German carmaker Daimler will be ready for full electricity before 2030, and to achieve that, it will invest 40 billion euros over the decade, he said on Thursday.
The Mercedes-Benz manufacturer plans to open eight factories around the world for batteries, a key component of electric models, a sign of the accelerated abandonment of traditional fuel by the automotive sector, amid increasingly stringent environmental standards.
“We will be ready if markets turn to electricity completely by the end of the decade,” Daimler boss Ola Källenius said.
He assessed during the conference call that the “three big markets”, namely Europe, the United States and Asia, are “moving” in a “dynamic” way towards electricity, not wanting to “assume” the exact moment of transition.
For example, in the European Union, the European Commission wants to ban any market for petrol cars from 2035 – a proposal yet to be discussed with Member States.
If the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA) has thrown out an “irrational solution”, several manufacturers have already announced the end of petrol and diesel models, at least in Europe, in the coming years. Among them: the VW and Audi Volkswagen brands, the Mini BMW Group, Volvo or even the Opel Stellantis Group, plan to become 100% electric.
Swedish Daimler boss, accused of falling behind in an electric bend against Tesla, spoke of a “fundamental redistribution of capital” as a historic split in the group prepares: by the end of the year, Daimler intends to announce the IPO of heavyweight company Daimler Trucks, which has become autonomous.
– “Accelerated” electrification –
For the automotive subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Cars and Vans, Daimler will dedicate a total of at least 40 billion euros to electrification in less than ten years.
The key to this strategy, whose style is changing from “electric first” to “electric only”: from 2025, Mercedes will launch only “architecture” – the technical basis of the vehicle in which the engine, wheel and chassis – electric.
Investments in thermal and hybrid technologies will decrease by 80% between 2019 and 2026.
Mercedes now expects the share of hybrid and electric cars in global sales to be at least 50% in 2025, up from 25% earlier.
To cover its needs, Daimler will open four “giga-factories” of battery cells in Europe by 2030, with three in Asia and one in the United States.
“China must play a key role in the accelerated electrification strategy,” said the luxury S-Class manufacturer, whose electric model EQS was unveiled in April.
It will also acquire British startup YASA, which specializes in electric motors.
Despite electrification, Daimler said it wants to maintain margin levels.