Mercedes-Benz has announced the launch of a new battery production plant in Bibb County, Alabama, as the German automaker prepares for a commitment to make all of its vehicles electric by 2030.
The Alabama battery facility is just one of eight total cell factories worldwide Mercedes plans to launch with partners, such as Envision AESC, by the end of the decade. The EQ family of EVs from Mercedes will spearhead the company’s effort to go all-electric by the end of the decade.
“The opening of our new battery plant in Alabama is a major milestone on our way to going all-electric,” Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management for Mercedes-Benz Group AG, said. “With our comprehensive approach including a local cell sourcing and recycling strategy, we underline the importance of the U.S., 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.”
Mercedes-Benz’s roots in Alabama go back to 1997 when the company opened a plant in Tuscaloosa for large SUVs. In the 25 years since, four million vehicles have rolled off production lines. However, Mercedes has transitioned the plant to go electric on some lines, starting with the production of the EQS SUV, which will make its world premiere on April 19, 2022.
More than $7 billion has been invested by Mercedes-Benz in Alabama since the 1990s. $1 billion of this has been invested into the new Bibb County battery plant. The plant will supply an additional 600 jobs, contributing to the efforts of the automaker in the region.
The Tuscaloosa plant features a “highly-flexible” production system, allowing the plant to adapt to different demand levels for each vehicle when it needs to. In addition to the GLE, GLE Coupe, GLS and Mercedes-Maybach GLS two electric models will be added to the production line, powered by batteries from the new Bibb County battery production facility.
“The global Mercedes-Benz production network is digital, sustainable, efficient, and flexible. Now the new battery plant, with its highly qualified and motivated U.S. workforce, will be a crucial driver of our electric vehicle roll-out plan. Team USA will play a major role in the continued success of Mercedes-Benz and we are proud that our new electric SUVs will also be built here in Alabama for global markets,” Jörg Burzer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, said.
Mercedes-Benz is also working to transition the company’s portfolio to include the EQS lineup even faster. “To be the leading luxury brand also in an all-electric future, Mercedes-Benz is accelerating the roll-out of its EQ models,” Markus Schaefer, Mercedes-Benz CTO and Boardmember, said.
“This year our portfolio will include nine fully-electric Mercedes-EQ models globally, and we have further exciting new products in the pipeline. Establishing a strong battery cell partner network in accordance with our global production strategy is a very important milestone on our way to CO 2- neutrality,” Schaefer added. “Envision AESC will be a major supplier securing capacity for the next generations of our Mercedes-EQ products built in the U.S. in the years to come. With Envision AESC’s net-zero carbon solutions and battery technology, this new cooperation underlines our holistic approach regarding our sustainable value chain and allows us to secure supplies, to take advantage of economies of scale, and to provide our customers with superior battery technology.”
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