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Mercedes to launch all-electric sub-brand?

Reports say they an exclusively EV brand will take on BMW\'s i.

Mercedes may be getting ready to launch a new brand devoted entirely to electric vehicles.

The brand would be launched from a separate division, similar to BMW's "i" line, says Handelsblatt, a German business journal, and could launch as early as September, at the Paris Motor Show. Though Handelsblatt cites "people familiar with the matter," Mercedes' parent company Daimler opted not to comment when asked. However, as Hybrid Cars points out, Mercedes' British head of sales and marketing Ola Källenius already told Autocar that they would create an all-EV BMW i rival.

Mercedes wants the first model in the new line to be an SUV based on the GLC (not to be confused with the Mazda's fuel-sipping 1970s hatchback). The report says it could go on sale as early as next year, and Hybrid Cars adds that it will be followed by four additional models by 2020.

It also says that the range will be approximately 325 miles. Tthe the cars will be built on existing Mercedes assembly lines, unlike BMW's i cars., allowing for more flexible production and help lower costs.

A Daimler supervisory board is will reportedly decide on whether the EV brand is a go on July 20.

Images by Ben Hsu.

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