Daimler invests 20 billion euros in battery cells

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 11 Dec 2018

Daimler is taking the next step towards securing its CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric) corporate strategy. The company is moving ahead towards an electric future with the purchase of battery cells for more than 20 billion euros (Rs 163,714 crore).

Daimler is investing ten billion euros (Rs 81,857 crore) in the expansion of the Mercedes-Benz Cars electric fleet and another billion euros in the global battery production network within the worldwide production network. The company plans to have a total of 130 electrified variants at Mercedes-Benz Cars by 2022. The group also plans to have electric vans, buses and trucks.

The group claims that the global battery production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars will consist of eight factories on three continents in the near future. The first factory in Kamenz is already in series production and the second factory there will start series production at the beginning of 2019. Two more factories will be built in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, one at the company’s Sindelfingen site, and one each at the sites in Beijing (China), Bangkok (Thailand) and Tuscaloosa (USA). The local production of batteries is an important success factor in Mercedes-Benz Cars’ electric offensive and is decisive for meeting the global demand for electric vehicles flexibly and efficiently.

Dr Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: “Our electric offensive continues to gain momentum. After investing billions of euros in the development of the electric fleet and the expansion of our global battery network, we are now taking the next step.”

Wilko Stark, member of the divisional board Mercedes-Benz Cars, Procurement and Supplier Quality, said, “With extensive orders for battery cells until the year 2030, we set another important milestone for the electrification of our future electric vehicles of the EQ product and technology brand.”

The group claims that by 2022, the entire Mercedes portfolio will be electrified, with various electrified alternatives available in every segment, from the smart to the SUVs. The 130 variants would include 48-volt electrical system to EQ Boost and plug-in hybrids and more than ten all-electric vehicles powered by batteries or fuel cells. According to Daimler, by 2025, sales of battery-electric vehicles are to increase to 15-25 percent of total unit sales – depending on individual customer preferences and the development of the public infrastructure.

Introducing electric mobility in mass transports
Series production in the bus segment began in autumn this year and the first Mercedes-Benz eCitaro was recently delivered to Hamburg’s public transport operator – Hamburger Hochbahn AG. Mercedes-Benz Vans electrifies its entire commercial fleet. It starts with the all-electric mid-size van eVito, which has been delivered since November 2018. Daimler group had recently reported that Hermes Germany will receive 1,500 Mercedes-Benz electric transporters and the corresponding efficient charging infrastructure. Amazon Logistics takes over 100 eVito in Bochum and Dusseldorf.

Daimler attaches particular importance to a sustainable raw-material supply chain for the expected growth in electric vehicles. To this end, Daimler has been defining sustainability requirements for suppliers in its 'Supplier Sustainability Standards' for several years. All new Mercedes-Benz suppliers are subjected to potential analyses before they are commissioned. Approximately 700 quality engineers carry out these audits, if necessary together with human rights experts in the field.

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