Mercedes has ambitious plans to lead the EV market in the future.
It’s no secret that Mercedes wants to take on Tesla with its own “EQ” sub-brand of electric cars. Last year saw the reveal of the Mercedes Generation EQ SUV, one of six EVs the German manufacturer originally intended to put into production between 2018 and 2024 including two SUVs and two sedans. However, Automotive News reports that these plans have rapidly accelerated - the automaker now intends to release as many as ten EVs by 2022, as part of a $10.8 billion investment to expand its EV development and achieve this ambitious target.
The news probably shouldn’t come as a surprise as automakers are embracing electrification and autonomous technology more than ever, but Mercedes wants to dominate the EV segment and be the market leader. "With a far-reaching transformation, we want to shape the profound transformation of the automotive industry, which is primarily being driven by digitization, from the forefront," said Chairman Manfred Bischoff. "Further fundamental changes will be required for Daimler to remain successful." It probably isn’t a coincidence that Mercedes’ mission to dominate the EV segment also coincides with the investigations its facing over alleged diesel emissions cheating.
Increased government pressure to lower emissions will also have influenced this new direction for Mercedes. Last year, the manufacturer’s ongoing work to reduce CO2 emissions suffered a slowdown thanks to increased sales of larger vehicles. Demand for diesel cars in Germany has also declined, accounting for 43 percent of total sales which is the lowest since 2010. "Among development teams, especially in diesel, there are signs there's less to do as electrification is starting to have an impact," Roman Zitzelsberger, a union representative on Daimler's supervisory board, told reporters in Berlin. "We found there are fewer follow-up requests and general degree of activity."
Factor in some stiff competition from other German manufacturers like Volkswagen, BMW and Audi, which are all planning to unleash a number of EVs onto the roads in the next few years, and you can see why Mercedes is keen to push forward its plans for electrification.