Next-gen Mercedes EQB/GLB EV teased; set to arrive by 2026 [Update]

Update: ‘Battery & Charging’ sub-section of ‘Specifications’ updated.

At the eve of IAA 2023, Mercedes unveiled the Concept CLA Class. Coupled with recent media reports, it’s evident that Mercedes-Benz plans to phase out the EQ branding in the near future. Indications are that their smallest U.S. EV, the Mercedes EQB, will transition to become the Mercedes GLB Electric when its shifts to the next generation by 2026.

Here’s everything we’ve learned about the all-new Mercedes GLB Electric.


On September 3, 2023, Mercedes-Benz Group CEO Ola Källenius announced that the company’s future compact model line-up includes four EVs, two of which are SUVs. The accompanying teaser image displayed in the background, identified what was seemingly the Mercedes GLB Electric.

Building on the relationship between the EQB and EQA, the GLB Electric appears to offer a longer hood, a flatter roofline, and a straighter rear-end compared to the GLA Electric. The boxy shape will help it be more spacious and accommodate the third row of seats. The GLB Electric’s exterior will be bolder and more modern than the EQB, taking inspiration from the Concept CLA Class’s design.

We’re expecting the GLB Electric to feature a new DRL pattern formed by an eye-like star in the headlamps and an eyebrow-like curved horizontal line above it, as well as an A-shape grille with an illuminated and animated star motif and an illuminated Mercedes-Benz star. Unlike the EQB, it should have flush-integrated door handles that contribute to reduced energy consumption and wind noise and add a touch of elegance to the exterior.


MBUX Superscreen

The Mercedes GLB Electric should feature a clean and digital interior. In the top-end grade, it will likely feature MBUX Superscreen, a panel that covers almost the entire width of the dashboard, integrating three mini-LED displays. The outer air vents, featuring a signature turbine-like design, may flank the outer screens, and the central air vents could be positioned discreetly behind the MBUX Superscreen.

Mercedes Concept CLA Class interior dashboard
The MBUX Superscreen should offer a new sense of space and openness, in addition to reflecting the futuristic nature of the Mercedes GLB Electric’s drive system. Mercedes Concept CLA Class shown for reference. Image Source: Mercedes-Benz Group


The GLB Electric would have MB.OS, a new, indigenously developed chip-to-cloud architecture. The new vehicle software would give customers an extensive selection of third-party apps, including video streaming services. Only the passenger display would stream videos while the vehicle is traveling, though, and an eye-tracking system would ensure the driver isn’t distracted.


Expect a variety of innovative materials in the cabin. A new type of paper material made from reduced cellulose for the trim, floor mats woven from bamboo fiber, door pockets edged in a biotechnology-based and vegan silk-like fabric, polyester textile upholstery made from recycled PET, etc. are some of the possible eco-friendly measures in the GLB Electric’s interior. Needless to say, along with sustainability and circularity, visual and tactile qualities, durability, and safety would be among the top priorities for the designers and material specialists while finalizing the interior.

Safety & ADAS

The GLB Electric may feature a new Child Presence Detection (CPD) system that can detect the presence of a child in a locked vehicle through their unique breathing pattern, even the most gentle breathing of a newborn baby who is asleep, using sensors, and the presence of an adult using cameras. This system may have multiple escalation stages.

Initially, CPD may keep alerting the driver via the connected smartphone with app notifications and messages. If the driver doesn’t respond, it may start flashing lights and producing an acoustic signal to seek help from bystanders. If nothing works, it should notify the Mercedes-Benz SOS call center and/or alert the emergency services. During this time, it will likely monitor the cabin temperature and keep it at an optimum level.

The new EV’s ADAS sensors suite should include radar, ultrasonic, and LiDAR sensors and allow SAE Level 2 semi-automated driving and parking functions right from launch. It will likely be possible to enhance the SAE Level 2 system, and perhaps upgrade to an SAE Level 3 system, with OTA updates.


MMA Platform

The Mercedes GLB Electric will be based on the Mercedes-Benz Modular Architecture (MMA), an electric-first platform developed for a family of four compact vehicles: a four-door coupe, a shooting brake, and two SUVs. The operating voltage of the MMA platform-based EVs will be double that of the EVs based on the MFA 2 platform – 800 volts. 800-volt systems maximize efficiency and performance and reduce charging time.


The GLB Electric will employ a new drive unit called MB.EDU, short for Mercedes-Benz Electric Drive unit. Developed entirely in-house, MB.EDU comprises a permanent magnet synchronous motor, a two-speed transmission, and power electronics consisting of a single processor and featuring a silicon carbide inverter. This compact package of components weighs less than 243 pounds, and it’s extremely energy efficient, too, transferring up to 93% of the energy stored in the battery pack to the wheels.


By default, power will go to the rear wheels, meaning base configurations will have a RWD drivetrain layout. The top-end variants will offer an AWD drivetrain layout and higher performance with a second motor mounted on the front axle. The base, RWD variant’s powertrain may develop 201 horsepower, while the top-end, AWD variant’s powertrain could produce over 300 horsepower.

Battery & Charging

Customers would be able to choose from batteries with two types of cell chemistries: lithium-iron phosphate and silicon-oxide. An Autocar report dated September 4, 2023, suggests the energy storage capacities could range between 58 kWh and 85 kWh. The EPA-est. range could be close to 300 miles, which would be a vast improvement over the EQB’s 245-mile max. range. Peak charging power is likely to be 250 kW, so we think a 10-80% charging time may take just around 15 minutes.

A recent rumor has emerged that the CLA Electric would have BYD’s Blade LFP batteries in the standard-range variant. If true, it’d be logical to expect the same batteries in the GLB Electric’s standard-range variant. However, these claims are based on a report CBEA published on September 6, 2023, which states that Mercedes-Benz “has publicly announced that it will assemble Blade batteries.” We haven’t yet come across the German automaker making such an announcement, though. Additionally, the CBEA report adds that the CLA Electric “is expected to be equipped with lithium iron phosphate batteries from BYD.”

If not BYD, CATL could be the supplier of the LFP batteries for the GLB Electric. CATL’s new ‘Shenxing’ batteries are the world’s first 4C superfast charging LFP batteries, and they would be an ideal choice for this model. These LFP batteries take just 10 minutes for charging to 80% level, which is enough to cover a distance of 400 km or 249 miles (presumably as per CLTC). On a full charge, these batteries can deliver a range of 700+ km or 435+ miles (presumably as per CLTC).


The GLB Electric would give customers the convenience and utility of bidirectional charging. They’ll be able to use the energy stored in the EV’s battery pack for Vehicle-to-Home (V2H) or Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) functions. For example, in the event of a power outage during an earthquake or a storm, customers could supply electricity from the GLB Electric to their homes.

Release date

The Mercedes GLB Electric should start arriving at U.S. dealerships in 2026, with prices starting at around $55,000. We expect it to come from the Mercedes-Benz Kecskemét plant (Hungary), the same factory that makes the EQB.

Image Source: Mercedes-Benz Group