Mercedes-Benz Boosts All-Electric Plans

Mercedes-Benz is getting ready to go all-electric by the end of the decade – where market conditions allow. So said the company in an announcement last month that also laid out plans for how the company will reach its goal.

In a shift from electric-first to electric-only, the company said it will, by 2022, have battery electric vehicles (BEV) in all segments the company serves, and from 2025 onwards, all newly launched vehicle architectures will be electric-only and customers will be able to choose an all-electric alternative for every model the company makes.

In 2025, the company will launch three electric-only architectures:

  • MB.EA will cover all medium to large size passenger cars, establishing a scalable modular system as the electric backbone for the future EV portfolio.
  • AMG.EA will be a dedicated performance electric vehicle platform.
  • VAN.EA will cover the electric vans and Light Commercial Vehicles sector.

Strategies include the acquisition of UK-based electric motor company YASA, giving what Mercedes says is ‘access to unique axial flux motor technology and expertise to develop next-generation ultra-high-performance motors.’

In-house electric motors are a top priority, as are inverters and software.

The company will also plans to set up eight Gigafactories for the production of battery cells and meet a battery capacity need of more than 200 Gigawatt hours.

These are in addition to the already planned network of nine plants dedicated to building battery systems.

Expanding its Mercedes me Charge network (which enables Mercedes owners to integrate payment function with automatic payment at charging sites) is also on the cards.

Preparation for ramping-up production of EVs is also planned, with the company saying that as soon as 2022, eight EVs will be produced at seven locations on three continents. Its workforce is also being transformed with re-skilling schemes underway and technical academies planned that will offer training for future-oriented qualifications. The high-tech nature of the future industry will see Mercedes create 3000 new software engineering positions worldwide.

On top of all this work, Mercedes says it is currently developing the Vision EQXX, an electric car with a real-world range of more than 1,000km.

The cost of this strategy is enormous. The company says it will significantly accelerate its R&D program and its investment into battery electric vehicles between 2022 and 2030, and that investment will amount to something over an astonishing €40 billion ($AU64 billion).

“The EV shift is picking up speed – especially in the luxury segment, where Mercedes-Benz belongs. The tipping point is getting closer and we will be ready as markets switch to electric-only by the end of this decade,” said Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG.

“This step marks a profound reallocation of capital. By managing this faster transformation while safeguarding our profitability targets, we will ensure the enduring success of Mercedes-Benz. Thanks to our highly qualified and motivated workforce, I am convinced that we will be successful in this exciting new era.”

Source: Motor Trader e-Magazine (August 2021) 

17 August 2021

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