Did Mercedes really confirm an electric G-class?

Published: 12 November 2019

► G-class could go electric
► According to Mercedes CEO
► But when, and in what capacity?

With news of popular 4x4 nameplates exploring the electrification route, Mercedes-Benz’s CEO Ola Källenius recently threw his hat into the ring by declaring “there will be a zero-emission version of the G-Class” at the recent Automobilwoche Kongress in Berlin.

The full statement – posted on Sascha Pallenberg’s (head of digital transformation at Daimler AG) Twitter feed – also mentions Källenius’ commitment to the iconic off-roader that 'the last Mercedes to be built will be a G-Class'.

Aside from the tweet, there are no official details of when customers can expect an all-electric G-Class to hit showrooms, or what sort of powertrain it would have.

According to Mercedes-Benz, a full-electric drivetrain wasn’t part of the current G-Wagen’s development, so even if such a model were to be greenlit today, it is still years away.

In context, Källenius’ statement doesn’t really mean an all-electric variant will be joining the G-Class ranks anytime soon. The Automobilwoche Kongress is an industry event attended by auto industry executives to network and discuss challenges in the industry. Källenius himself was speaking on the topic of 'From a Sustainable Strategy to a Sustainable Business Strategy'.

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Read in full, Källenius’ statement is more like an example of how Mercedes-Benz will continue to adapt its current model line-up to the ever-changing market landscape, rather than confirmation of an all-electric variant in the immediate future.

If such plans are indeed afoot in Mercedes-Benz’s R&D facilities, it would be a prescient move as several auto makers are already developing electrified 4x4s.

The G-Class’ immediate rival, the new Land Rover Defender, has a hybrid drivetrain in its range; Ford has committed to building hybrid and all-electric variants of its F-150 pick-up truck. And don't forget the imminent Tesla pick-up truck. 

This article originally appeared on whichcar.com.au

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