Daimler is walking the talk, or rather driving the talk, on the road to zero emissions. Leading by example, Daimler’s senior managers will soon all drive electric company cars.
To drive, one needs to charge, of course. Thus, Daimler is investing €30 million into extending the business’s charging infrastructure — supporting cleaner air. Plug-in hybrids will be the choice for the most part, as the transition gets underway.
“This work will already be undertaken over the next few months,” emphasises Ola Källenius, a member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales and Marketing.
The recent press release notes that it will make it easier for employees, who do have access the company’s various alternative drive systems vehicles, to be part of the transition. The company makes partially and fully electric vehicles easier for Daimler employees to drive with the employee car scheme.
Ola Källenius notes, “This is why we are making electric mobility an integral part of the everyday lives of our top management to set an example and to provide a clear role model.”
Aside from providing an example, it will also make the management more familiar with EVs, more familiar with their key benefits, and more familiar with the things that need improved.
Daimler continues, “Daimler AG believes that the technology offered by these vehicles provides a key to zero-emission driving and is, therefore, expanding its product portfolio with plug-in hybrid drive systems.”
Models presented at this time are the S 500e, the C 350, the GLE 500 e 4MATIC, the GLC 350 e 4MATIC, and the new E 350 e.
Even a one-time experience driving a silent, empowered EV changes almost everyone. One of the managers in the pilot program, Harald Kröger (leading the E-Drive development of the company): “I can only commend to my colleagues to experience themselves over a longer period the viability of our battery-electric vehicles in everyday use. I never cease to be amazed by their completely silent electric ‘cruising’ ability and yet at the same time by the impressively sporty nature of the electric drive system, which immediately places its full torque at the disposal of any engine speed.”
Indeed, instant torque, the silent drive quality, and the convenience of electric cars is what EV Obsession founder (my son) Zachary Shahan has repeatedly highlighted as the key selling points of electric cars to the masses.
As an all-electric driver, I find myself educating salespeople when I stop to charge at dealerships. I know more than the employees — way too often. When I ask if an employee has driven an EV, I am continually surprised that few have. (Rather counterintuitive to a zero-emissions future and a swifter transition to cleaner air.)
Kröger had previously driven the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive for company business, subsequently switching to one of the company’s first plug-in hybrid models. With the battery-electric B-Class, he continues his series of electrified company cars.
“I am delighted that our eMobility initiative will give managers the opportunity to experience this drive system,” reinforces Kröger. Daimler reports, “In the wider Stuttgart area alone, the company has already built 556 charging points for managers and employees.”