Daimler is working on a new vehicle software to achieve independence on the software front and accelerate the development of EVs. Called MBOS, this software will debut in a Mercedes MMA platform car in 2024.
“With this (operating) system (MBOS), Mercedes-Benz has the central control of all vehicle domains and thus the interfaces to the customer, who is always the focus of our activities,” Sajjad Khan told Automobilwoche. Khan is the CTO of CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services, Electric) at Mercedes-Benz. Developing its own software enables Mercedes to achieve faster and more regular updates.
In Sindelfingen (Germany), where the S-Class and EQS are manufactured, Daimler has 3,500 developers from the areas of autonomous driving or electric powertrains already working on MBOS. The company will create 3,000 new jobs for developing MBOS worldwide, and most of them will probably be in Germany. The recruitment will be in the field of software programming and development.
MMA Platform to support compact & mid-size Mercedes electric cars
The MMA platform’s scope would be much wider than that of the EVA platform that debuted in the EQS on April 15, 2021. “The next milestone will be our future platform for the compact and mid-size classes,” Ola Kallenius, the Chairman of Daimler’s BoM, said about MMA at the company’s annual general meeting this year. “It will form the basis for numerous electric models,” he added.
It is reported that Daimler is planning to offer midsize electric car buyers an alternative to the EQC. Unlike the current generation, the next-gen Mercedes EQC will be complemented by a Mercedes C-Class electric, providing customers a choice between a traditional four-door EV and a five-door crossover EV. The midsize electric sedan would be technically different from the MRA-based 2022 C-Class (W206) as it would ride on the dedicated EV architecture, the Mercedes MMA platform.
Daimler Group Research boss Markus Schafer has indicated that a sedan alternative to the Mercedes EQC developed on the Mercedes MMA platform will eventually come to the market. When Autocar asked Schafer about plans for an EQ sedan comparable to the C-Class, he said:
It (Mercedes MMA platform) will be used for compact cars and it has the potential to reach into the mid-size segment as well. We are in the midst of this work and this could be a potential offer for more pure EV vehicles, including this (C-) class.Markus Schafer, Board of Management Member responsible for Group Research, Daimler, and Chief Operating Officer, Mercedes-Benz Cars, to Autocar UK.
MMA & EVA – Two-platform strategy for Mercedes electric vehicles
The first product from the Mercedes EQ electric family, the Mercedes EQC, will shift to the more advanced Mercedes MMA (Mercedes Modular Architecture) platform this decade. All Mercedes electric cars, from the 2025 Model Year, will be based on either of two platforms: the EVA (electric vehicle architecture) or MMA.
Compact and medium-sized cars
The Mercedes MMA platform will chiefly target compact and medium-size Mercedes electric cars and SUVs, such as the second-gen Mercedes EQC, Mercedes EQA, and Mercedes EQB. Currently, the Mercedes EQC is based on the existing GLC, and the EQA also shares its underpinning with its respective internal combustion counterpart (GLA). The arrangement is similar for the EQB, but the days of the multi-energy platform are numbered.
The shift to a dedicated Mercedes MMA platform would allow engineers to incorporate electric vehicle-specific technologies under development. In-house developed eMotors with “sophisticated inverter and high voltage technology” and in-house battery R&D with partnerships with battery partners CATL, Farasis, and Sila Nano could bring to fruition next-generation technology that can be easily incorporated into this platform. These new materials and production processes could increase range and reduce charging time and cost.
The platform designed from the ground up for electric vehicles would allow engineers to generate a much higher level of room for passengers and boot space for the same footprint. The dedicated architecture also reduces the cost of manufacturing electric vehicles that offer no compromises and challenge ICE-powered vehicles in every respect.
MMA is a dedicated electric skateboard that is set to change the dynamics of next-gen entry-level and mid-range Mercedes-Benz EVs. “This skateboard lays the foundation for everything what a successful and highly competitive EV needs: best battery location, optimized weight, aerodynamics, and great electronic and thermodynamic optimization. A fully electric platform with no compromises,” Schafer said at the Mercedes-Benz Strategy Update 2020 event.
We can fit an ICE engine in the front of the platform if we need to, for as long as the market demands it. This is a great economic equation.Markus Schafer on the flexibility offered by the Mercedes MMA platform.
With an 800V high-voltage system, the MMA platform models should support charging speeds as high as 350 kW, allowing customers to recharge in less than 20 minutes. In about two and a half years since the debut of the Mercedes EQC (September 2018), the first mass-production Mercedes-Benz EV, DC fast-charging rates have nearly doubled from 110 kW. The Mercedes EQS that premiered in April 2021 allows charging with up to 200 kW with direct current. A 15-minute charge can provide a range (WLTP) of up to 300 km (186 miles).
Last year at our strategy update, we told you about eATS 2.0, an in-house developed and built motor that will be key to the forthcoming MMA architecture. eATS 2.0 will have an outstanding performance, as part of an 800-volt powertrain with a silicon carbide inverter. eATS 2.0 is a radial permanent magnet motor, designed for the majority of our key products.Markus Schafer, BoM member responsible for R&D, Daimler, and Chief Operating Officer, Mercedes-Benz Cars (Mercedes-Benz Strategy Update: electric drive)
MMA platform models will feature Daimler’s next-gen batteries with varying chemistries. The company wants to increase energy density up to 900 Wh/l in the future. Right now, the best it can do is more than 550 Wh/l, which allows a gross energy content of 111 kWh.
With our next battery generation, we will vary the chemistries within the battery to provide the best solution depending on the customers’ need in different markets. These chemistry variants will be available in our forthcoming platforms.Sajjad Khan, Chief Technical Officer, Mercedes-Benz AG (Mercedes-Benz Strategy Update: electric drive)
Daimler lists 7 benefits of the Mercedes MMA platform
- Exceptional range
- Benchmark high-power charging (800V)
- High-energy efficient drivetrain and vehicle
- Exceptional calmness and comfort
- State-of-the-art digital experience (OTA capability)
- Competitive drivetrain costs
- Optimised investment and cost structure
The development of the Mercedes MMA platform could accelerate lifecycle changes of the first generation Mercedes EQA and Mercedes EQB. The C-Class EV or the Mercedes EQC, which is facing a delayed launch in the U.S., could be the first member to ride on the Mercedes MMA platform in 2024.
The MMA (2024 launch) will be Daimler’s last new platform that supports ICE as well. From 2025, the company will introduce EV-only platforms, which are MB.EA, to cover medium to large size passenger cars, AMG.EA, a dedicated performance electric vehicle platform, and VAN.EA for purpose-built electric vans and light commercial vehicles.
Following the launch of MMA, the compact electric first architecture in 2024, all new Mercedes-Benz vehicle architectures will be electric only.Britta Seeger, BoM member – Marketing and Sales, Daimler AG and Mercedes Benz AG (Mercedes-Benz Strategy Update: electric drive)
The end of the internal combustion engine at Mercedes-Benz may come sooner than 2039. At the Mercedes-Benz Strategy Update: electric drive on July 22, it announced that it will go all-electric in markets where conditions allow them to in 2030. However, going carbon neutral is not just about making emission-free models, it also involves converting production processes for the vehicle and its parts emission-free.
Daimler says that all its European plants responsible for cars and vans will switch to CO2-neutral power supplies by 2022. The Factory 56 in Sindelfingen, Germany, will serve as a blueprint for these plants, where the Mercedes S-Class and Mercedes EQS production takes place CO2-free since the rollout of the first unit (2 September 2020).