2024 Mercedes EQA & 2025 Mercedes EQB to use LFP battery – Report [Update]

Update: ‘Sustainable materials’ section added.

With the scarce materials in the typical lithium-ion batteries driving up costs and causing supply irregularities, like many automakers, including luxury brands, Mercedes could resort to LFP. The 2024 Mercedes EQA and 2025 Mercedes EQB could be among its models having the new cells.

LFP batteries

The scarcity and the resulting rising cost and supply shortage of Cobalt and Nickel have automakers rethinking their battery strategy. Citing Goldman Sachs, a report from CNBC in March 2021 said that the cost of Nickel would increase by 60%, while Cobalt’s cost would double. Moreover, using Nickel in batteries impacts the vehicle’s safety, as it is prone to fire.

Mercedes EQ EVA MMA platform strategy
The second generation EQA and EQB series models will ride on the Mercedes MMA Platform. Image Source: Mercedes-Benz Group

Ola Källenius, Chairman – BoM, Mercedes-Benz Group, has said that the company is considering lithium-iron-phosphate batteries for entry-level models, Bloomberg reported on October 27, 2021. The company’s line-up includes entry-level electric SUVs, namely Mercedes EQA and Mercedes EQB.

Even in upper-class new EVs, the EQS and EQE, Mercedes has limited the usage of Cobalt. In the cathodes of the batteries of both models, the Cobalt content is less than 10%. In the EQS’ case, the company says that the Cobalt content is significantly lower compared to the previous battery generation.

In the press announcement of both EQS and EQE, Mercedes said that its “aim is to be able to dispense entirely with materials such as cobalt through the use of innovative post-lithium-ion technologies.” Lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePo) cells aren’t as good in travel range or weight as lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt (Li-NMC), but help lower the cost of batteries while increasing their life. BMW is also considering LFP for its future entry position EV models in Europe.

Design

The next-gen EQA and next-gen EQB are some time away from the launch, and there’s a lot in the Mercedes-Benz EQ design language that could change during this period. Nobody but Mercedes-Benz Group’s design team headed by Gorden Wagener can predict what the EQA and EQB will look like in the future. However, we’re confident that they’d be far more aerodynamically efficient with new measures for reducing air resistance. Designers may try to lower the rear-end, reduce the overall height, and streamline the grille, mirrors, and other body parts to achieve the highest possible energy efficiency.

Mercedes-Benz Group says that a typical EV consumes approximately 66.67% of its energy just pushing its way through air. Even a reduction of 0.01 Cd leads to a significant difference in the range, of around 2.5%. For an EV delivering 400 km (249 miles) of range, it equates to an increase of 10 km (6 miles), which, although a smaller number, would be of significance when the battery pack is about to run out of charge, or considering the distance traveled by the vehicle through its lifetime.

Dimensions

Källenius has suggested the next-gen EQA will be bigger than the current model. In the Mercedes-Benz Group 2021 results conference call, he said that an A-Class model will debut the MMA platform. Interestingly, the Swede also confirmed that not a single car based on the MMA platform will be shorter than 4 meters 50 centimeters (177.2 in.). For reference, the current EQA measures 4,463 mm (4 meters 46 centimeters or 175.7 in.) in length.

New names

While the Mercedes EQA and EQB are slated to enter the second generation mid-decade, they should be called the ‘EQA SUV’ and ‘EQB SUV.’ This necessary change would adhere them to Mercedes’s new EQ nomenclature, which launched with the Mercedes EQS in 2020. More importantly, freeing up the original names would let Mercedes launch electric variants of the A-Class and B-Class if and when the market calls for them. The company announced last year that customers will be able to choose an all-electric alternative for every model Mercedes makes by 2025.

Solar roof

The next-gen EQA and next-gen EQB may come with a solar roof that extends the range by charging the traction battery pack or contributes positively to reducing their energy consumption. The Mercedes Vision EQXX concept, which could morph into a model like an EQA Coupe (CLA Coupe electric successor), clearly indicates that is the vision. Mercedes-Benz Group R&D chief Markus Schafer told journalists after the concept car’s unveil that the company will probably start offering solar panel roofs in series production models in 2024, as per an autoblog report.

Sustainable materials

The next-gen EQA and EQB are likely to see greater usage of sustainable materials and contribute strongly towards Mercedes-Benz’s Ambition 2039 goal of having a CO2-neutral fleet. The company is uncovering new eco-friendly solutions for materials to be used in the car’s interior, body and body shell. The next-gen EQA & EQB could be the early beneficiaries of the new sustainability measures.

Sustainably processed genuine leather, animal-free genuine leather alternatives like cactus-based Deserttex, nylon yarn coming from recycled carpets and recycled fishing nets, natural fibers, etc., are the future of vehicle interior at Mercedes-Benz. The company is now commercializing some of them. For instance, it uses nylon yarn to make the Mercedes EQS’ floor coverings. For others, it’s showcasing them in concept cars as it continues research. The Vision EQXX featured Deserttex and carpets made from 100% bamboo fiber.

Mercedes-Benz is amping up sustainability for the body and body shell by switching to almost completely CO2-free steel from 2025. The new steel will be manufactured using hydrogen instead of coking coal. The company is trying to decarbonize aluminum production, too. The Mercedes-AMG SL’s structural castings come from die-cast alloys made from as high as 100% recycled aluminum scrap, which means 90% or more savings in CO2 emissions.

Featured Image Source: Mercedes-Benz Group