We wondered where Mercedes was going to get the batteries to power its Generation EQ and the vast number of EVs that it says are on the way.
Now parent company Daimler has pledged to plough more than $1 billion into subsidiary firm ACCUmotive.
The German automotive giant already promised to pump almost $550 million into a new factory in Kamenz earlier this year. Now it has finally confirmed the EQ brand at the Paris Motor Show and Daimler has promised a full electric Smart line-up.
Daimler’s plans for 25% battery power
Including plug-in hybrids, Daimler reckons that at least 25% of its cars will be electric in some form or another within the next decade. That’s going to take a serious amount of batteries.
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche has now pledged €1 billion ($1.1 billion) to battery R&D and production, which is part of a major restructure of the whole company. He said:
“The Mercedes luxury brand and Daimler’s Smart city-car unit are introducing at least 10 battery-powered cars in coming years, and the development budget includes 1 billion euros in battery technology.”
It has also done a deal with SK Innovation to supply battery cells, which may just be a bridging deal while it gets its own facility up to speed and a safety net just in case it cannot cover the demand with the one facility.
This is simply smart business for Daimler, which faces serious hurdles to meet its own demand for batteries. Tesla has shown how complicated the electric vehicle world can be and although Daimler has a vast amount of experience building cars, it also knows that a plan b is a good idea when you’re taking on new technology.