Mercedes-Benz Cars CEO and Daimler AG chairman, Ola Källenius famously said that the last Mercedes model to be built will be a G-Class, and the only way for that to happen in an emissions-free world of motoring is to make an electric version of the G-Wagon.

Well, Källenius has previously confirmed of the project, and told CarAdvice that a concept work for the G-Wagon EV is well and truly underway. In a conference call with the publication, Källenius said the popularity of the iconic 4×4 has “transcended” the rest of the market in recent years.

“The G-Wagon transcends all segments and almost the logic of the car industry, it’s like it is its own company you could say. People love this car, we had record-breaking sales of the new G last year as we rolled out the full production of the completely updated G,” he said.

The G-Wagon has been on a roller coaster ride since being introduced in 1979. It had defied market conventions and faced the chopping block on several occasions, but in 2019, global sales of the 4×4 increased by over 60%, with 34,912 units delivered. That’s 13,000 units more than the 2017 record.

There’s no name for the electric G yet, but let’s just assume that it will be called the EQG for the time being. It’ll be a challenging car to build, though, considering that the regular G-Class has a curb weight of nearly 2.5 tonnes. Expect the EQG to weigh substantially less, mostly by using lightweight materials and lighter battery.

This won’t be the first all electric G-Class, though. In 2017, Kreisel Electric built a one-off electric G-Wagon from a G 350 d and fitted an 80 kWh battery pack under the bonnet. This provides juice to a pair of electric motors producing 483 hp (360 kW), enough to send the SUV from 0-100 km/h in 5.6 seconds. It was commissioned for Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the car offered 299 km of range on a full charge and supports DC charging of up to 150 kW.

Moving forward, Källenius said there will be a “very steep ramp-up of electrification from Mercedes” in the coming year, a move which will include the implementation of plug-in hybrids and 48-volt systems into all Mercedes-Benz SUVs.

“We have made a very clear decision – as a general mental flicking of the switch – that modern luxury is going to be sustainable. We are going CO2 neutral, there are no ifs or buts, and now we’re just talking about how fast we can get there, the technologies, the economical impact of this,” he said.

“It is true the cost structure of electric vehicles is higher than what we are used to on combustion-based vehicles. [But] we feel as volumes go up, from tens of thousands of vehicles to hundreds of thousands of vehicles, we can start reaping benefits of scale. We have made full commitment to writing the electrical chapter,” he added.

GALLERY: 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class EV by Kreisel Electric