Mercedes-Benz Speeds up Electric Vehicle Development with $11 Billion Investment

By Paul Riegler on 29 March 2017
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DSC_0088Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler said Wednesday it plans to increase the number of electric vehicles it offers in order to offset higher than expected emissions levels across its product line.

The Stuttgart-based automaker said it will develop ten new electric cars by 2022 and is investing €10 billion ($10.8 billion) in the effort. It had originally planned to develop ten new electric vehicles by 2025, a plan announced at the Paris Auto Show last September.

“If you want to stay ahead, you must continually invest in development,” said Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche.

The transition to a large electric vehicle fleet will not be easy, acknowledged Daimler’s chairman, Manfred Bischoff, at the company’s shareholder meeting Wednesday, noting it will require “fundamental” change at the automaker.

This year automaker failed to lower its fleet-wide emissions for the first time since 2007. It attributed the increase to an increasing customer preference for sport utility vehicles, which tend to have higher emissions. European Union regulations require that all new cars produce 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer or less by the year 2020, compared to Mercedes’ current average of 123 grams. The accelerated move to offer more electric vehicles should help the automaker reach that goal.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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