Mercedes-Benz announced on Thursday plans for 40 billion ($ 47 billion) to become an electricity-only carmaker by the end of the decade. It aims to integrate the company more vertically, train the workforce and secure the batteries needed. Power the product.
Mercedes provided some wiggle room for its ambitious goals, saying “as the market allows, we are ready to use all the electricity by the end of the decade.” This could mean that some combustion engines Mercedes, already equipped with a 48-volt mild hybrid system, will be manufactured and sold for over a decade.
“We have a very clear plan for the rapid expansion of BEVs. In a post-announcement media call, Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG CEO Oracrenius said:” We have that. We want to be the people who make it happen. We make it happen for us, not only follow the flow, but we are truly in control. Also, in the luxury segment we belong to, We believe it has all the characteristics of being a major segment of this transition. “
The company has already taken some steps and announced on Thursday that it had acquired the UK-based electric motor company YASA, deciding that it would require more than 200 gigawatt hours of battery capacity. To meet these needs, Mercedes plans to set up one new partner and eight battery factories to produce cells with existing partners.
The new plant, which includes one in the United States, four in Europe and three in China, is on top of the company’s already planned network of nine plants dedicated to building battery systems. Mercedes did not provide the exact location of the US factory, or Gigafactory, as they call it. The company said it would install it near an existing assembly plant. In the United States, Mercedes-Benz has a vehicle assembly plant near Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Executives said in a media call Thursday that they are starting construction at a nearby battery plant in 2018 and are trying to increase production.
The company said it will partner with a new European partner to develop and efficiently produce future cells and modules. Its designation as a “European partner” is strategic, and what Mercedes says will ensure that the region “continues to be the center of the automotive industry.”
Mercedes said it has partnered with Silicon Valley battery material startup Sila Nano, which raised $ 590 million earlier this year to help improve next-generation batteries. Specifically, Sila Nano uses a silicon-carbon composite material for the anode to help Mercedes increase energy density. This expands the range and shortens the charging time.
Mercedes also said it is considering all-solid-state battery technology and is in talks with partners to develop batteries with even higher energy densities and safety.
The plan revealed Thursday’s piggyback ride on the previous goal of manufacturing and selling more EVs. Mercedes announced in 2017 that it will electrify its entire gas hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or battery electricity lineup by 2022. German automakers announced Thursday that they will offer battery-powered vehicles in all segments they serve by next year. ..
That EV-only plan will accelerate from there. By 2025, the company announced that the only three newly launched vehicle architectures would be electricity. The company said it expects all-electric and hybrid to account for 50% of sales. This is an increase from the previous guidance of 25%. Customers can also choose all-electric alternatives for all models manufactured by the company.
Klenius said the company’s goal is to “significantly reallocate capital.” He emphasized that despite this large investment, the company’s profitability goals are protected, achieved and shifted from internal combustion engines.
To achieve this goal, Mercedes has launched three electric-only architectures that form the basis of all new vehicles. The so-called MB.EA platform is used for medium to large passenger cars, the AMG.EA is the Mercedes-AMG car that supports its performance, and the VAN.EA is an architecture dedicated to electric passenger minivans and light commercial vehicles. The company has already announced that the “Electric First” compact car architecture known as MMA will be installed in vehicles by 2024.
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