Mercedes-Benz is exclusively produce the EQS all-electric SUV at its North American passenger vehicle plant. Rolling these vehicles off the production line is a key milestone in Mercedes-Benz Cars’ global initiative to produce eight all-electric vehicles this year at seven sites on three continents.
The full-size EQS SUV is integrated into series production at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which has been the production site for large Mercedes-Benz SUVs since 1997. Tuscaloosa serves as a key production site for electric SUVs luxury Mercedes-EQ. : the EQS SUV and EQE SUV, which will go into production later this year.
The Tuscaloosa plant uses sustainable, efficient and flexible production methods and follows the plan for the company’s Plant 56 in Sindelfingen, Germany, which symbolizes the future of Mercedes-Benz automobile production. Thanks to early investments in flexible production and the use of the state-of-the-art MO360 digital production ecosystem, Mercedes-Benz is already able to produce battery electric vehicles in large quantities.
The new battery plant, which opened in Bibb County in March, produces battery systems for the EQS SUV on an approximately 300-meter-long production line with more than 70 workstations. A multitude of components are assembled into a complete system in a fully digitized production process, comprising up to twelve cell modules and the so-called EE compartment for the intelligent integration of power electronics. The EQS SUV battery is based on a modular architecture that is also used in the EQS and EQE sedans.
With the new plant, Bibb County is now part of the Mercedes-Benz global battery production network, which includes plants on three different continents.
Since this year, the American production sites of Mercedes-Benz have been operating on CO2 neutral basis like all passenger car and van plants owned by Mercedes-Benz worldwide. In line with Mercedes-Benz’s strategy of expanding renewable energy generation at its factories, all electricity needs at the Bibb County battery site will be met by renewable energy sources from 2024.
In view of the future return of lithium-ion battery systems from Mercedes-EQ vehicles, the company has implemented a comprehensive battery recycling strategy, starting to build its own battery recycling plant in Germany, based on the hydrometallurgy. The company plans to close the loop on recyclable materials with high-tech battery recycling partners in the United States and China.
Since the 1990s, Mercedes-Benz has invested a total of more than seven billion dollars in Alabama. Of this amount, US$1 billion was invested in the battery factory, logistics centers and to upgrade the production line to manufacture electric vehicles. Today, Mercedes-Benz US International (MBUSI) employs approximately 4,500 people and also secures approximately 11,000 additional jobs with suppliers and service providers in the region. About four million vehicles have rolled off the Tuscaloosa plant since 1997, with around 260,000 SUVs rolling off the production line in 2021 alone. About two-thirds of annual production is exported, making MBUSI one of the largest auto exporters in the United States.