Daimler’s electric mobility sales will grow to more than 100,000 units a year by 2020, according to Professor Dr Thomas Weber, head of Daimler Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development for the last 12 years.
In a recent interview, Weber noted that the company’s plans call for a diversity of technologies to be deployed — plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), gasoline-powered vehicles, diesel vehicles, all-electrics (EVs), hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicles, etc.
Other “interesting” comments included Weber’s assertion that diesel vehicles most certainly do have a future, especially in Europe.
“We are sure it does! Especially in Europe, diesel engines are the most economical and efficient alternative for those who drive a lot. Our new premium diesel models are more fuel efficient and more powerful, lighter and more compact than ever before — and they are designed to meet all future emission standards worldwide. Diesel engines in trucks and cars are indispensable if traffic-related CO2 emissions are to be cut further.”
Similar comments were made about gasoline-powered (petrol) vehicles….
“It too has undergone a remarkable development in the last ten years, internal friction, variable valve timing, direct injection and turbocharging, just to name a few. And it will make further progress — with the introduction of petrol particulate filters as standard, and especially with the introduction of the 48-volt systems. Please keep in mind: We managed to cut the fuel consumption of our vehicle fleet practically by half within 20 years thanks to the rigorous advancement of the internal combustion engines. We will continue on this path, because the internal combustion engine and electrification are not in competition with each other. They are perfect partners for many use cases. For example, the general weakness of petrol engines in the area of efficiency under partial load is overcome with the hybridization and this blows the door for further downsizing wide open.”
Hard to know what to make of these three assertions (more than 100,000 election sales a year by 2020; diesel vehicles will continue widespread use; petrol cars will continue widespread use) when taken together. How serious is the company about a cleaner future with a transition to electric vehicles?
Comments about all-electrics included this one: “An electric vehicle is certainly not the right answer yet for people who regularly drive long distances between cities or on the motorway. But who actually does that? In reality, the usage profile of many cars is actually quite different.”
Is Weber oblivious to the existence of Tesla’s vehicles? Or just refusing to acknowledge them?