CEO of Mercedes Olla Källenius has confirmed to journalists that the all-electric G Wagon will hit global markets in 2024. The offroader will also feature a new battery technology option, using an innovative anode material to boost range.
Källenius added in his comments that he drove a prototype of the electric G Wagon, which will presumably be dubbed EQG, on a test route around its home factory in Graz. The CEO might be referring to the famous Schöckle trail, a daunting hillside used as a test patch for its most legendary 4×4. Driving the car in late 2021, Källenius admitted that it was a convincing drive and “probably the most fun” he experienced that year.
‘Last Mercedes to be built’
Mercedes has been on the verge of axing the model, with its dinosaur proportions and propulsions not suited for the changing times ahead. But the electric prototype threw a lifeline. Källenius: “The way I see things now, I’d say the last Mercedes to be built will be a G-Class.”
Not keen on elaborating on the technical details, Chief Technology Officer Markus Schäfer already filled some of them in for Källenius. Most interestingly, the zero-emission G-Class, which skips the PHEV phase entirely, will be the first Mercedes to feature the option of a battery pack with silicon anode chemistry from Californian-based Sila Nanotechnologies.
According to Mercedes, this novelty anode material will increase the range by 20-40% compared to a similar-sized pack with today’s cells. The energy density could reach 800 Wh per liter at the cell level. With a shortfall of charging infrastructure in the outback, it is not difficult to see why the innovation debuts on the electric G-Class.
What about the military?
Still, there are two faces to the offroad star from Graz. One is a luxurious all-conquering jewel for the rich; the other is that of a sturdy but still all-conquering military vehicle. Whether the last will also turn to the innovative battery pack is unlikely. Mercedes hasn’t commented if there’s a solution in the making for the latter. If, at all, it will be succeeded.
The carmaker already showcased a detailed prospect of how the all-electric G-Class will look like at the IAA in Münich last year. Boxy and robust as ever, the bi-tone concept EGQ proudly blinked its typical round lights but featured many squircle-like design elements. Together with a closed front grille and covered wheels, of course. As a clever detail, the wheel housing in the back functioned as a storage for a charging cable instead of the anticipated spare.
One motor per wheel
Since a G-Class is all about mud-bathing and safari raiding in exclusive luxury, Mercedes also unveiled details about the 4×4 technology. Four electric motors, one for each wheel, keep the sturdy body-on-frame construction covering rough terrain. Each engine has its own gearbox for a lower setting that mimics off-road reduction. The suspension, with a rigid axle in the back and an independent one in the front, will be kept.
After the VW ID. Buzz, the Mercedes G-Class would be the second automotive icon going green by choosing a charging cable. But as for a genuine offroader, its case is no longer solitary. Jeep unveiled the Recon at the Motor Show in Detroit earlier this month. Arriving also in 2024, and based on Stellantis’ large skateboard platform for electric drive, a silent duel somewhere off the beaten track is in the making.