Mercedes Launches EV Production in Alabama with EQS SUV

Mercedes on Thursday officially started manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S. at its 6-million-square-foot assembly plant in Vance, Alabama — reports Automotive News.

The German luxury automaker announced it is starting production with its first U.S.-made crossover, a battery-powered version of its GLS SUV, known as the EQS. It will be one of two EVs produced at the facility this year.

Mercedes’ Alamaba plant will also contribute to the global supply of the full-sized, all-electric EQS SUV. The EQS SUV is expected to arrive in the U.S. this fall with a starting price of $102,310 USD.

Jörg Burzer, global head of production at Mercedes-Benz, said the automaker’s manufacturing network is “well positioned for the sustainable and rapid scaling of electric vehicle volumes.”

Mercedes’ U.S. plant could ramp production up to 100,000 EVs by next year. That would represent about a third of the automaker’s 305,000-unit annual output.

The Alabama plant will continue to build gas-powered versions of Mercedes’ GLE and GLS alongside the battery-electric variants. EV production will integrate into the existing body/paint shop and assembly lines at the factory.

Mercedes has made extensive investments and preparations to support EV production at the Alabama site. Back in March, Mercedes opened a 177,000-square-foot battery assembly unit near the main vehicle factory.

In April, battery supplier Envision AESC promised to build a $2 billion factory located 300 miles off Bowling Green, Kentucky, to supply a new generation of battery components to Mercedes.

For Mercedes, launching U.S.-based EV production is another step towards realizing its plans to go all-electric by 2030. During the company’s national dealer meeting earlier this year, Mercedes executives said they plan to sell up to 45,000 EQ-branded EVs in the U.S. next year.