Mercedes-Benz will build EQ electric SUVs in the United States
The Tuscaloosa plant in Alabama will start rolling out EQ SUVs from early next decade
With the occasion of the 20th anniversary of its U.S. production facility, Mercedes-Benz has announced it would invest $1 billion to build electric SUVs at the Tuscaloosa-based factory.
Furthermore, the automaker will build a new battery plant near the existing passenger-car facility, making it the fifth unit in the global battery production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
In total, the carmaker plans to invest $1 billion in the expansion of its industrial presence in the region, most of which is allocated for the electric initiative. Mercedes-Benz estimates the investments will create more than 600 additional jobs once completed.
As for the electric SUVs to be built in Alabama, the company says the EQ-branded models will feature "the latest status of automated driving" and will be integrated into the series production at the plant. By 2022, Mercedes-Benz will have a fully-electrified portfolio, with more than 50 electrified vehicle variants planned.
The automaker will also continue to support the development of plug-in hybrids and the introduction of 48-volt systems.
The first EQ production model will go into production in 2019 in Bremen, Germany. It will be called the Mercedes-Benz EQC and will be inspired by the Concept EQ (pictured) unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.