The first product from the Mercedes EQ electric family, the Mercedes EQC, which will also be the first EQ to undergo a full model change, will shift to a more advanced 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.
The EVA, which will see its market debut on the Mercedes EQS next year, will mainly be used for large sedans and SUVs. This will include the like of the Mercedes EQS SUV in addition to the EQS, the Mercedes EQE and EQE SUV, future Mercedes-Maybach electric vehicles, and possibly G-variant line electric SUV too.
The MMA, which is expected from 2025, will chiefly target compact and medium-size Mercedes electric cars and SUVs, such as the second gen Mercedes EQC, and the second gen Mercedes EQA and Mercedes EQB. Currently, the Mercedes EQC is based on the existing GLC, whereas the upcoming EQA and EQB also share their underpinning with their respective internal combustion counterparts.
The shift to a dedicated MMA could 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 which can be easily incorporated into this platform. These new materials and production processes could increase range and reduce charging time and cost.
The platform that is designed from the ground-up for electric vehicles would allow engineers to generate a much higher level of legroom 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,” Mercedes-Benz Cars COO and Daimler Group Research chief Markus Schafer said at the Mercedes-Benz Strategy Update 2020 event. Schafer also revealed that it is possible to have ICE models on the MMA platform:
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, COO, Mercedes-Benz Cars, and Group Research chief, Daimler
In brief, Daimler lists seven benefits of the MMA platform:
- Exceptional range
- Benchmark high-power charging
- High-energy efficient drivetrain and vehicle
- Exceptional calmness and comfort
- State-of-the-art digital experience
- Competitive drivetrain costs
- Optimised investment and cost structure
The development of the MMA platform could also accelerate lifecycle changes of the first generation Mercedes EQA and Mercedes EQB (both cars expected in the world market next year). The Mercedes EQC, which is facing a delayed launch in the US, could be the first member to ride on the MMA in 2025.
The US launch of the EQC is announced for the first quarter of 2021. The Jaguar I-Pace rival is announced to start at USD 67,900, and packs an 80 kWh battery delivering a manufacturer claimed 248-252 miles. The EPA estimate is likely to be at the 200-220 mile mark, as per reports. A total of three trim levels will be available in the USA: Progressive, Premium (USD 73,265) and Advanced (USD 77,615).