Introducing The Fully Electric Off-Road Mercedes G-Class
Electric vehicles are typically constructed with a specific client in mind, and usually this envisioned customer is most concerned with getting around in ultimate efficiency. Tesla stirred up this stereotype with its fast sports cars, but the new Kreisel customized Mercedes G 350 d with a fully electric drivetrain adds another dimension to the image of the prospective EV buyer. The plan came together thanks in part to a high-profile stakeholder and design partner, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The former governor of California and actor drives a Mercedes G in the United States, but along with Kreisel, wanted to build a version of his beloved car that also meshed with his priorities and values when it comes to seeking out renewable energy alternatives wherever possible.
Schwarzenegger said in a press release revealing the vehicle, “To me, with the electric version of this fantastic car, a dream has become true. The initial test drive was a real pleasure. The Kreisel is incredibly sporty and perfectly benefits from the advantages e-mobility has to offer. I really look forward to the following test runs and to the gradual further development in California.” The man who played Harry Tasker is now the official test driver for the first converted Mercedes G, and he is going to be helping with future design and development that will happen stateside in association with Austria-based Kreisel Electric.
This first prototype was assembled in only two months, and carries a “realistic” maximum range of 300 kilometres, pretty impressive for a vehicle whose frame is not designed for maximum EV efficiency. It is powered by an 80 kWh battery, and the ar also claimed a 3 second faster 0 to 60 mph time of around 5.6 seconds, when compared to its gas-guzzling V6 progenitor. It also supports fast charging, recovering 80% of its capacity in just 25 minutes. It is a very cool retrofit, and hopefully one that consumers can soon pick up as an aftermarket modification. Kreisel is currently building a factory for large-scale production of its electric battery packs for use by automotive OEMs and other customers, so this is more of a side project.