Like most auto makers these days, Mercedes-Benz is investing in electric vehicles in a big way. The Daimler-owned company is fast-tracking all of its models to an electric future by 2022. It has also been showing off a slate of EV models, like the Generation EQ concept car, slated for production in 2019, an art deco-inspired, 20-foot-long Cabriolet and an adorably small Smart Vision EQ. It's looking at infrastructure, too, giving money to help support quick-charging tech made by Israeli startup StoreDot. Now Mercedes-Benz' parent company, Daimler AG, has plans to invest an $1billion in an Alabama factory to make sure it can make fully electric vehicles and battery packs here in the US.
Daimler says it will add 600 more jobs with the new investment, while also building a nearby facility to produce EV batteries in 2018. The expansion comes just a couple of years after the company announced it would be pouring $1.3 billion into the same Tuscaloosa, Alabama plant to support the manufacture of SUVs, creating 300 additional jobs for that program.
"With production locations for EVs and batteries in Europe, China and now the U.S., our global network is ready for the era of electric vehicles," Mercedes-Benz board member Markus Schaefer said in a statement. "Thanks to our plant modernization in Tuscaloosa, we will be able to quickly ramp up U.S. production of EQ models..."
Update: The original post stated that the initial $1.3 investment was made this year; it was, in fact, two years ago.