Daimler is working on a new vehicle software to achieve independence on the software front and accelerate the development of its 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 this month. “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 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.
The Mercedes MMA platform 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, and the recently unveiled EQA also shares its underpinning with its respective internal combustion counterpart (GLA). The arrangement is similar for the recently unveiled 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.
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 also 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.