 work stations. Up to 600 new jobs will be created in the Bibb County region.
Mercedes explains the batteries for the EQS SUV have a modular design that is very similar to the design of the battery packages in the EQS and EQE. The battery system uses cell chemistry containing nickel, cobalt, and manganese in an 8:1:1 ratio. Just like the rest of the German company’s global battery plants, the one in Alabama will supply local vehicle production, though it could also export batteries to the firm’s global production network if necessary.
Mercedes selected Bibb County as the location for its new battery plant mainly because of the energy-efficient design of its existing building there. Solar thermal energy is used to heat the water, while all the electricity for the site will be provided by renewable energy sources starting from 2024. Interestingly, all forklifts in the factory are powered by hydrogen instead of diesel. Meanwhile, the manufacturer is also working on a new battery recycling plant in Germany, where lithium-ion batteries from Mercedes-EQ vehicles will be recycled.
“The opening of our new battery plant in Alabama is a major milestone on our way to going all-electric,” Ola Kallenius, Mercedes CEO, comments. “With our comprehensive approach including a local cell sourcing and recycling strategy, we underline the importance of the US, where Mercedes-Benz has been successful for decades. We’re proud to create new, future-proof jobs to build all-electric SUVs ‘Made in the USA’ at a plant that is such an established part of our production family since 25 years.”
As for the EQS SUV itself, Mercedes will reveal it in full on April 19. We’ve seen prototypes of the luxury zero-emissions SUV testing on public roads, including a test car in California, and we are about a month away from seeing the three-row (the third row will be optional) EQS in official form.
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