Production will be CO2-neutral.
Mercedes-Benz has constructed a new battery facility in the United States in preparation for the production launch of the EQS and EQE SUVs. The plant, which is located in Bibb County, Alabama, will make the batteries for the two huge electric vehicles in a CO2-neutral process on a 984-foot (300-meter) long manufacturing line with more than 70 work stations. In the Bibb County region, up to 600 additional employment will be generated.
According to Mercedes, the EQS SUV’s batteries have a modular design that is quite similar to the EQS and EQE’s battery packages. The battery system uses an 8:1:1 ratio of nickel, cobalt, and manganese in the cell chemistry. The Alabama battery facility, like the rest of the German company’s global battery operations, will support local car production, while it may potentially export batteries to the company’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 factory in Alabama is a significant step forward in our transition to an all-electric future,” says the company “Mercedes CEO Ola Kallenius weighs in. “We emphasise the importance of the United States, where Mercedes-Benz has been successful for decades, with our comprehensive approach, which includes a local cell sourcing and recycling plan. We’re happy to be able to create new, future-proof jobs at a factory that has been a part of our production family for over 25 years, building all-electric SUVs ‘Made in the USA.'”
Mercedes will unveil the EQS SUV in its entirety on April 19. We’ve seen prototypes of the luxury zero-emissions SUV on public roads, including a test car in California, and the three-row (third row will be optional) EQS will be unveiled in about a month.