- mercedes-benz has opened a new battery factory in bibb county, alabama.
- it will assemble lithium-ion battery packs for the eqe and eqs suvs, both of which will be built nearby at a factory in tuscaloosa, alabama.
- the new battery plant is expected to create up to 600 local jobs and be powered entirely by renewable resources by 2024.
mercedes-benz now has a second factory in the state of alabama, with the opening of its new battery plant in bibb county. the company's other factory is located in neighboring tuscaloosa county and is where the upcoming all-electric eqe and eqs suvs will start production within the next few months.
the new battery plant will provide batteries for those two vehicles and create up to 600 local jobs. mercedes says that the production of the batteries is carbon-neutral, too, and that it expects the plant to get all of its electricity from renewable resources by 2024. when asked where it's sourcing the raw materials, a spokesperson told car and driver only that the company ensures they are "responsibly mined." (in fact, mercedes issued a position paper on the subject in late 2020.)
mercedes says it has invested more than $7 billion in alabama since the 1990s, of which $1 billion went into the new battery plant, the logistic centers, and retooling the assembly line at the tuscaloosa factory to accommodate its upcoming electric vehicles alongside conventional internal-combustion models, such as the gle-class and gls-class suvs.
this new investment is part of the automaker's plan to go fully electric by the end of the decade. to accomplish that in the planned time frame–along with the help of partners–the company says it aims to build a total of eight battery factories around the world with a total production capacity of 200 gigawatt-hours. the company also plans to localize suppliers in the u.s. by continuing to grow collaboration efforts with the top battery-technology companies in the world.
so this new plant in alabama is only the latest addition to a worldwide network that already includes factories in china, germany, thailand, and poland. it's no coincidence that the expansion corresponds with mercedes's goal of offering nine fully electric eq models in global markets. currently, the only one available on our shores is the eqs sedan, but americans will soon start to see a more diverse lineup, starting with the official reveal of the 2023 eqs suv on april 19.