DAIMLER ELECTRIC CAR STRATEGY
Daimler, one of the early investors in Tesla has been credited by Elon Musk that it saved Tesla from bankruptcy in 2009 when it invested $50 million for a 9% stake in the electric vehicle manufacturer.
Daimler has for years been developing from an automobile manufacturer into a mobility provider. The focus is no longer solely on the car as a product, but also on services related to mobility. Electric- and plug-in vehicles, for example, include an MB Wallbox installation service, and also exclusive Mercedes me connect functions. Another aspect of the corporate strategy is to offer new, innovative services for flexible and networked mobility. Moovel provides the fastest connection between two places, taking all means of transport into consideration.
Daimler has a very progressive EV strategy, creating an EV specific brand in China and Internationally, Denza and EQ. The Group plans to invest over $11 billion in the sector by 2022. Read more on the Daimler EV strategy in our blog post – Daimler EV strategy trumps BMW.
DAIMLER ELECTRIC CAR BRANDS
Click through to explore the various Daimler EV brands to see how Daimler implements its electric car strategy.
DAIMLER ELECTRIC VEHICLE STRATEGY IN THE NEWS
Week 39 2017 - Daimler may increase cash in loss-making Denza
In the wake of Tuesday’s announcement by an official of the Chinese Commerce Ministry that the country might give automakers a year extension to get their houses in order before implementing its aggressive push towards electrification, Automotive News China reported that Daimler is mulling an increase in its investment in its partnership with BYD. BYD and Daimler created a JV company, Denza, exclusively focusing on the manufacture of electric vehicles currently only produce one model, also named Denza. BYD called for an increase in investment to help the loss-making JV take advantage of the expected increase in EV sales over the next three years. It would be interesting to see if Daimler will increase its investment after reports on Wednesday indicated that a possibility exists that the Government will allow wholly-owned subsidiaries of foreign companies to operate in China. Up to know foreign carmakers were forced to operate in through JV’s such as Denza.
Week 35 2017 - Daimler unveils self-driving EQ ForTwo
Mercedes-Benz announced the creation of its new EV specific brand, EQ, at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September 2016. This week the luxury carmaker showed us more of its Vision EQ by unveiling the Smart Vision EQ ForTwo in the week running up to the Frankfurt Auto Show. According to the company, the Smart EQ provides a new vision of urban mobility where individualization options make the shared vehicle feel like “your” vehicle. The Smart EQ is the first vehicle from the Daimler Group to take the logical step of dispensing with a steering wheel and pedals. The Smart EQ is developed according to the German automaker’s CASE strategy which stands for the strategic pillars of connectivity (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared & Services) and electric drive systems (Electric). EQ plans to introduce more than ten new electric cars by 2022, from the Smart up to a large SUV.
The Smart EQ has a battery capacity of 30kWh, nearly double that of the 2017 Smart ForTwo ED. The vehicle functions are controlled via personal mobile device or voice input, an arrangement that is intuitive, convenient and hygienic. Dispensing with conventional control elements makes the white interior appear even more spacious. The dashboard is replaced by a 24-inch (58.5 x 15.6 cm) screen which is surrounded by a rose gold-colored frame.
Daimler will also unveil the Mercedes Concept EQA teased above at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
Week 29 2017 - Daimler and Chery resolve trademark dispute
Mercedes Benz and Chery Automotive reached an agreement in the trademark dispute lodged (EV News Week 12) by Chery in March 2017. According to a joint press release, the companies agreed to the following settlement with regards to using the EQ designation for electric vehicles in China:
Chery will focus on using the designations eQ and eQ1, as well as further numerical continuations thereof, while Daimler will focus on use in their electric Mercedes-Benz products with the designations EQC and any other alphabetical supplements. Daimler will use the EQ Power designation for Plug-In Hybrids and meanwhile Chery will also use eQ TEC to nominate their car electrification system.
Chery has already been using the eQ and eQ1 brand names in China since year 2014 and Daimler has now also granted them the possibility to use this name family in countries outside of China. Daimler established the EQ brand family for electrically driven Mercedes-Benz vehicles almost simultaneously in countries outside of China and Chery has granted the company the possibility to also use this in China now.
Week 27 2017 - Daimler and BAIC deepens co-operation around EVs
Daimler and Chinese BAIC Motors this week agreed to increase the investment in the Sino-German Joint Venture, Beijing Benz Automotive Co (BBAC), to manufacture electric vehicles. The partners agreed to a further investment of 5 billion yuan (655 million euros / $735 million) at a signing of the heads of agreement in Berlin in the presence of German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The investment by the German automaker is a further commitment to electric vehicles as it implements the aggressive electric vehicle strategy. BBAC is the localization of the Mercedes-Benz brand and will see its first electric vehicle rolling off the production line in 2020.
In June 2017 both partners agreed to strengthen their strategic collaboration through investments for New Energy Vehicles (NEVs) in China. As part of the investment agreement, Daimler announced its intention to acquire a minority share in Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd. (BJEV), a subsidiary of the BAIC Group, with the purpose of strengthening strategic collaboration with BAIC in the NEV sector.
The investment will be used to extend the BBAC plant in Beijing, established in 2005 and already Daimler’s largest Mercedes-Benz passenger car production hub, to become a BEV production hub in China. The establishment of a BEV production hub will commence with the building of an eBattery factory, which would be Daimler’s first foreign location of its global battery production network. Daimler plans to invest one of the ten billion euro earmarked for its electric vehicle strategy in the global battery production network for Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The network already includes the site in Kamenz, Saxony, built in 2010, where a second state of the art battery factory is being built with an investment of around 500 million euros. Mercedes-Benz will source the cell for its battery plant in Beijing from Chinese suppliers.
Week 13 2017 - Daimler accelerates it electric vehicle program
Daimler this week, after a board meeting in Berlin, announced that it would accelerate its $11 billion investment in electric vehicles by bringing it forward with three years from 2025, as announced last year to 2022. Reuters reported that the automaker’s aggressive stance are the result of it not being able to cut fleet emissions of 123gm CO2/km from 2015 to 2016 in Europe. Europe has set a very stringent target of 95gm CO2/km by 2020. Daimler’s own target for 2020 is 100gm CO2. The German automaker cites the popularity of SUV’s as the reason for it not cutting its emissions for the first time since 2007.
Week 5 2017 - Daimler and Uber to co-operate on self-driving cars
Daimler and Uber announced a cooperation agreement where Daimler will introduce and operate self-driving cars on the Uber network. Uber abandoned efforts to build its own vehicle early on, rather focusing on partnering and acquiring technologies to achieve its goal of a self-driving fleet for its network. Uber acquired autonomous trucking company Otto in 2016 and made a successful delivery of a consignment of beer before being blocked by the California DMV.
Week 48 2016 - Daimler to invest $11Bln in electric vehicles
Reuters reported that Daimler plans to invest $11Bln in electric vehicle research and development. Daimler’s Research & Development Head, Thomas Weber was quoted in telling the German publication, Stuttgarter Zeitung that “By 2025 we want to develop ten electric cars based on the same architecture,”. The automaker targets increasing cruising ranges above 700km (430 miles).
Week 29 2016 - Daimler sees EVs expanding
The electric vehicles market gained further traction as Daimler’s CEO, Dieter Zetsche acknowledged the technology’s importance and expected an increase in market share. The German automaker shifted its strategy to accelerate its efforts to stay abreast of its competitors, Tesla and BMW‘s push to ramp up production in the luxury electric vehicle segment.
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