The mid-sized EQE sedan will likely inherit the electric 'family face' first seen on the EQC.

Stuttgart - Like its premium brand rivals from around the globe, Mercedes-Benz is going big on electric vehicles with a whole new family of EQ-badged models being planned for the early 2020s.

While the first member of this family, the EQC crossover, has already been unveiled, the EQ range is set to have 10 members by the year 2020, covering the full spectrum from the A-Class-sized EQA right up to the S-Class sized EQS.

Now it has emerged that Mercedes has given the green light to a mid-sized electric sedan called the EQE, which will give the company a direct rival to the Tesla Model S, Autocar reports.

Unlike the EQC, which is based on an adapted GLC platform, the EQE will be built around Merc’s new dedicated electric car platform, which will make extensive use of lightweight materials such as aluminium in order to counter the weight of the batteries. It should also inherit design cues from the EQC and other recent concept cars, particularly at the front end.

According to Autocar, the EQE is set to go on sale in 2020, initially as an all-wheel-drive vehicle with a motor on each axle, although a cheaper rear-wheel-drive model is also reportedly under consideration.

Furthermore, the sedan’s range between charges could exceed 600km, the British publication reported.

Parent company Daimler’s switch to electric vehicles will be overseen by the company’s new boss Ola Kallenius, who recently replaced the flamboyant and long-standing CEO Dieter Zetsche, the man credited with saving the company in the wake of its 2007 divorce from Chrysler.

But Kallenius, who was previously head of research, has numerous challenges ahead, with global sales are lagging behind record years and profitability under severe strain due to the extensive investments that the company is making in electrification and autonomous vehicles. Last year alone saw profits tumble by 29 percent, according to AFP.

It’s clear that a lot is riding on this new electric car family, then, and it's a situation that most modern car companies find themselves in.

But will buyers make the switch with as much enthusiasm? Only time will tell.

IOL Motoring