Arnold Schwarzenegger Has a Massive All-Electric Off-Road Mercedes

Kreisel Electric GmbH /

While Tesla and Rimec are racing towards getting 0-60 in under two seconds, Arnold Schwarzenegger is repping a different kind of electric muscle car – in this case, a massive off-road Mercedes G-Wagon.

Arnold is clearly working hard to move past his Hummer-driving past and campaign for climate change in the most Schwarzenegger way possible. To do this, he worked with Kreisel Electric, an Austrian battery startup, to turn the Mercedes G 350 d into a completely battery-powered monster. Electric-car manufacturers have basically ignored the all-terrain vehicle, but if you have the man who started the Hummer craze showing off his electric road hog and smoking a cigar, maybe they should pay attention. And there is something pretty beautiful about watching him fuss over the car while he unveiled it in Kitzebuehel, Austria on Sunday.

Kreisel Electric GmbH /

In the early ‘90s, it was Schwarzenegger’s purchase of a Hummer that caused the entire country to go nuts. Since then, he has worked hard to distance himself from his gas-guzzling past. In the ‘00s he had one of his Hummers converted to run on alternative fuels, and eventually stopped driving them in favor of the Mercedes G-Wagons. He is clearly extremely proud of his new baby, saying in the announcement video from yesterday:

“As you can see behind me that is a regular G-Wagon, that you would know as the Mercedes G-Wagon. But this is not a regular car. Because this one – instead of having a gasoline engine, has an electric engine. Zero pollution.”

Kreisel removed the engine and fuel tank from the G-Wagon and inserted 80 Kwh electric batteries. The electric monster of a car goes 0-60 in 5.6 seconds — three seconds faster than the original, and has a range of 187 miles. Making it electric has also seriously increased the traction available in the diesel G-Wagon, going from 180kW in the original to 360 kW in the electric version.

Major electric car manufacturers haven’t tackled the off-road market yet, although some people have tried taking their Tesla Model X into the wilderness. With his cigar and crew of macho Austrian onlookers, Schwarzenegger is moving the image of electric cars away from the white-collar suburbanite to bros on a hunting trip. And it’s a good look for electric. Getting more speed and more traction in an off-road vehicle seems to be a pretty strong selling point.

Unfortunately, you can’t purchase a tricked-out electric Mercedes G-Wagon just yet, although Arnold will be test-driving the prototype around California. Let’s hope Mercedes is paying attention.

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