MERCEDES-BENZ ELECTRIC CAR STRATEGY
Wilko Andreas Stark, Vice President Daimler Strategy & Mercedes-Benz Cars Product Strategy and PlannSing, highlights the importance placed on electric mobility at Mercedes-Benz: “For us, it’s not a question of whether electric mobility will take off, but when. The goal of MB is to be the leader in this green technology. And we already offer our customers convincing solutions where daily usability, flexibility, and affordability are concerned.”
By 2017, ten new PLUG-IN HYBRID vehicles will have been launched as part of the hybrid offensive strategy, and this will include SUV models such as the new GLE and GLC. The S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID¹ spearheads the PLUG-IN HYBRID model line-up: this luxury saloon combines the performance of an eight-cylinder engine with the consumption of a compact vehicle – and 33 kilometers can be driven on purely electric power alone. The MB C350e is the first model to sport the new “e” abbreviation which denotes its electrified drive system.
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.
The “Charge&Pay for Mercedes-Benz” makes charging and paying at public charging stations particularly easy. With the “connect me” services and associated “remote vehicle status” function, you can check the charge status and vehicle range as well as search for the nearest charging station.
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2018 Week 10 - Mercedes Benz upgrades C and E Class plug-in drivetrain
Mercedes Benz announced presented pre-production cars of its E and C Class plug-in electric models, including the C-Class Estate PHEV. The Mercedes Benz E350e and C350e are expected in the late summer of 2018. Mercedes upgraded the two models to the same drivetrain as the S560e unveiled late 2017. The improved drivetrain offers am a NECD range of 50km/32miles due to a 13.5kWh, up from the 6.4kWh in the previous generation. The drivetrain also includes a larger onboard charger of 7.2kW for faster battery charging and a more powerful 90kW/121hp electric motor. Click here for detailed specs of 2018 E350e and C350e.
2018 Week 10 - Mercedes Benz unveils new wallbox
Mercedes Benz also unveiled its latest wall box enabling 22kW charging from the new elegant housing with cable management. The new wall box also allows the user to various functions from a smartphone including charging control, user management, and consumption overview. The wall box is available from this summer in Europe and 40 other markets. The wall box is available in as a basic 22kW charger, the internet-capable Wallbox Advanced and the Wallbox Twin for charging two vehicles at the same time at 11kW. The Advanced and Twin wall boxes is equipped with a built-in electricity meter and allow access control by RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). The RFID control makes it possible to manage several vehicles of different users, which is especially attractive for fleets – as well as for office communities or apartment buildings.
2018 Week 8 - Mercedes Benz eActros Truck pilot starts
Mercedes announced that it would pilot ten of its eActros electric trucks with customers. At first, the focus will be on inner-city goods and delivery traffic, as the Mercedes-Benz eActros is well capable of covering the ranges required in this sector. The pilot customers will test the vehicles in real operations for twelve months, and the trucks will then go a second round of customers for a further twelve months. The innovation fleet will, therefore, be in operation until at least mid-2020. The aim is to achieve series production maturity for economically competitive electric trucks for heavy inner-city distribution operations from 2021.
The Mercedes eActros Truck has a range of 200km provided through a 240kWh lithium battery and is charged through a system with more than 400V and a 1000A current.
2018 Week 7 - Mercedes Benz at the Geneva Auto Show
Mercedes Benz announced that the Geneva Auto Show would be the venue of the world premiere for the new C-Class Saloon and Estate PHEV model. The premiere of the C-Class will be on the 6th of March, at 12.30 p.m. in Hall 6. The new Mercedes Benz C-Class consists of a stylish makeover and technology upgrade equivalent to the S-Class. Mercedes further announced that it would expand on the look ahead for the EQ portfolio and showcase the EQC production vehicle. Also unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show will be the Smart Nightsky Edition which will be available with a 22kW onboard charger from March 2018, reducing charge time significantly to compensate for the short range of the Smart EV.
2018 Week 6 - Mercedes Benz identifies hubs for EV production
In a press statement, this week Mercedes set out its EV production plans through to 2023 when it aims to electrify its complete model range, offering 50 electrified vehicles of which ten would be pure electric. According to Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain, Markus Schäfer, Mercedes will assemble EVs at six plants on three continents and produce batteries in-house at two plants. The Mercedes EV strategy as set out this week includes battery production and assembly operations with its Chinese JV BBAC with local partner BAIC in Beijing. Chronologically the plan which will see the investment of ten billion euros in assembly and a further one billion euros in battery production will be as follows:
- Electric hubs are already being built around the globe;
- 2017 saw the start of the production of the Smart ED in Hambach, Germany, the first of the company’s fourth-generation EV technology;
- Completion of the second battery factory in Kamenz and intensify preparations for the EQC at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen in 2018;
- Production of the EQC SUV in Bremen in 2019;
- Production of the EQC in China at the BBAC plant in Beijing;
- Production of SUV, compact, upper and luxury class vehicles at plants in Rastatt, Sindelfingen, and Tuscaloosa (USA)
2017 Week 48 - Mercedes Benz at LA Auto Show
The Los Angeles Auto Show kicked off this week with an onslaught by German brands BMW, Daimler and VW showing off their current and future EVs. German automakers are under huge pressure to catch up to Tesla, with Porsche admitting this week that it is losing clients to the US-based leader in the EV market. BMW brought the BMW iVision, Concept X7 iPerformance, 2019 BMW i8 Roadster (in the cover picture), BMW i3S, and Mini Electric Concept to the LA Show.
Mercedes broke from the pack, showcasing the Hydrogen powered Mercedes Benz GLC F-Cell first introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The GLC F-Cell is expected to be released in the USA market in 2019. The rear wheel drive GLC F-Cell is powered by a single motor delivering 197 hp and 258lb.ft torque which draws electricity from a 13.8kWh lithium battery and a fuel stack with 9.7 liters of hydrogen. The GLC F-Cell has an NEDC rated electric range of 30 miles and 272 from the fuel cell.
2017 Week 38 - Mercedes Benz to invest $1 Bln in the USA
Mercedes Benz announced a $1 billion investment in its Tuscaloosa plant. The upgrade will include a battery plant, making its fifth spread over three continents, China, Europe and the USA. The plant will manufacture SUV models for the company’s EQ brand.
2017 Week 37 - Mercedes Benz EV strategy update
Mercedes Benz CEO, Dieter Zetsche, was cited by Autoblog as indicating that the German automaker would produce 50 electrified versions of its models by 2022.
2017 Week 37 - Mercedes Benz introduces new EV models
Mercedes Benz unveiled the third generation hybrid transmission Mercedes-Benz S 560 e PHEV. The S series Mercedes Benz has a range of 50km / 31miles, a combined fuel consumption of 2.1 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions of49 g/km and weighted power consumption of 15.5 kWh/100 km. Daimler also delivered the first Fuso eCanter in the USA to UPS.
2017 Week 37 - Mercedes Benz at the Frankfurt Auto Show
2017 Week 30 - Mercedes to join Formula E
While the 3rd season of the Formula E is ending this weekend in Montreal, Canada with Renault e.dams set to win it for the third season in a row, two racing car heavyweights this week announced that they would join the series in the 6th season from 2019. Porsche announced this week that it would quit the Le Mans race and join Formula E, following sister company Audi who left the well known 24-hour race in October 2016. The other automaker to join the Formula E circuit was Porsches’ German compatriot and recent Formula 1 champion, Mercedes, who also announced this week that it will join the 2019 series, leaving the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters to help with funding its participation in the emerging EV racing franchise.
2017 Week 29 - 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.
2017 Week 27 - 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.
2017 Week 20 - Electrified public transport gets a leg up this week
As electric vehicles become more popular so does the application for other modes of transport. For long the Chinese automakers, such as BYD and Changjiang had the monopoly on electric buses, but this week we saw more automakers enter the segment. The challenge with electric buses, other than cars is that you need ultra fast charging of huge batteries, and these huge batteries add weight to the vehicle.To be equipped with a 256kWh battery. Two automakers outside of mainland China this week announced that they are entering the electrified bus market.
Hyundai announced that it would develop an electric bus for the local market next year. The bus is expected to be equipped with a huge 256kWh battery.
Mercedes-Benz released the following statement at the Global Public Transport Summit (GPTS) in Montreal
In parallel with the optimisation of the diesel drive system, Mercedes-Benz is working hard on the all-electric-powered and locally emission-free city bus. The all-electric Citaro is due to go into series production in the coming year – prototypes are already undergoing testing on the roads. The electrically powered Citaro will open up a new chapter in electric mobility, because Mercedes-Benz is not looking at the city bus in isolation, but as an integral part of a highly efficient transport system.
2017 Week 13 - 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 is 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 SUVs as the reason for it not cutting its emissions for the first time since 2007.
2017 Week 12 - Mercedes-Benz EQ hit by trademark complaint
A trademark complaint in China filed by Chery Auto will hamper Mercedes-Benz new electric vehicle brand EQ‘s international aspirations. The Chery eQ, one of the most popular EV micro car’s in China over the last two years share too much similarity for the German automaker to be allowed to use the name in the worlds’ largest electric vehicle market. The Chery eQ sold around 25,000 units since it’s launch in 2015, making it one of the top 10 electric vehicles in the country. Mercedes-Benz launched the EQ brand at the Paris Auto Show in late 2016 to house all its electric vehicle products and services. One can only wonder how a large corporation could have let that one slide! The EQ brand stands for “Electric Intelligence” and is the spearhead for Daimler’s efforts to have electric vehicles represent between 15% and 25% of its global sales
2017 Week 10 - Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Concept unveiled
Although light on new commercial electric vehicles the Geneva Motor Show this week offered some great eye candy in the form of new concept vehicles, which included:
- Italdesign and Airbus unveiled the world’s first ground and air passenger vehicle, the Pop.Up, also know as Vahana
- Toyota unveiled the i-Tril electric concept. (If somebody at Toyota can just please look at the meaning of the name in some cultures, I cringe every time I use it.)
- Bentley unveiled its EXP 12 Speed 6e electric concept car.
- Mercedes unveiled its Mercedes-AMG GT Concept vehicle.
Nissan announced the unveiling of the new version of its popular Leaf EV expected in September, with commercial sales shortly after that. The Leaf is expected to have a range of 200 miles and some autonomous driving ability through its ProPilot system.
2017 Week 7 - Mercedes-Benz USA to only sell electric Smart models in the USA and Canada
2017 Week 5 - 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.
2017 Week 4 - Arnold Schwarzenegger upgrades a Galant Wagen to a full electric vehicle
Off-course it is expected when Arnold Schwarzenegger buys an electric vehicle it will not be a Chevy Bolt, but damn the man knows how to get what he wants. The movie star turned politician unveiled his converted Mercedes Galant Wagen in Austria recently. The Kriesel converted G-Wagen SUV sports an 80kWh battery pack producing 482hp which accelerates the vehicle from 0 – 60mph in 5.6 seconds with a 185-mile range (296km).
2016 Week 48 - 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).
2016 Week 45 - Los Angeles Auto Show 2016
Although not as electric vehicle focused as the Paris Auto Show earlier the year, the Los Angeles Auto Show to be held this coming week promises to provide further insight in how automakers gear up for their respective electric vehicle strategies. Vehicle Manufacturers to keep an eye out for is Hyundai, Land Rover, GM, Tesla, BMW, Mercedes, and Nissan. Market commentators will also be looking at how some manufacturers utilize the low fuel cost environment to bring more SUVs and crossovers to the market. The consumer’s appetite for these vehicles in the low fuel environment has long been the Achilles heel for the addition of EV vehicles, adding to an ever-increasing glut of sedan vehicles.
2016 Week 39 - EQ sub-brand
Mercedes finally publically unveiled its new all-electric car brand, the EQ (Electric Intelligence). The brand will develop a host of EV related services and products, not just cars, such as charging stations and battery packs. The first vehicle to come from the brand is targeted at the highly popular SUV segment, a clever move to differentiate the brand in this hotly contested sector. The Generation EQ SUV with a battery capacity of 70kWh providing a range of over 250miles powering two electric motors providing 300kW of power. The production version is expected to be launched in 2018.
2016 Week 32 - Strategy, sub-brand
Mercedes registered its EQ model series as it paves the ay for its MEQ sub-brand of electric vehicles. The EQ model series would be the company’s answer to the BMW i Series. The registration included the whole alphabet, from EQA to EQX slogans including ‘EQ inside’, ‘EQ boost’ and ‘Generation MEQ’.
2016 Week 31 - Electric Truck
Mercedes presented the first electric truck, with a range of 200km. The release forms part of the company’s efforts to challenge BMW and Tesla‘s dominance in the segment. As previously reported in our June newsletter, Mercedes will announce the formation of a new company to house all its electric models. Mercedes set the announcement for September.
2016 Week 29 - Strategy
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.
2016 Week 25 - Strategy, Sub brand
MERCEDES BENZ contemplates creating an alternative brand to house it’s electric vehicle models in. According to the German business publication, the announcement would be made in September.
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China’s 2018 batch of new EV models have some surprisingly good cars threatening Western automakers still grappling how to catch-up to the increased popularity of EVs. While big auto plans to bring new models to market in 2020 China is already pushing out large amounts of new EV models.