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Daimler issues update on €10b EV investment

Generation EQ, exterior, studio, "Black Panel" front grille;

The announcement contains plans for the expansion of its Mercedes-Benz EV fleet and the introduction of 50 EVs by 2022

Keen to emphasise its ongoing commitment to EVs, Daimler has issued an update on its global plans for electrification domination. The details released provide an update to the announcement made in late 2016, when the automaker mooted plans to invest 10 billion euros into the development of new Mercedez-Benz models alongside an increase in investment for powertrain technologies.

Daimler reiterated plans to electrify the Mercedes-Benz portfolio by 2022, offering customers at least one EV in each of the Mercedes model series. This range of “electrical alternatives” will include plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), with at least 50 electrified options in total.

At least 10 of those 50 will be all-electric, battery-powered models, across a range of vehicle segments – including the “compact, upper, and luxury class” vehicles, alongside SUV models.

Daimler also spoke of its plans for 2018, during which it intends to focus on production of the EQC model. Although production for the smart fortwo Coupe and the Cabriolet models already began in 2017 at the Hambach plant, the all-electric EQC SUV will be the first model released as part of the new Generation EQ series, in 2019. The SUV will be produced in the company’s plants in Bremen and Beijing, the latter in partnership with China’s BAIC.

At a glance: Electric initiative at Mercedes-Benz Cars
At a glance: EQ production at Mercedes-Benz

Battery production

Alongside the preparation of 6 different plants for EQ production, Daimler also spoke of the benefits of producing batteries in-house.

The development and production of battery packs is something which Daimler has opted to do internally, investing in the creation of a “global battery network”, with five production plants across three different continents to serve its many markets – as can be seen in the map above.

This network includes the battery factory in Beijing announced last year, which Daimler hopes will see production by 2020.

Mercedes-Benz Cars production and supply chain divisional board member, Markus Schäfer, spoke of the impact these battery factories will have on the production line for its future EV range, and assured industry observers that the automaker was well on track in its goals:

“The battery is the key component of e-mobility. As batteries are the heart of our electric vehicles we put a great emphasis on building them in our own factories. With our global battery network we are in an excellent position: As we are close to our vehicle plants we can ensure the optimal supply of production. In case of a short-term high demand in another part of the world our battery factories are also well prepared for export. The electric initiative of Mercedes-Benz Cars is right on track. Our global production network is ready for e-mobility. We are electrifying the future.”

While manty other automakers have dragged their feet, Daimler has been one of the more proactive parties in defining a clear timeline for its electric transition. The question now is whether it can keep to its 2020 factory timetable in China, and whether the production EQ C in 2019 will be enough to secure its place in the fast-filling electric SUV and crossover market.



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