Actualites > Mercedes commits to electric vehicle

Mercedes commits to electric vehicle

 - 25/04/2016

At its annual shareholder meeting in Berlin, Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler pledged to develop and launch a battery-powered car with a 500km range before the end of the decade.

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Daimler's chairman and the head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, said, "The more cars and commercial vehicles are on the road, the more efficiently each one of them must be operated.

Compatriot company Porsche, despite being a niche manufacturer in terms of sales and vehicle line-up, is already hard at work bringing a similarly long-range electric car to market with a goal of a 2018 launch. However, as a company that sells millions of private and commercial vehicles every year, Daimler needs to move more quickly in order to reduce emissions and cut pollution across its fleet.

By the end of 2016 every current vehicle in the company's Smart range of inner-city cars will be offered as a plug-in electric vehicle and it also intends to bet big on hybrid drivetrains as a short-term solution while full EV technology catches up for larger vehicles. "In 2017, we will have 10 plug-in [hybrid] models on the market," said Dr Zetsche.

Despite the continuing backlash from the Dieselgate scandal, Daimler also reiterated its faith in diesel and its  crucial role to play in lowering the average CO2 emissions on roads not just in Europe, but around the globe. "At Mercedes, we believe in the diesel engine -- and in our engineering skills," said Dr Zetsche.

Personal mobility revolution

The notion of personal mobility is going through its biggest single evolution since Karl Benz invented the internal-combustion-engine-propelled motorcar in 1885. Daimler is the company that grew out of that initial automotive eureka moment and as a result likes to lay claim to being the car's creator.

And rather than trying to preserve the status quo, the company believes the disruption coming from autonomous driving technology, pollution concerns, upstarts like Tesla and the popularity of services like Uber are all positive. "It is a matter of utilizing the opportunities that changes bring along," Dr Zetsche said.

It's also why Daimler is also investing heavily in its existing ride-sharing services and on efficient long distance buses.

"130 years ago, we invented the automobile. Today we are forging ahead with its reinvention," said Zetsche, "We are, and we will remain, pioneers of mobility."


Photo ©Daimler AG