Mercedes-Benz has started producing its first all-electric vehicle in the US.

The German automaker has commenced series production of its flagship EQS SUV at its production plant in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, where it’ll be built exclusively.

The EQS SUV has been confirmed for Australia, with the first vehicles expected to arrive in the first half of 2023.

Mercedes-Benz’s Alabama factory currently produces the Mercedes-Benz GLE and GLS internal-combustion engine SUVs, and will begin producing the upcoming electric EQE SUV “later this year”.

The German brand is also producing the battery systems for the EQS SUV at the recently-opened battery factory in Bibb County.

The EQS SUV is the third model to be built on the dedicated Electric Vehicle Architecture (EVA), following the EQS liftback and EQE sedan.

The smaller EQE SUV will be the fourth model to be built on the EVA, and is set to be globally revealed on October 16.

Three Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV models will be offered at launch: the EQS 450+, EQS 450 4Matic, and the EQS 580 4Matic.

It’s still unclear which models will be coming Down Under, with pricing and specifications to be announced at a later date.

Mercedes-AMG versions of the EQS SUV are likely, with a Mercedes-Maybach version potentially set to wear the EQS 600 SUV nameplate.

Like the EQS liftback, the entire EQS SUV range uses a 107.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

Although the SUV range has the same battery as the EQS liftback, the claimed range for the EQS SUV is lower across the board with a maximum of 660km range on the tougher WLTP test cycle, instead of 784km.

The rear-wheel drive EQS 450+ uses a single electric motor producing 265kW of power and 568Nm of torque.

The mid-range EQS 450 4Matic has a dual-motor all-wheel drive setup with total system outputs of 265kW and 800Nm, while the dual-motor EQS 580 4Matic has total system outputs of 400kW and 858Nm.

Airmatic air suspension is standard, with adaptive dampers, a four-link axle at the front and independent multi-link suspension at the rear.

All models are capable of accepting up to 200kW of power from an ultra-rapid DC charging station, and the entry-level EQS 450+ is capable of adding 250km of range in 15 minutes.

An 11kW onboard AC charger is standard across the range, and a 22kW unit is optional.

Externally, the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV has a very similar design to the EQS liftback.

Inside, the resemblance is even greater, with an almost identical dashboard that can also be optioned with the MBUX Hyperscreen.

Measuring in at 141cm wide, the Hyperscreen features a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 17.7-inch central touchscreen, and a 12.3-inch passenger touchscreen in one pillar-to-pillar housing.

The EQS SUV comes standard with five seats, but it can be optioned with a third row boasting two additional seats.

When the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV touches down locally, it’ll join the EQA, EQB, and EQC all-electric SUVs in the local range, as well as the EQS liftback and EQE sedan.

As previously reported, the German automaker has announced that it’ll go all-electric by 2030, wherever market conditions allow.

From 2025 Mercedes-Benz will launch three all-electric architectures. The main platform will be MB.EA, which will underpin all medium to large vehicles.

This will be complemented by AMG.EA for performance cars, and VAN.EA that will form the basis for vans and light commercial vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz will also debut the “electric-first” MMA small car platform in 2024.

MORE: 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV revealed, confirmed for Oz

Jack Quick

Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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