Published on March 31st, 2017 | by James Ayre1
Daimler Throws Torque Into Electric Vehicle Plans
Daimler is now working to accelerate its electric vehicle program, partly as a result of its failure to cut total fleet emissions in Europe last year (for the first time since 2007).
The company has put forward the claim that the inability to slash fleet emissions in Europe last year was the result of the growing popularity of SUVs — which are generally much less fuel efficient than sedans are.
This reality is making the company’s earlier plan — for “each new car to produce no more than 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer by 2020” (an EU target) — less tenable. The idea behind the acceleration of the company’s electric vehicle plans is thus to better help to lower fleet-wide emissions.
Steve Hanley of sister site Gas2 reports: “Instead of having 10 models in showrooms by 2025, it now plans to do so by 2022. The three-year difference is what happens when the Tesla Model S starts outselling the mighty Mercedes S-Class. Moving the timetable forward will require a ‘fundamental’ shift in the company’s business model and require an investment of $10 billion according to Daimler Chairman Manfred Bischoff, who addressed a shareholders meeting in Berlin on Wednesday.”
Reuters adds: “Daimler has been set a goal of achieving a European average fleet emissions level of 100 grams for Mercedes-Benz Cars, including its Smart brand, by 2020. Last year the average fuel emissions remained at 123 grams for Mercedes-Benz Cars, the same level as in 2015. It is the first time since 2007 that it has failed to cut average pollution levels despite the introduction of more fuel efficient engines throughout its range.”
So, as you can see, the company is very unlikely to meet its goal without greatly increasing the number of electric vehicles it sells, or without reducing the percentage of SUVs that it sells as compared to sedans (which is probably unpalatable given the money involved…).