Mercedes-Benz Implementing its Electrification Plans

German maker still sees diesels in its future.

by on Oct.10, 2017

The Mercedes-Benz Concept EQ A is the luxury brand's move toward an all-electric line-up.

Mercedes-Benz has a broad strategy for integrating electric vehicles into its product line, according to Ola Kaellenius, who is in charge of Group Research at Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz Car Development.

“In the road to emission-free driving we are continuing to pursue a three-lane drive system strategy: we are focusing on highly efficient high-tech combustion engines, systematic hybridization and battery-electric or fuel cell drive,” Kaellenius said.

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He offered up the insight in response to a series of questions prepared by Daimler’s public relations staff in effort to explain the company’s plans, which also include a role for internal combustion engines and diesel in the future.

“I’m sure that the combustion engines will still be around for a long time to come. In the year 2025, we are looking at a sales share of up to 25% for the purely battery-electric cars,” he said, adding the automaker investing more than 10 billion euros in the expansion of its EQ vehicle portfolio.

(Mercedes moves closer to launch of new SUV family. For the story, Click Here.)

However, “this automatically” means that at least 75% will still have a combustion engine on board — also combined with electric, naturally, noted Kaellenius, who is considered the most-likely candidate to succeed Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche when he decides to retire.

Kaellenius said the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is an important example of the company’s strategy.

The S-Class is equipped with a six-cylinder in-line engine with an integrated starter generator which has improved driveability, performance and fuel consumption are concerned. Mercedes-Benz is also the car manufacturer offering an integrated starter generator with 48-volt technology as standard, he noted.

“We are gradually introducing the 48-volt technology to the entire portfolio — the next step will be in the four-cylinder with our E-Class later this year,” Kaellenius said.

(Click Here for more about the EQ A concept.)

Kaellenius also said Mercedes has no plans to abandon the diesel engine. “We still need the diesel and in future we shall continue to advance its further development. It has an advantage regarding CO2 emissions and this source of power is still relevant in goods transport, as well as in numerous markets, above all in Europe,” he said.

However, all the signals for Mercedes are on “green” now,” he said.

With the new EQ brand Mercedes is starting a purely electric model initiative. “We are also gradually establishing an electro-mobile ecosystem which includes the necessary charging infrastructure. The first EQ model, a utility vehicle dubbed the EQC, will appear in the first half of 2019.

(To see more about the plans to split Mercedes-Benz into three units, Click Here.)

“By 2022 we will have launched a total of more than 10 purely electrically driven vehicles. Over and above this we shall electrify the entire Mercedes-Benz portfolio and thus offer our customers at least one electrified alternative in every Mercedes-Benz model series, over 50 in all,” he said.

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