The Mercedes-Benz EQ range of electrified vehicles could make up a significant proportion of cars the German automaker sells by 2025, said Mercedes-Benz research and development chief Ola Kallenius in a CarAdvice report. The firm’s fully-electric offerings wll number up to 10 by 2022, while more models will gain electrification with petrol- and diesel-electric hybrid systems.

“The planning assumption we have made for the battery electric vehicles, for the calendar year 2025 – so that we can have kind of a stake in the ground so we can do our industrialisation planning on – is a range of between 15 and 25 per cent for fully battery electric vehicles. Meanwhile, plug-in hybrids will come in on top of that, (around) 10-15%,” Kallenius told the Australian publication.

The R&D chief is less revealing about the division’s route to profitability, however. “We don’t comment on the profitability of individual cars or segments, but needless to say, we’re going to have to make the growth into EVs part of our profitable growth strategy,” he said, noting that cost structures are higher than previously experienced with internal combustion-engined cars.

“(However), as we get into volume and further develop the technology – especially on the battery side – we go from thousands, tens of thousands, to hundreds of thousands of vehicles per year, we see a very good chance for that cost curve to become much more attractive. So, profitable growth must be part of the picture for electric mobility,” he said.

The just-launched EQC enters an increasingly populated segment that is home to the likes of the forthcoming BMW iX3, the Jaguar I-Pace and on the sedan front, the Tesla Model 3, and though the eventual proliferation of EVs will make the segment more mainstream, Mercedes-Benz isn’t going to be the brand that ‘democratises electric vehicles’, the website said.

“There’s no question that Mercedes as a brand is a premium, luxury brand; albeit with a very wide production portfolio going all the way from the A-Class to our S-Class flagship,” Kallenius says. That approach will also be used when the company enters the electric vehicle market, and rather than redefine the brand in terms of its premium and luxury position, Mercedes-Benz is adding a zero-emissions dimension to it, he said.

“And yes, we do want to play a leading role in ushering in this new era of electric mobility,” Kallenius added.

GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz EQC