German automotive group Daimler is to back the electrification of its brands with a development budget of more than US$1 billion
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche has told reporters that the German car-maker – whose brands include Daimler trucks and buses, Mercedes-Benz cars and vans and the Smart brand – has a development budget for electric cars which includes 1 billion euros (US$1.1 billion) for battery technology, according to Bloomberg. Zetsche spoke at a business journalists club in Hamburg.
Earlier this year, the company announced that it would plough over US$540 million into a new battery factory in Kamenz, Germany, in support of its push for electrified vehicles. The plant is expected to open in summer 2017.
It also follows the Group’s establishment of a 13-MWh, grid-connected energy storage facility in Lünen, Westphalia, in Germany, which using second-hand car batteries from the second generation Smart fortwo model. The facility is expected to be supplying the market by the end of the year.
Daimler’s new Mercedes Benz EQ sub-brand – unveiled at the recent Paris Motor Show – and its popular Smart city car are to introduce at least 10 new electric vehicles in the coming years.
In Paris, Mercedes unveiled its Generation EQ sport utility vehicle coupé, with a range of as much as 500km on one charge. The company said it would launch its first EQ vehicle before 2020.