Mercedes C-Class EV to challenge the Tesla Model 3 [Update]

Update: ‘Platform’ and ‘Specifications’ sections updated.

A Mercedes C-Class EV or an electric equivalent of the C-Class is in the pipeline, and it will go on sale by 2025. According to a report from Automotive News, Mercedes-Benz dealers have received the confirmation that a C-Class EV is coming to the U.S., along with the next-gen EQC SUV, which would rival Tesla’s Model Y. In the U.S., the Tesla Model 3 will finally have a strong German rival, from mid-decade.

Mercedes is speeding up its transition to EVs, deciding to offer an electric variant in all segments. Ola Kallenius, CEO, Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, revealed this development at the ‘Mercedes-Benz Strategy Update: electric drive’ on 22 July 2021. He said:

By 2025, our customers will be able to choose an all-electric alternative for every model we make.

Ola Kallenius, CEO, Daimler AG & Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz EV strategy 2021 update - Mercedes C-Class EV confirmed
The C-Class, like every other Mercedes-Benz model, will get an EV alternative by 2025. Image Source: Daimler

Mercedes C-Class EV branding

The nomenclature that Daimler has in mind for its mid-size electric cars is a secret. It’s possible that the Mercedes EQC will change into a Mercedes EQC SUV in the next generation. That would make it easy for customers to recognize the positioning of the electric SUV with respect to the EQE SUV and EQS SUV models, and the original can be capitalized for the pure-electric C-Class.


Unveiling the Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX on 3 January 2022, Daimler said that it’s integrating many of the concept car’s features and developments, including an all-new MMA platform, into production. This is the platform thought to underpin the next-gen C-Class and its electric sibling.

Daimler announced the all-new MMA platform as an electric-first platform “for compact and medium-sized cars” in 2020. The company reiterated that during the Vision EQXX announcement.

In 2021, Daimler had announced another potential platform for its Tesla Model 3 rival as it changed its EV strategy from electric-first to electric-only for many segments – MB.EA (Mercedes-Benz Electric Architecture). MB.EA will be an electric-first platform for medium- to large-size models, the company said.

Following the launch of MMA, the compact electric first architecture in 2024, all new Mercedes-Benz vehicle architectures will be electric only. To get specific, in 2025, Mercedes will launch three electric-only architectures. MB.EA will cover all medium to large size vehicles in the passenger car line up and will over time replace the rear wheel based architecture (MRA) as well as the first dedicated electric platform (EVA).

Britta Seeger, BoM member responsible for Marketing & Sales at Mercedes-Benz, in 2021


Daimler wants to develop a modular battery system that makes batteries almost the same across the range, with cell chemistry and the height, the differentiating characteristics. The Mercedes C-Class EV should benefit from the new cell strategy, which sounds similar to Volkswagen Group’s Unified Cell approach. The company is working on increasing the energy density of cells to 900 Wh/l by using silicon-carbon composite in the anode. Right now, it can achieve an energy density of more than 550 Wh/l, which allows a gross energy content of 111 kWh on the EQS.

For the Mercedes C-Class EV, Daimler could initially target a WLTP range of over 600 km. That should be the minimum standard for mid-size EVs in the middle of the decade. The Tesla Model 3 is already able to achieve that, 614 km to be precise, with the vehicle costing EUR 51,990. The C-Class EV should also come in single-motor RWD and dual-motor AWD configurations. Over-the-air updates and other measures could improve the range during the lifecycle.

The system voltage of the C-Class EV should be around 800 volts, which could enable high performance, shorten charging time, and reduce the weight and installation space of the wiring harness. Expect charging rates as high as 350 kW in the top-end model, meaning 0-80% charging as quickly as in around 20 minutes.

The C-Class EV or the Mercedes EQC sedan will borrow one of the EQXX’s main features – the solar roof. Speaking about the Vision EQXX with the media after the reveal, Schafer said series production Mercedes-Benz models will be available with a solar panel roof, “probably starting (in) 2024,” autoblog reported.

In the Vision EQXX, solar power reduces the traction battery pack’s energy consumption and indirectly increases the driving range by up to 25 km. By the middle of the decade, Daimler might develop this technology to a stage where it can use solar power to charge an EV’s high-voltage battery pack that feeds the motor.

Mercedes C-Class EV alternatives

Besides the Model 3, the Mercedes C-Class EV’s competition will include a BMW 3 Series electric (a next-gen BMW i3) and an Audi A4 e-tron (Audi E4).

Featured Image Source: Daimler