Short interview with Christoph Starzynski, Vice-President Electric Vehicle Architecture
Christoph Starzynski is responsible for the Mercedes-EQ models at Mercedes-Benz. Since 2002, the graduate in business administration has held various positions in the Daimler Group in Germany and abroad. We spoke to the 46-year-old about Mercedes-EQ's strategy and future models.
Mr Starzynski, one Mercedes-EQ premiere follows the next in 2021: first you presented the EQA, the all-electric brethren of the GLA, now the EQS, the new luxury-class model, and in between the seven-seater EQB is celebrating its debut. How is it that Mercedes-EQ is taking off in the compact and luxury class at the same time?
Starzynski: You're right, our electric initiative is in full swing. But we also have ambitious goals: by as early as 2030, the company wants more than half the cars it sells to feature electric powertrains - this includes all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. And the list is far from complete: with the EQE business saloon and the SUV variants of the EQS and EQE, further models based on the new architecture will follow soon.
You address the architecture. The EQS is the first model to use the new all-electric platform. What are the advantages of this purpose design?
Starzynski: This new architecture is scalable in every respect and can be used across models. The wheelbase and track as well as all other system components, especially the batteries, are variable thanks to the modular design. This vehicle architecture makes Mercedes electric cars from saloons to large SUVs possible in the luxury segment. Thanks to the corresponding synergy effects, we can react very quickly to customer requests - for new electric vehicles, but also during a life cycle for variants with, for example, the next generation of batteries. And in terms of design and space, an all-electric platform naturally offers customers major advantages.
Mercedes-EQ has recently become a sub-brand like Mercedes-AMG or Mercedes-Maybach. Does this reflect the increased importance of electromobility at Mercedes?
Starzynski: Yes, 'Electric First' is our mission statement. And Mercedes-EQ is not just about extending traditional Mercedes-Benz virtues such as safety, responsibility, perfection and fascination by using new technology such as the electric powertrain. But also the linking of intelligence and emotion is centrally anchored in Mercedes-EQ. We want to accompany our customers into a world of new possibilities. This also includes software updates and the activation of new vehicle functions over the air (OTA). In addition, our approach to sustainability is holistic and also includes, for example, Green Charging. In this way, we are actively contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions and, with our Ambition 2039, are paving the way to the carbon-neutral mobility of the future.
Keyword future: Where do we go from here? Will the next generation of compact electric cars also be on a redesigned platform?
Starzynski: Our engineers are currently working on another electric vehicle platform, the Mercedes-Benz Modular Architecture (MMA) for vehicles in the compact and mid-size segments. In 2025, the first MMA-based models will arrive and complete our electric vehicle portfolio.
And has the range of up to 770 kilometres (WLTP) of the EQS reached the end of the line?
Starzynski: First of all, we are very pleased to have achieved this excellent and, above all, highly customer-relevant range figure. Many employees from very different departments have contributed to this: aerodynamicists and designers with the new world record for cd value, our battery specialists with higher energy density and software developed in-house, plus the valuable work of other experts that has resulted in excellent recuperation and really clever navigation with Electric Intelligence ...
But back to your question: No, it doesn't stop at 770 kilometres2. We have already announced the next step with the Vision EQXX technology programme. Our development department is tasked with pushing the boundaries of range and efficiency. That's why we've put together a cross-functional and multi-disciplinary team in Stuttgart, supported by specialists from the British Mercedes-Benz F1 HPP Group. The colleagues contribute their expertise in electric motors as well as their motorsport-inspired development pace. Innovations from this technology programme will be rapidly transferred to series production models.
 Technical data of the EQS concerning mileage, range, output, torque, recuperation and performance in this publication is provisional, and was calculated internally in accordance with the applicable certification method. Confirmed TÜV figures, EC type approval and conformity certification with official figures are not yet available. Differences between the stated figures and the official figures are possible.